Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Moritat
Publisher: Dark Horse
The Aliens portion of the Fire and Stone run was, I believe, the weakest of the four arcs, and that’s sadly looking to be the case with Life and Death too. I’m not sure what it is about this specific property, but something seems to turn muddy along the way.
In the case of Aliens: Life and Death #4, it’s absolutely the artwork.
Listen, I’ve done my best to try and get on board with Moritat’s artwork, and in fact, there’s some merit to it. The monsters all look really cool in his particular style, but when it comes to human faces and general action, the linework leaves a lot to be desired. There are some really bad panels here, and the climactic fight sequence we’ve all been waiting for is hard to follow.
It’s a shame too, because I’d say at least half the comic is bullets and explosions. I mean, it is a fun read, all things considered; it’s just not a pretty read.
As to the story itself, I almost feel like it doesn’t progress enough here. Plot points happen, and the arc does end, but there’s something missing. It’s unfair to hold that against Abnett though as there are five issues left before this whole story is done, but I suppose I expected something more final seeing as this is a four of four.
There’s also less character work here. Everyone is acting like how they always do, which is fine, but when I called this series a bridge a few issues back, I turned out to be right. Aliens: Life and Death has been pause in the story, a break between the big plot points of chapters two and four. It dropped Galgo and Ahab from the main arc to focus on stuck people being stuck, and as of now, they’re all still stuck. Nothing of real importance has occurred over these last few issues other than Jill being put into mortal danger.
And let’s face it, that isn’t exactly a change given where she’s been living.