Last issue Galgo, selfish little space prick that he is, threw his mercenary shipmates under the bus so he could duck out on a Predator that found its way on board the Perses.
… and got his dumb ass cornered anyways.
Instead of gutting him though, the Predator decides to let Galgo live… on one condition: get their asses back to LV-223 so he can bag the ultimate trophy — an Engineer skull.
Predator: Fire and Stone #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Predator: Fire and Stone #2 opens with a flashback (from over 100 years earlier) to our main Predator’s younger days: a huntin’ trip. He takes on a trio of four-armed Beta Ray Bill/John Carter Green Martian lookalikes in a short, sweet and brutal sequence that shows us how he got his nickname: One-Eye. (Not really his nickname, but let’s start the trend, shall we? That, and dude had his eyeball skewered out and still beasted his way to victory. He deserves it.)
If you couldn’t tell, I’m liking Fire and Stone’s Predator, who gets solid characterization from writer Joshua Williamson in this issue. One-Eye’s rugged and tough, yeah, but he’s also got lofty ambitions: you find yourself rooting for him even though (or is that because of the fact?) you can’t understand a single word he’s saying.
Galgo is nowhere near as entertaining as he was in the first issue (his repetitive, tough guy bravado comes off like some unfunny version of Henery Hawk from Looney Tunes) but overall the “strange bedfellows” relationship he shares with the Predator is shaping into something very fun. It’s a breath of fresh air and a nice contrast to the Machiko Noguchi human/Yautja team-up from the original Aliens vs. Predator series) as Galgo is a slimeball son of a bitch through and through — a far cry from fomer’s personality.
Not too much happens in this issue besides the aforementioned flashback and the duo’s return to LV-223, but what does happen is enjoyable. Williamson’s writing shines when he’s letting Mooneyham’s scratchy, gritty pencils take the lion’s share of the work: the choreography and brutal, kinetic energy of the action scenes make for finely-crafted pieces of visual storytelling and I’d love to see more. If you told me these two were making a silent issue in the Alien vs. Predator universe, I’d snatch that bad Larry up without a second thought. Adding to the praise for Mooneyham’s art — he nails everything. From the different visual frequencies seen through the Predator’s bio-mask to Galgo’s roguish grin to the alien terrain of LV-223, Mooneyham does work. His is a much different style from that of the painterly Ariel Olivetti’s over in Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone, but it’s no less fitting for the title.
Is It Good?
Predator: Fire and Stone #2 is a solid second issue that improves and expands upon the seeds sown in the first. Williamson has given us a bad-ass Predator whose synergy with human lead Galgo is amusing as hell and a narrative that has me excited to see what happens next.
Definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of the movies and have been let down by the lack of backstory/involvement of the Predators in the other Fire and Stone tie-ins.