In any event, this brings me to PROMETHEUS, another franchise they have their hooks into. What they began with the mega-crossover event, FIRE AND STONE (it bridged the worlds of Aliens, Prometheus, and Predator into one collective property), is now continuing under the mini-series, LIFE AND DEATH.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the press materials: Colonial Marines have commandeered a mysterious alien ship—wresting it from the savage Predators who also wanted it. But now the owner of the vessel has awakened, and the marines find themselves trapped in space with an angry god!
Even for this long-time (admitted) SciFi junkie, Ridley Scott’s film Prometheus was a tough sell. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think a lot of the pre-release interviews helped the flick, mostly because there was always an ongoing debate about whether or not the property legitimately tied into Scott’s earlier Alien saga. Truth be told, it did, but it probably didn’t touch as closely to that commodity as audiences either wanted or expected; reviews were kind though I think audiences didn’t quite know what to make of the motion picture. This tends to happen when you show up expecting Indiana Jones and you get Allan Quartermain.
However, Dark Horse Comics has opted to continue with the franchise while audiences patiently wait for the next theatrical outing; and – as my tastes go – they’re doing a pretty reasonable job despite some of the canon’s nebulousness. LIFE AND DEATH is an awful lot of set-up – there’s an opening page that helps place the tale chronologically – as established Dark Horse readers are probably the only one who’ll fully understand from whence this tale springs in the early pages otherwise. (Rest assured, newbies, it ain’t all that difficult.)
Where LIFE AND DEATH really takes off is in the latter half of this issue: the first half spends time with the particulars of introducing characters and placing them in a precarious set of circumstances, but once that is out of the way and the presumed antagonist rears his Godly noggin it’s all guns and blood … typically something one expects from military-based space operas of this magnitude. At first blush, scribe Dan Abnett’s story appears to tap into the elements that made ALIEN and ALIENS (the film) such wild romps – a unknown spaceship, Colonial Marines, and a menace to be avoided at all costs – though wise readers know that no writer worth his (or her) salt plays all his (or her) cards in the first issue, so stay tuned as what comes next might just be everything fans have dreamed about since this space journey began.
PROMETHEUS: LIFE AND DEATH (1 of 4) is published by Dark Horse Comics. The tale is scripted by Dan Abnett; the art is provided by Andrea Mutti; the colors are by Rain Beredo; with lettering by Michael Heisler. For those interested in special features, there’s a brief afterward that talks about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of bringing this ongoing ALIENS-based saga to life on the page, and it’s worth the read.
RECOMMENDED. If you liked the cinematic world that Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS served up, then there’s probably as much to love here, though I’ll admit that so very much of it essentially serves as an action-packed set-up for things to follow. And – despite what you might fear – I don’t think you need to be as familiar with the events taking place in the already completed multi-property crossover, “Fire and Stone,” as this installment opens with a respectable recap. (Still, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a copy, if you’re so inclined.)
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics provided me with a digital reading copy of Prometheus: Life and Death (1 of 4) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.