Gonna confess something here: I never saw Prometheus, and I’ll give you one more, I had no idea this comic would be a tie-in to the Alien ‘prequel.’ Therefore if I miss out on some crucial aspect of the story in my review, chalk it up to ignorance although the recap page provides some info of what’s happened so far with the Prometheus crew mostly dead, and the Engineers posing a threat to all life. NBD. This mini-series introduces us to a new crew who believe they are on a run of the mill salvage mission to LV-223, a moon they think is just another barren wasteland. Their captain, Angela Foster, hides the mission’s true intent though, which is to continue the work of the Prometheus crew of finding the Engineers and uncovering the truth behind our creation. Heavy stuff, but don’t worry. There’s xenomorphs and space horror monkeys just around the bend to make this something other than a sci-fi existential exercise.
Using a documentary device, we’re introduced to the crew of the Helios and Perses. There’s Clara Atkinson, our entry into this story and documentarian who hopes to make history with her footage of deep space travel. You also have the aforementioned Angela Foster, the crew’s captain who exudes both confidence and humor in this premiere issue. However it’s Francis Lane, the crew’s astro biologist, who seems most poised for conflict, hiding an undisclosed disease from everyone but his Construct [this universe’s version of an android] assistant Elden, and considering using alien material in development of a cure. Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra introduce most of the rest of the crew as well, but so far they seem like little more than archetypes such the crude Chief Security Officer Galgos. I’m hoping that this is just to set us up for later twists once the characters are put in life-threatening situations, but we’ll see whether the creators work to take this property above fan service.
While I wasn’t marveled by the art for much of the issue, Ferreyra’s panel layouts keep things moving at a brisk pace even when all that was occurring was intro after intro. Once they make it onto the moon though, it’s clear that Ferreyra had a great time coming up with the alien designs. In addition to the insectoid horror monkeys, we’re also treated to an ant war between two factions that resemble Earthly insects, but possess the skeletal Geiger aesthetic that makes them much more menacing. It’ll be interesting to see whether Ferreyra continues to ramp up the creature designs once the xenomorphs move into the picture. There’s also some nice lighting work in this issue, Ferreyra putting the crew in a mist-covered forest that provides atmosphere and still maintains the action’s clarity. It nicely sets up the deaths that will surely follow in future issues.
Although nothing really spectacular occurs in this issue, it’s evident that Tobin has some pretty grand designs for this story. If he and Ferreyra can pull of a balance of sci-fi philosophical introspection and horror, this may be the rare comic book movie property that acquires fans of its own.
Writer: Paul Tobin Artist: Juan Ferreyra Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/10/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital