Story: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Doug Wheatley
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Michael Heisler
What They Say:
With nowhere left to run but into the Predators’ ship, every turn leads Maria and Tyler deeper into danger—until they discover a captive xenomorph. Could the Alien be the weapon to tip the scales in their favor, or will they find themselves caught in a crossfire?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this miniseries was one that at least felt a bit different from most other books that have paired the three species together. Jeremy Barlow got us into the action quick with the Predators boarding the luxury liner and seeing how indiscriminate they are as everyone is a target in their view it feels like. It made for a fast and good read, especially with Doug Wheatley’s artwork that gave it a slick SF feeling that it needed when combined with Rain Beredo’s excellent colorwork. That’s made apparent in this installment as well as I really love the look of the kids in their outfits and just how proper 70s-ish SF it feels like when you get down to it.
For Maria and Tyler, they’re doing their best to get off the ship through the escape ship but have found that the only way to figure out how to do just that is to actually go into the Predator’s ship. They’re quite careful, even if they do talk to much, and we get to see more than we usually do. It’s certainly interesting in a general sense, more high-tech and slick than one might think, but we also get to see a Predator that’s engaging in some simple torture of a xenomorph that’s hanging by its limbs. That it escapes after a bit, kills the Predator, and launches itself into the luxury liner is just a given, right? The kids at least avoid getting involved with it at first but they know that it’s out there and it just heightens the tension for them.
What we do find via Tyler managing to connect to one of the ports is an idea on how to move the ship if they can just get a severed hand from one of the dead Predators. It makes sense and is fairly logical but it requires going back into the ship and further than they planned since the body that they were after has already been moved. With them coming across a panicky member of the crew as well along the way, it’s tense sequence of events that unfolds as they catch sight of the larger fight taking place, the skilled of the Predator, and even a reminder of their brutality by seeing their parents again. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two kids since one of them is basically a babysitter bot with some additional skills but they do a good job of helping to keep each other on the same page and as calm as possible.
This series is off to a good start with its first couple of episodes and I like what it’s presented so far since it’s different for the most part from the last few years of stories. We’ve had a lot of heavy militarized material so a change is definitely welcome for a bit. I’m definitely curious about the endgame here if there is something larger going on that’s teased about but at the moment the whole AVP property as a whole feels listless as it undergoes a shift from having an architect with a larger plan to smaller one-off miniseries. It’s a minor whiplash and I’m okay with it, but I’m hopeful for the return of something larger. What we get here is properly small and personal and it dials up the tension nicely.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 15th, 2020