Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Brian Albert Thies
Coloured by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Michael Heisler
When we left off there was an unknown hand on the control board the Hasdrubal as those on the ground hailed the ship to no avail. This was after they rescued Chris as the Engineer and the Queen xenomorph were battling it out.
Well this issue opens aboard the Hasdrubal as we see Company man Lorimer running through the ship to Goode locked in his cell. He’s frantic and not making much sense when suddenly we see what all the commotion is about. We learn about whose hand it was at the end of last issue only this won’t come into full play till the end of the issue. Though I have to say it really is well done and brings that added element needed into the story.
With those on the ground scrambling to figure out what they are going to do since they can’t raise the Hasdrubal things begin to pick up. I actually really like the pacing Dan brings to this as there obviously isn’t time to sit and have a proper debate about what to do. Things need to be done on the fly if they are going to survive. With the Queen and the Engineer battling it out it won’t take the xenomorph’s long to come after Chris who is carrying the new Queen within her.
I think Brian is an amazing artist and while I loved Moritat’s stylized work the attention to detail that Brian brings is stunning. From the madness that happens aboard the Hasdrubal which is amazing well portrayed to that first look at the xenomporh’s on the move the sense of action and danger makes the heart race. Let’s not forget the landscape that we see as well everything that Brian and Rain bring to this issue is meant to be as cinematic and emotionally thrilling as it can possibly be. The use of page layouts with their angles and perspective seal the deal.
Just when you think those on the ground are done for and we’re going to lose more of the cast to the xenomorph army two characters return. Galgo and Ahab make their stunning return and just in time too because those that were on the Hasdrubal are planetside now and from the looks of things they aren’t happy.
This is the series that really keeps all the different franchises firmly tied together. From that first film where Aliens and Predators met a new shared universe was created and that Dan can keep them so alive and thrilling, much more so than the movies, is no small feat. Dan keeps us guessing with who will survive and where they will ultimately ends up, not to mention will they ever get off the island (oh a Gilligan’s Island).
The human drama angle that he infuses keeps us coming back for more while the classic horror aspect well that’s just the icing on the cake. Incredibly well written and illustrated this series of mini-series continues to bring guaranteed thrills!