Prometheus: Fire and Stone

Prometheus: Fire and Stone is a four-issue comic book miniseries written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Juan Ferreyra (with beautiful cover art by David Palumbo) and published by Dark Horse Comics.

The search party expected to find the surface of the Moon LV-223 barren and devoid of any life; instead, they were greeted with a thick jungle full of strange animals.

In the year 2219, 126 years after the ill-fated expedition of Peter Weyland to the Moon LV-223 met its dreadful end, a new party, led by Captain Angela Foster, lands on the (supposedly) barren surface of this distant world. The crew, thinking they are on a routine salvage mission searching for a lost research vessel, knows nothing about the true purpose of the expedition that only Foster knows about: to continue in the footsteps of Peter Weyland and search for the enigmatic ‘Engineers’ who seeded the Earth, and potentially the whole Galaxy, with life.

The search party, comprised of several dozen crew members, scientists, engineers and military personnel, arrives in orbit of the LV-223 aboard the deep-space core vehicle Geryon, with the command ship Helios, salvage vessel Cadmos and patrol ship Perses travel-docked onto the core vehicle.

After the landing, the members of the mission are surprised to find the landscape of the LV-223 consisting of mountainous terrain and deep valleys covered in lush jungle surrounded by deep lakes, with both woods and water teaming with all sorts of strange and unfamiliar life forms.

Behind the forest, at the shore of a small lake, the salvage party discovers a sizeable ‘killing field’ with a substantial number of huge creatures slain and torn to bloody pieces scattered all over the bay. Given the size and fearsome look of the slaughtered beasts, they ponder what kind of ferocious predator could be responsible for the carnage on this scale.

At the edge of the forest, they discover a large ‘killing field’ with a big number of giant beasts slain and torn to bloody pieces by some vicious predators.

Further in the jungle, the crew discovers not Prometheus - Peter Weyland’s spacecraft Foster is looking for, but a crash-landed spaceship from Hadley’s Hope - the outpost on the neighbouring Moon LV-426. When the search party opens the ship, they are immediately attacked by nightmarish hostile life forms with two sets of jaws full of sharp teeth, big claws, and acid for blood - the merciless killing creatures which will later become known as the Alien. They suffer heavy casualties with many members of the team badly wounded and some crewmen with parasites, later known as the facehugger (the second stage in the Alien’s life cycle) attached on their faces.

As the salvage party retreats in panic, two of the crew, Francis and android Elden, get separated and find refuge in a remote cave atop a cliff. They soon discover that they are not the first who took shelter here and find notes of a survivor, presumably from the Hadley Hope ship’s crash, named Derrick Russell. The notes give some insight into why and how the formerly lifeless, barren surface of the LV-223 transformed, in a little more than a century, into a landscape covered in deep forests teaming with life. Francis learns from the diaries that the factor responsible was ‘black goo’ that they have noticed accumulating in big puddles back in the jungle. Russell explains that the Engineers’ spaceship, carrying a large cargo of the stuff, he calls ‘Accelerant’, crashed soon after taking off (after captain Janek rammed it with the Prometheus spacecraft, in a bid to prevent the release of the liquid on Earth) and spilled the Accelerant over the surface of the LV-223.

In view of these events, Captain Foster cannot hold the truth from the crew any longer, and the true purpose of the expedition is finally revealed amidst a terrifying battle for survival…

The crew makes an unexpected discovery – a wreckage of spaceship from the nearby Moon LV-426, the contents of which they may wish they had left undisturbed.

With the coherent, yet gripping story complemented by the exquisite, colour-pencil-like illustrations throughout, Prometheus: Fire and Stone is one of the best comic book follow-ups to a sci-fi movie, and a worthy addition to the Alien-Prometheus lore.

The only complaint about this brilliant comic book is that one cannot help but wish that it would have been a few issues longer. The miniseries ends open-ended though, leaving space for a potential sequel, or perhaps the storyline will be continued in the planned second film of the Prometheus franchise, Prometheus: Paradise.