Finding a new place to write a story in someone else’s universe isn’t always an easy thing, there’s always a sense of playing with someone else’s toys and a fear of breaking them. Some universes, such a star wars, really beg to go as far as you can with it. However, universes like the Alien universe require a more gentle touch. In the sides of the Alien films is a world ruled by corporations, a more realistic view of a science fiction universe but still a far reaching one. At the same time the feeling of isolation is so important to the franchise that any world building could shatter it. For a moment, Aliens: Fire and Stone seems to find such a niche, and then immediately squanders it.
Taking place at the fall of Hadley’s Hope, the colony in Aliens, Fire and Stone follows Black Scientist Man, a Man who is a scientist as well as black, with all three factors only being coincidental. Black Scientist Man must try and evacuate as many people as he can from Hadley’s Hope, taking them to LV-233, the planet from Prometheus, but can he truly escape the alien menace? Of course not.
The fall of Hadley’s Hope is something only sparsely touched upon in Aliens fiction, despite it being the driving force behind the mega hit movie. Because of this, seeing the fall from the point of view of a high ranking official has a lot of potential, and a lot of appeal to Aliens fans. Unfortunately by the time the comic starts the evacuation is under way, and we leave Hadley’s Hope behind without a second glance.
Of course, this would be fine we’re the rest of the comic able to make up for lost potential, but sadly Aliens: Fire and Stone doesn’t do this. The transition from LV-426 to LV-233 seems to quick, and without reading the previous issue in the Fire and Stone event you’re likely to be confused as to what exactly LV-233 is. This coupled with only vague characterizations keeps you from really connecting with the story as you may need to.
It’s not all bad of course. Artist Patrick Reynolds does a great job capturing the grit of the Aliens universe as well as the ferocity of the aliens. Patrick manages to always have the alien positioned in such a way that you don’t quite see them still, and that you don’t quite see them entirely. It’s a subtle trick, but it’s a very effective one that does the alien justice.
Art aside Aliens: Fire and Stone leaves a lot to be desired. It feels more like a companion to the main event comic than an intricate part of the event itself. It may capture the aliens beautifully, but it couldn’t quite capture my interest.
Written by: Chris Roberson
Art by: Patric Reynolds
Cover by: David Palumbo
U.S. Price: 3.50
On Sale Date: Sep 24 2014