Aliens vs Predator: Duel is written by the infamous Randy Stradely, who wrote the original Aliens vs Predator comic book series, and also boasts having Chris Warner in the mix, who coloured the original Aliens vs Predator comic book series, but this time does the cover artwork. The two-part series was drawn by Javier Saltares, who has done little work in the past, but seems highly skilled, as well as being coloured by the relatively well-known James Sinclair. The series is inked by Jimmy Palmiotti , who has worked on other Aliens comics in the past, and is lettered by Steve Dutro, who has worked on countless amounts of comics.
The story starts off with a great prologue with two marines being chased, one of whom is killed, and the other ends up caught between (quite literally), an Alien and a Predator about to duel. The comic cuts to modern day, where a group of marines are about to settle on a planet in response to a distress call, similar to that of the Alien movie. They land, and try to locate the last recorded human resident on the planet; Noguchi, who is missing, where we as a reader realize that this is the same planet as depicted in the original Aliens vs Predator comics. The marines search around, and discover a derelict Predator ship, in which they discover a half-dead Predator, and an Alien Queen.
When one of the marines stands too close to the Queen, and is thus as expected torn apart, the marines shoot the Queen to shreds, and decide to evacuate, taking the half-dead Predator with them. Upon exiting the ship, all hell breaks loose, when aliens (and then Predators attracted to the battle) start attacking them. What follows is great AvP action. When the Marines finally settle down, a Predalien erupts from the Predator they were carrying, and more fighting ensues. Through the action all but two of the marines are killed, and their escape ship is destroyed in the progress. The comic then cleverly cuts back to the prologue, and the duel takes place between the Predator, and in fact Predalien from earlier. The Predator (with help from the marine) wins, and the marine and Predator are left, but, with a light twist to the story, rather than battle, settle down, and the comic ends with them sitting on the same rock together, waiting for one of their species to arrive.
What I really loved about this comic is the amazing artwork, some of the shots between Aliens and Predators fighting are breathtaking. The marines are drawn really well, but in particular, the Predalien is what is noticed mostly. The blend of colours is also brilliant, the planet is mostly sandy, and the bright blue of the Predator’s armour really stands out, as does the amazing Predator-cloak. My only negative is probably the faces of the Predators without their masks, the end Predator seems to have a very meek looking face when surprised or calm, which doesn’t work well. The story is great though, especially how elements of this comic are seen in Aliens vs Predator: War (the lead marine is presumed dead as a Predator is seen wearing the Marine’s headband around its stump where it’s hand should be). Though a simple set of comics, it is all that we expect from a two-shot series, and that’s what makes it so good, it doesn’t try to out-do itself.
In conclusion, I would say that this comic is well worth getting your hands on, comic lover or not. It depicts what all AvP fans want to see, and would have been a great storyline for the AvP movie.