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Aliens vs. Predator: Thicker Than Blood #1 Review

4 min read
If the Predators dont get you, the Alien will!

Greed once again leads to death.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Doug Wheatley
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Michael Heisler

What They Say:
If the Predators dont get you, the Alien will! Predators board a luxury charter spaceship, unleashing a path of terror and bloodshed. An adolescent girl and her younger ”brother” are the last to survive, and begin a cat-and-mouse chase with the attackers. They hope for an escape, but they haven’t counted on the Alien . . .

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With some of the larger plans for the Aliens/Predator material off the table earlier this year that had been brewing for a while, a few other projects are now taking up the space but it’s been quiet for a while compared to before. One of those new series is this one from writer Jeremy Barlow and artist Doug Wheatley. Talented folks both who can work a good story and take some familiar elements and rewire them anew. I hadn’t done any pre-reading about this series other than seeing the cover so I had no idea what to really expect, which is always the best way to go into these projects. What I wanted was something that plays to the familiar to be sure – we want to see the creatures on the hunt – but with someplace/something new as a hook.

While I may give Barlow a little bit of a side-eye for reading some Descender recently, this is a familiar plot idea. We’re introduced to a luxury ship in deep space that has over a hundred guests on it that are enjoying themselves through all sorts of activities. With just over a dozen crew to handle their needs, things go well but not always completely smoothly. When a mysterious ship ends up docking on board the luxury liner, however, things go south quickly. We’re introduced to all of this through Tyler, an elementary-aged-designed AI that’s a companion to Lydia, a tween girl who is frustrated at some of this vacation with her parents because Tyler keeps looking out for her when she just wants to have some fun. Lydia’s parents, however, are some of the early ones to discover what was on board the craft – Predators.

With Lydia’s father having altered the course of the ship to uncharted space to get some cartography data, they’re all going to pay the price. We know it. That’s how this works, even if bonds are forged. What we get in this issue, however, are the two Predator’s moving through the ship, setting up traps, killing people easily enough with heads flying off, and going through the motions. It’s effective as Wheatley’s artwork captures their expressions as their heads separate from their bodies in a really creepy way. But we also get the kind of AI-panic out of Tyler that’s almost comically designed while Lydia is all over the map considering what she sees. Huge props to her mom for a great outfit, though. The general idea is an easy one in that Tyler has to protect and save Lydia but she’ll be an obstacle herself. Oh, hey, is that a xenomorph in the ship too?

In Summary:
Aliens and predators stumble onto luxury liner and continue their ballet-o-death. That’s all that you really need to know. It brings the three main groups together as we’ve enjoyed for decades now and sets into motion the carnage. Barlow sets it all up quickly and easily so that you know the basics, the tight space, the number of potential bodies, and the twist. Add in the dangerous creatures and let shit happen. Whetley’s artwork is a lot of fun here as I like his costume design and how he put together Tyler. I’m also digging both of his alien designs so far as well. But mostly he’s seemingly having fun popping heads off bodies and I cannot tell a lie, I’m enjoying it too.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 11th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99

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