Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Riccardo Burchielli
Coloured by Dan Jackson
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
AFTER RELOADING THEIR STOCKADE ON THE SCIENCE STATION NEAR PLANETOID LV-44-40, COLONIAL MARINE ZULA HENDRICKS and her AWOL compatriot Davis 01 are still on the trail of the xenomorph monsters their ex-employer seeks to capture. Weyland-Yutani’s reach is long, and while Davis 01 has built firewalls in his programming, his fellow Davis units are not so well protected. Zula may finally understand what the shady corporation is capable of.
I’m actually kind of surprised by this story so far. Sure we saw some xenomorph’s last issue but they really aren’t a main focus of this, yet. Instead this spotlight on Zula and Davis 01 is a much more interesting story that would’ve expected. I mean c’mon usually humans haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to working with synthetics in these stories. So that there’s one who has decided to buck his programming and is sympathetic to Zula and humans in general is a route that is interesting to see.
I’m digging this the way that the explanation for what’s happening and the way it’s going down. From listening to Zula’s narrative of what she is going through at the moment and the confession she makes about being lonely to cutting to the synthetics and what they initiate well it’s just well crafted. Though I do find it very interesting that all these synthetics look the exact same and have no real distinctions other than the numbers placed about the eyebrow. I think that has this strange effect that makes them even creepier than when they have a human likeness and you can’t tell the difference if they are or aren’t human.
Riccardo and Dan do this great thing with the shadows and the lighting of the work on the pages and panels here. It’s got that darker menacing tone to it that captures a kind of heartlessness with the synthetics that helps us as the reader to really get involved with what’s going on. Plus the ship’s design has many has so many already familiar elements to it that is kind of comforting. I love the use of angles and perspective here and the limited backgrounds in favour of all that shadow do tend to up the creepy factor.
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has been trying forever to get these xenomorphs back to Earth and so far they’ve faced some serious setbacks. Could one lone human and a rogue synthetic beat the Corporation at their own game? Who knows we’ll see but I can’t wait to see if they send backup and finally see a massacre from the xenomorphs. After all it isn’t an Aliens comic without them wreaking havoc on untold and unsuspecting troops, scientists and businessmen.
Until then though Brian’s characterization and unique point of view he’s bringing to this story can me keep endlessly captivated.