What happens when the most lethal creatures in the entire galaxy converge for a lethal battle for survival and supremacy? Dark Horse Comics answered that question with its crossover event Life and Death and Fire and Stone; featuring characters and elements across the Alien and Predator franchises, as well as tying into the 2012 film Prometheus, the Life and Death and Fire and Stone events tell a continuous story regarding how a group of USCM Colonial Marines came into contact with the lethal Predators, the ferocious Xenomorphs, and ultimately the mysterious alien Engineers.
Beginning in Predator: Life and Death by Dan Abnett, Brian Albert Thies and Rain Beredo, the Colonial Marines are tasked with a straightforward mission: investigate LV-797 and ascertain whether or not rival corporation Seegson has performed illegal asset stripping on the planet. The mission goes horrifically wrong when the Colonial Marines are confronted by a hunting party of the alien Predators. After multiple battles that decimate the Marines forces, the Marines learn that the Predators are guarding a massive xenotech ship of unknown origin. A small number of Marines enter the alien craft and discover a stasis pod containing a single alien being known as an Engineer. The xenotech craft is lifted off of LV-797, leaving the Predators behind. The mission seems like a success until the Engineer begins to awaken.
Continuing in Prometheus: Life and Death by Dan Abnett, Andrea Mutti and Rain Beredo the Colonial Marines continue to face fiercer and more hellish adversity. The Engineer aboard the xenotech craft awakens and proves itself to be lethal on contact. The Colonial Marines are left helpless as the Engineer sets the coordinates to LV-223, a planet far off the galactic beaten path. Upon landing, the Colonial Marines are attacked by a horde of Xenomorphs. Rescue comes unexpectedly from another band of human survivors that have lived on LV-223 prior to the Marines' arrival. The most shocking discovery for the Marines, apart from finding other humans, is that a Predator has joined forces with them against the combined threat of the Xenomorphs and Engineers. The Colonial Marines' plan to escape LV-223 falls apart spectacularly when the xenotech craft takes off suddenly, leaving half of the Marines stranded by themselves against the Xenomorphs.
Aliens: Life and Death by Dan Abnett, Moritat and Rain Beredo continues the story of how the Colonial Marines make the impossible decision to return to the surface of LV-223 and perform a rescue operation for those left behind. Chief among those left on the planet is a woman named Chris who becomes the single most important being to both the humans and the Xenomorphs for a very important reason: she alone carries the last Xenomorph queen embryo inside her. The Marines are successful in rescuing Chris, fending off the attacking Xenomorph hordes and evading the Engineer stalking them. The Marine's tactical experience is the primary factor in the success of their mission, but even that isn't enough for them to defeat the Engineer hunting them. The miniseries ends with the Xenomorph queen engaging the Engineer directly. As the Marines hail their orbital evac shuttle, they're greeted with radio silence. It may seem impossible, but a terrible situation only grows worse for them.
The story of the Colonial Marines from the Life and Death arcs is a continuation of the Fire and Stone mini-series. Fire and Stone, like Life and Death, was released as a cross-over event involving the Aliens, Predator, Prometheus, and Alien vs. Predator series. Both the Life and Death and Fire and Stone events fleshed out the narratives introduced in the film Prometheus while also setting up more lore for its 2017 successor Alien: Covenant. It seems that no matter how much Weyland-Yutani learns about the Xenomorphs and the Engineers, it'll never be enough to keep the mega-corp from sending more scientists and Colonial Marines to their deaths.
Keep Reading: Aliens: How Humans Created a New Kind of Xenomorph
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