The third issue in this four-part Predator: Life and Death series ups the ante in a big way. There is now a clear goal in mind; to take the Xenomorph ship before the Predators can.
The title “This Time It’s War” couldn’t be more accurate. We get a satisfying battle between the Colonial Marines and the Predators and some insight into the Marines’ fear and angst. The thing that stands out the most to me in this series, and in Predator: Life and Death #3 in particular, is the way in which the Predators are presented. Their brutal kills and attacks frequently get an entire page to spotlight the sheer brutality of it and even when the Marines get the upper-hand in the “hard contact” fire-fight, the Predators’ sudden retreat is just as nerve wrecking as their appearance.
Brian Albert Thies clearly wants to put the spotlight on the Predators with this issue, and he succeeded. Their hunting techniques, environmental knowledge, and stealth skills clearly overpower the Marines, even though both factions had almost equal casualties. There is also some more mystery injected into this issue, as it is revealed that the mysterious Xenomorph ship does not belong to anyone introduced thus far. The appearance of Humble’s crew also raises some eyebrows as they are clearly not telling all they know.
As was expected from the very first issue, Captain Paget and Mr. Lorimer finally had a big falling out, although I think this was merely a precursor to an even bigger disagreement in the final issue. We also get a cool heist movie-esque “here’s the plan” montage from Captain Piaget, as she lays out the plan for her two-pronged attack – one on foot and one in the drop ship. Although they could have saved the attack for the next issue and spent some time on answering some questions, having the attack start right near the end does make for a good cliffhanger.
Much time was spent on the Marines debating about whether or not they can take the Predators, and now that they are aware of the fact that a single Predator can take down a ship, it should be interesting to see how they approach the battle in the next issue. All in all, Predator: Life and Death #3 is the most beautiful and intriguing entry in the series thus far.