Comic Publishers

May 19, 2010

Dark Horse Reviews: Aliens vs Predator: Three World War #4

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Randy Stradley
Artist: Rick Leonardi
Cover: Raymond Swanland


“Three World War pt 4”: With the alliance between the Marines and Hunter Predators formed, they are now prepared for their attack on the Killer Predators and their Alien pets.  Machiko is busy keeping things straight between both sides as the attack commences, and things are actually going pretty well as both sides begin their attack on the planet the Killers have set up on.  It’s also at that exact moment that things just go straight to hell, as the Marine and Predator ships’ communications go out courtesy of the Killers jamming signal on the planet.  So the human and Predator teams that are already on their way are flying blind, and met with a greeting party of Aliens when they land in an attempt to stop them from getting to their goal.

This is the first battle between the two sides, and though at times brutal, it’s not the “big one” that some may have been expecting, and rightfully so; it’s only the fourth issue and we have two more to go.  Stradley does keep the action pretty fast paced in this one with the largest amount of dialog coming when the humans are trying to come up with a plan to stop the signal jamming.  Aside from that we get a bit of Machiko’s inner dialog along with Leonardi’s artwork to move us along in this issue.  Which seems to not be as good as it was in the beginning of this series, which is a bit of a problem I had last issue.  There were just a lot of areas that seemed really rushed, and when you compare them to the panels where you can tell more time was taken, the differences stand out.  Though I did enjoy his sequence when the Colonial Marine made an effort to help a wounded Predator who was reluctant at first to accept.

This fourth issue was good, but it was the presence of various little things that stood out to me that kept me from enjoying it as much as I probably should have.  There was a point earlier in the series where Machiko makes it very clear to Ellis that he is to show no emotion towards her, because the Predators may see it as a weakness and use it against them.  Well in this issue, after a tense moment a huge hug is exchanged between the two.  Now if this comes back to bite them in the ass later, then my issue will be nullified, but if not than it will bother me.  I’m also pretty confused as to why the Predators are not in full armor to protect them from the Alien acid blood splatter.  They usually armor up when going into a serious fight, and even during the ritual for the younger Predators to kill an Alien they’re pretty well protected.  This fight is as serious as it gets as they are up against not only Aliens, but armored up and equally – if not better – armed Predators in the form of this Killer Clan here.

I understand that these things may not bother those who have casual knowledge of the Aliens vs Predator books, but those of us who are more informed are a bit annoyed at things like this.  Maybe if some of these points were addressed and tweaked before things were finalized, my reading experience could have been a bit better.  The overall story is still a good one despite what I pointed out, and I would hope that if another AvP movie were ever made that Randy Stradley would be hired on as a writer or consultant, because he definitely knows how to make these characters work!  So two more issues left and it’s still anybody’s game as to who will come out on top, and of course you can’t lose with these covers by Raymond Swanland.

Infinite Speech



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  2. Billy

    I think I might have to get these issues or the Tpb.

  3. The covers are stunning, and if they looked like the interiors I’d definitely be reading this series. Otherwise though, it just isn’t my thing.

  4. I feel you Andy a painted book would be fantastic but those would take a little more time to get out. I’m not sure how fast Swanland works but it would still be worth the wait if he could do the interiors as well as covers

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