Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Brian Albert Thies
Coloured by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Michael Heisler
This story takes place approximately forty-three years after the events in the motion picture Aliens (and just over a year after the events in Fire and Stone). On the planet Tartarus, Captain Paget’s Colonial Marines have come under attack by extraterrestrial “hunters” equipped with cloaking devices and plasma cannons. The marines seem to be able to match the hunters in a fair fight, but the hunters’ tactics are anything but fair. Under their mission directives from the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, the marines are required to commandeer the massive horseshoe-shaped alien spacecraft they’ve discovered—but they’ll be lucky if they can just make it back to their own ship!
One of the things I’m really liking about this is that it feels like a brand new history in the making for the franchise. Not only are the Predator’s around but the Xenomorph’s as well plus there are the Colonial Marines and the Weyland Corporation so everything that we’ve seen from the prequel to Alien is rife for exploration. Dan’s been one of those writers who excels at outer space drama, Annihilation and Guardians of the Galaxy for instance, not to mention that a book with multiple characters seems like cakewalk for him to script.
There’s so much great stuff happening here I mean this issue the Marines are facing the aftermath of fight with the Predator’s, the company men want them to head to the ship regardless of the danger and yes that typical of bringing back a new life form to weaponize. Everything we are being presented with rings completely true to at least the Alien franchise and well since it’s been established that the Predator’s and the Xenomorph’s are mortal enemies well it all plays out like it should.
I am enjoying the characterization here as a leader falls and another rises up to take the reigns. The way each character feels like an authentic individual is great and even amid the firefight and it’s aftermath it’s nice to see that kind of individuality. Including the survivor’s who’ve been living here for awhile what they have to offer isn’t going well but then are we surprised that those who come late think they know better than those that’ve lived through it?
Brian’s work really stand out this issue too. I like the clean lines and the attention to detail in the characters. His eye for storytelling is strong here with the views he chose to highlight, the angles and perspective are used well. Plus that page with a Predator is one where he and Rain really did showstopper moment.
It’s great to see that after losing Star Wars that Dark Horse is building up a new/old franchise to take center stage for them. With creators like these helming the books they are off to an incredible start of making them the center of the outer space must read books.