By Andy Frisk
August 30, 2014 - 21:45
What's Happening Dark Horse Comics is making the most of their Alien franchise rights by bringing Prometheus into the fold, comic book wise. Unfortunately, much like the film that this new mini-series is based on, Prometheus Fire and Stone #1 does little to build on the mythology, aside from a few (admittedly) tantalizing bits thrown in here and there, of the whole origins and actions of The Engineers. Instead the reader gets a lengthy introduction to a whole new host of deep space salvage crew members who are being manipulated (just like nearly every crew/character in every Alien/Prometheus movie every made is) for the benefit of a monstrous corporation's profit, etc. etc as regards a xenomorph, or, this time around, the secrets of the origins of the species itself. While I love anti-evil corporation stories as much as the next guy, this trope has been used, and used, and then re-used so much in the Aliens comic book and movie franchise that it must be a thematic requirement at this point, that desperately needs to be minimized. Hopefully, as the mini-series continues it will live up to it's inspirational film's initial promise and swing more 2001 A Space Odyssey than Aliens. Somehow I'm not too that sure it will, especially given the general reading public's desire for gore and chest bursting than thoughtful and insightful sci-fi.
The Writing Paul Tobin (Bandette, Colder) does an excellent job introducing the characters. His writing skills are not the issue here. The fact that we have to go through almost a whole issue of getting introduced to a collection of characters that will undoubtedly be dead soon makes the exercise of reading Prometheus Fire and Stone #1 an exercise in futility. Tobin does introduce a few interesting ideas throughout the course of the story, but it all feels forced. You can definitely tell that Tobin is writing a story that has predetermined parameters established (i.e. he can only do so much with the toys he's allowed to play with before putting them back in the toy box).
The Artwork Artist Juan Ferreyra (Colder, Kiss Me Satan!) once again collaborates with Tobin, and once again delivers some great artwork. I wasn't sure how his soft pencil work would look in a hard sci-fi/tech/mech heavy work, but he pulls it off nicely. Some of the ships look a little blurry and soft from a distance, but his up close drawings of the crew's space suits and the strange xenomorph creatures inhabiting LV-223 are sublime.
The Verdict Prometheus Fire and Stone #1 was one of the books I was most looking forward to this Fall, and now it's bordering on becoming my biggest letdown book of the Fall. Prometheus Fire and Stone #1 is heavy on the set up, light on the delivery, and has the potential to devolve into another xenomorph driven gore-fest. The Prometheus branch of the Alien franchise has such potential to be so great, especially because its heavier subject matter, but heavier subject matter just doesn't sell as well as gore...and that's a damn shame.
Rating: 6 /10