‘Aliens vs. Predator: Life and Death #3’ - Advance Comic Book Review

The Life and Death cycle by Dan Abnett has had some really good issues and some very mediocre ones. I feel like the story he had in place wasn’t quite bulky enough for such a long run, and so issues have passed to move some of our intrepid colonial marines from one place to the other in preparation for a better issue. I felt this especially about some of the Prometheus issues and the previous issue of Aliens vs. Predator. But as we near the final issue, Abnett has no other choice but to tighten the noose, and so we have issue three.

As the Xenomorphs battle the hunters, our marines watch, hoping for the battle to end in their favor. At the same time, one of the human characters, Chris, who has been impregnated with the Queen Alien can feel her lordship getting antsy for an exit and grand entrance. Tensions are obviously high, and the situation, even though one can ultimately guess where things are headed, is genuinely involving.

Still, some things feel strangely out of sync. The dialogue is rough around the edges. I don’t really feel the characters have been explored all that much outside of the things happening in front of them. The human element in this regard is incredibly thin, and that’s what’s needed most in a series that features killing machines in their titles. That’s what would have made those mediocre issues tremendously important. Thankfully, with this issue, it’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of the marines.

Brian Albert Thies' art is great, but his renderings of the chaos between bugs and hunters is perhaps a bit too chaotic, too abstracted. I lose perspective as to how big this fight actually is and how bloody it is, though there is one image in particular that might be in my nightmares tonight and that’s very much due to the slightly abstract nature he brings to the violent imagery. I also think Rain Beredo, as colorist, could have done more to help create a sense of place and time. Somehow, in the imagery, the idea of where and when is missing, and that means what’s happening doesn’t feel as grounded as it should.

This is how I’ve felt about most of this run overall; it gives you just enough to have a basic understanding of what’s happening, but never really digs in to give the events a real foundation. Despite the criticism, this was an enjoyable issue, and I’m truly interested to see how this story ultimately ties up.

Go to top