Dark Horse Comics 2018
Written & Illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
Coloured by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Michael Heisler
The Trono colony on LV-871 is under attack. Emergency evacuations are ordered. Evac shuttles are taking off. All twelve-year-old Maxon and his mom have to do is make it to the spaceport. Except between them and it are . . . Aliens!
I do rather enjoy the mini-series that Dark Horse does for the Alien franchise. The last arc after arc that followed the same story from multiple angles was some of the more intense storytelling that came and Dead Orbit was beautifully done now Gabriel is adding to the mythos with this story that starts off incredibly strong. Also it really reminds me of Aliens and instantly reminds me of Newt. That isn’t a bad thing as a matter of fact it’s great because that film was amazingly well done and set the tone for a book like this to happen.
The opening does it for me in so many ways, a young boy wakes up to some strange noises and goes to investigate. Yeah set in the darkness like it is is the stuff nightmares are made of. It brilliantly captures your attention, imagination and fuels the adrenaline in your system. It really is perfectly done and makes me excited for what’s to come. The way the book is structured is extremely good and nice to see because it’s totally natural. We see the opening and follow through to the ending and while we may know what certain things mean they do not and that creates a beautiful amount of tension and anticipation for us as readers.
If there is one thing I have learned is never get attached to characters in these stories. Why because every time I find one that shows promise and is interesting, you the unexpected person who lead and fight yeah that one they die. So I am tentatively going to root for Maxon to live through all this and hope that at least he makes it to the end of the story. If you want the truth it’s that what Gabriel has done with him already is start him off as this meek and unworldly kid so the potential in him is unlimited and it’s something I want to see.
The interior artwork here is so incredibly well suited for this which should come as no surprise since Gabriel is laying them down as well. Still with what Rain’s colouring ability it is so strikingly good. The varying weight of the linework that we see and the angles and perspective in the panels create mood and evoke feelings of dread and hope at the same time. The way page layouts are utilised combined with the rest showcase his eye for storytelling, which is kind of glorious. That we see so many backgrounds in use expands the story and his rendition of the Aliens is remarkable. The creativity and imagination on display here make the story just that much more impactful.
I was in love with this from the first page. There is promise that there may be survivors who have to band together and last long enough to be saved. Meanwhile among them are those that will hatch the aliens inside them putting them all risk, that of course is only to be expected. There is fear here as well and not just for the characters running for their lives but among the readers as well. We know what they face and yet we sit here and cheer and root, not all of us for the people, for their survival.
This is everything you could hope for and imagine in an Aliens story and I am sure it’s destined to be a classic!