Aliens vs. Predator 1 (June 1990)

Norwood’s very design-oriented–he’s a Hollywood storyboard guy–and the art suffers for it. The setting, the designs of the human settlement on an alien planet, is great. The panel composition is stunning. The figures are awkward and bad. Everyone’s proportions are off a little bit. They’re too stout for their height. Stradley’s writing here is really strong–he has a female narrator, but makes distance part of her character (I’m not sure if she’s Japanese because it’s a comic from 1990 about the future of corporations or if Stradley used it to add even more distance, this time cultural). But his establishing … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator 1 (June 1990)

Aliens vs. Predator 0 (July 1990)

Stradley’s issue is two bored cargo spaceship having a conversation while Norwood’s art shows us all about the Predators getting ready for the Aliens vs. Predator series. First it’s showing the alien eggs, then it’s a bunch of fighting for dominance. The off panel dialogue back and forth constantly relates to the dialogue-less action going on. The issue is reprints of prologue stories from Dark Horse Presents, which explains why it’s always a surprise when the story continues following a climax in the conversation, but it works. I’m not particularly familiar with Norwood but he does a fine job here. … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator 0 (July 1990)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 6 (September 2010)

Stradley really doesn’t “earn” his ending here. He decides, on the last issue, to make it all about the protagonist reconciling with her demons and choosing life. It’s inspiration and heart-warming and not at all the story he’d been writing up until this point. Only this issue and the previous one even hint at the character’s need for internal reconciliation–the comic has a large cast and it’s not like the protagonist gets much page time as anything but the deus ex machina to save her boyfriend’s heinie. Except this time he sort of saves her. It’s actually a rather dramatic … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 6 (September 2010)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 5 (July 2010)

Stradley compresses here. Weeks and weeks. Maybe even a month. It’s okay until he gets to the action part of the issue, which is then far less interesting than it needs to be. He follows the civilians (the protagonist’s sidekicks who haven’t really done anything since the first issue–oh, wait, her boyfriend’s there) for the last quarter of the issue and they’re boring. Stradley seems to be using them because they give the best device for his exposition…. Coming after the previous issue, with its strong battle scenes, this issue seems not just anemic but out of place. Stadley had … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 5 (July 2010)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 4 (May 2010)

The romance between the protagonist and the nerdy guy doesn’t work. He’s not really a nerdy guy, of course, because he used to be in the Marines. Or something. But he’s basically the nerdy guy. He’s even got a nerdy name–I think Die Hard ruined the name Ellis for anyone serious. But part of the comic needs the romance to be touching and significant and it’s not. Maybe Stradley doesn’t buy it either. He writes zero chemistry between them. They seem like siblings. Otherwise, it’s a rather good issue. It’s a big invading an alien planet issue so there’s a … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 4 (May 2010)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 3 (April 2010)

Wow… it’s a good issue. All throughout I mean. There’s even a big action sequence at the end and it works. Probably because Stradley writes the sequence instead of just provides a list of actions for Leonardi to draw. As for the art, it’s still terrible. I might have to revise my opinion. Maybe Leonardi isn’t drawing the protagonist as cheesecake material because he’s simply not willing to take the time. Unless inker Pennington is going all Vince Colletta–there are a bunch of panels where the characters don’t even have faces. It’s not clear if Leonardi just didn’t bother drawing … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 3 (April 2010)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 2 (February 2010)

Whatever my problems with Leonardi–they go on and on–I have to give him credit. He draws a female character in, basically, a bikini and doesn’t do it with any of the cheesecake objectification most comic book artists would. In fact, I didn’t even realize it; it just seemed the right outfit. (It’s a human wearing a Predator outfit for those who don’t follow Aliens vs. Predator). This issue follows the same formula as the first one. The beginning is some really dumb action scene, then the actual story starts and it’s good. Stradley gets in some nice homage to Aliens … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 2 (February 2010)

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 1 (January 2010)

It has a flashback. It has an actual flashback to explain the events in previous comic books to explain to the reader what’s pertinent. I tried the Dark Horse relaunches of Aliens and Predator. Both were atrocious on almost every level, but they also didn’t have any flashbacks to explain the ground situation to readers who hadn’t been loyally reading the Dark Horse licensed titles. Aliens vs. Predator has a flashback. It comes late in the issue, in the narrative even. The comic turns around, in terms of writing, about halfway through the issue. It opens badly with a big … Continue reading Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 1 (January 2010)