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Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1990 to take a close look at one of the more significant non-superhero crossover comic book events ever published – Aliens vs. Predator!
In my previous review, the humans of Prosperity Wells begin to get impacted by the presence of the Predators and the Aliens. A family got killed by Predator hunters at their home in the wilderness and only a young boy was able to get away and catch people’s attention in the outpost. Machiko Noguchi and her team initiate defensive measures in response to what has been happening. Two people even brought back a living Predator with them from the ruins of a Predator ship they inspected in the wilderness.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Aliens vs. Predator #3, published in 1990 by Dark Horse Comics with a story written by Randy Stradley and drawn by Phill Norwood.
The story begins with Noguchi who finds herself in a dangerous position. In front of her is a horde of Xenomorphs and behind her is one Predator warrior who even assisted her a few moments prior. Armed with futuristic weapons, the armored warrior suddenly jumps above her and right into the Xenomorphs. The Predator efficiently slashed off the parts of a few Aliens using a bladed weapon and blew up one of them using another weapon.
The warrior eventually gets overwhelmed by more Aliens that came into the action. As the Xenomorphs focused strongly on the downed Predator, Noguchi takes advantage of the situation to run away and somehow get back to protecting the people as the outpost has been clearly invaded by two deadly non-human species.
Meanwhile inside the huge cargo ship that did not launch, two crew members freed themselves from the Xenomorphs’ restraints and try to sneak by the Alien Queen which they perceived to be sleeping…
From a storytelling point-of-view, this one is a huge pay-off to the build-up established in the first two issues and I can say I enjoyed this one. At this stage of the 4-issue mini-series, the human colony has turned into a battle zone between the Predators and the Xenomorphs and this obviously results in a lot of action scenes and other wild turns of events. It is also in this story where you will get to see Machiko Noguchi at her bravest yet, as well as her uncompromising way of protecting her people and solving the crisis at hand. As she and her fellow humans are in the middle of a crisis, nothing straightforward could happen nor could they make solid plans with any real chance of succeeding. The decisions Noguchi made here came with risks and through her struggles, you will be able to relate with her and you will also witness how the series of unfortunate events turn out with unpredictable ways which added some suspense and surprise to the narrative.
The spectacle here, unsurprisingly, are the battles between the Aliens and Predators. Such conflicts happened mostly in the background which is effective enough to establish the chaos that the humans have to endure. One of the Predators – which does not have a name – became a notable additional supporting player to the cast and his presence and actions added some intensity to storytelling even as the narrative consistently focused on Noguchi.
The way the story is told, this one maintains the natural progression of details from issue #1 and even though the action has been ramped up, there were still plenty of opportunities for readers to understand the details and grasp the plot. There is also rising tension as the narrative moves forward.
Being a big pay-off to the huge build-up of issues #1 and #2, Aliens vs. Predator #3 (1990) is highly entertaining and compelling to read! The action scenes and chain of incidents were ramped up a lot and yet this comic book never turned into a brainless fest of violence. The creative team managed to add some breathing space to not only let readers absorb the story details but also to immerse themselves with the situations. By the time I reached the end, I experienced this great satisfaction as well as further motivation to discover how the story will conclude in the next issue.
Overall, Aliens vs. Predator #3 (1990) is highly recommended!
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