Marvel Comics 2021
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Illustrated by Salvador Larroca
Coloured by GURU-eFX
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
IT ALL COMES CRASHING DOWN! Epsilon Station is losing its orbit. Gabriel Cruz is losing his son. Can anything be saved?
Last night I watched the extended cut of Aliens and I was thinking how nice it would be if Gibson’s actual screenplay had been made into the third film and now here I am with the latest issue ready for review. This one takes us all by surprise with what we see and to be honest what we see Bishop being able to do and what Gabriel is willing to do in order save the others really takes things to a whole new level. This is the epitome of the evolution of the franchise. Unless it is going to be rebooted with a new cast to a true sense of the screenplays this really is where the next level of fear and horror comes from. Comics can do things that fill cannot and while they are both adept at hiding something in plain sight what comics can do that film cannot is layer the characterisation, plot and storyline so they overlap the way we see Philip having done here.
I love the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exquisitely. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter which continues to make these characters more and more believable. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story we are so caught up in what we see and what the ramifications are sometimes we forget to look at the larger picture.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is magnificently rendered. What we see in the layers and how they impact the short and long term story arcs are done in such a marvellous way and how they add that much more depth, dimension and complexity to the story is mind boggling. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward with such apparent ease.
The interior artwork here is mindbogglingly brilliant to behold. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail work that we see throughout the issue is astonishing to see. The way that we see backgrounds being utilised to enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story are masterfully rendered. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The creativity and imagination that are on display here is mind numbing and whether it is how we see the hair, the wounds, the xenomorph or whatnot everything comes to life with the same aplomb. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a master colourist at work. The light sources and how they change the hues and shades is pure magic to see.
This has become one of my favourite series from Marvel and it comes as no surprise that’s a film franchise that’s done it. The sheer volume of creativity and imagination needed to bring this to life through such amazing writing, spectacular characterisation and brilliantly mind blowing interior artwork to the masses as successfully as it does leaves me gobsmacked.