One of my favorite science-fiction/horror series is Aliens. While I grew up in the shadow of the 1979 original by Ridley Scott and the 1986 sequel by James Cameron, toy stores like Kay Bee and Toys R Us had aisles of Kenner Aliens action figures; my local comic shop had long boxes of comic tie-ins by Dark Horse Comics. Needless to say, while I didn’t see the xenomorphs terrorize people in space, I did learn courtesy of home video, action figures, and comics that in space no one can hear you scream.
The tradition of Aliens and Predator comics by Dark Horse Comics has been a subject I’ve greatly enjoyed since my youth. They were dark, adult, and scary – everything a 20th Century Fox monster/creature story should be. This April, Dark Horse Comics is returning to the world of xenomorphs, colonial marines, and derelict space crafts in a new, ongoing series called “Aliens: Defiance.” Just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aliens film, the two issues of “Aliens: Defiance” will be written by NEW YORK TIMES bestselling writer Brian Wood (THE MASSIVE; REBELS), illustrated by rising star Tristan Jones (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD; TMNT) and colored by Dan Jackson (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) with bestselling artist Riccardo Burchielli (DMZ) illustrating issues three and four. Acclaimed cover artist Massimo Carnevale (Y THE LAST MAN) will provide stunning covers for the series’ first storyline.
Thanks to the good people at Dark Horse Comics, we were provided an advance copy of the new title by Brian Wood, Tristan Jones, and Dan Jackson and I jumped at the chance to read it. Having been a fan of the continuing saga that Dark Horse Comics had given fans with their “Fire and Stone” series, I knew “Aliens: Defiance” would be worth the read.
The new series is described as:
“Aliens: Defiance” charts the dangerous journey of Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks, who goes AWOL to protect Earth from an unknown alien species that’s been discovered on on a derelict hauler. Accompanied by Weyland-Yutani synthetics, HENDRICKS must battle demons from her past while fighting for her life.
The first page of Brian Wood’s “Aliens: Defiance” re-introduces us to all the solid underpinnings of the world of Aliens. By page two, Weyland-Yutani, Colonial Marines, and Amanda Ripley are all set up. By page five, the credits begin appearing and Brian Wood captures the 20th Century Fox Aliens atmosphere so well that we could hear the Jerry Goldsmith/James Horner score playing in the background.
“The first thing you need to know about “Aliens: Defiance” is that the illustrations of the xenomorphs are truly terrifying,” said Dark Horse Comics Associate Editor Spencer Cushing. “And like all the great stories in the ALIENS franchise, so much of the story’s horror is psychological. Zula Hendricks is an unforgettable addition to the world of ALIENS.”
Tristan Jones, whose art I came to know through Vertigo’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” delivers an exceptional tone for Dark Horse Comics’ “Aliens: Defiance.” Jones, along with colorist Dan Jackson, really capture the intensity and white-knuckle terror of men and women confronting the unimaginable. The aliens in the Aliens universe have always been such a frightening concept as they’re just out there… in space… where no one can hear you scream. Tristan Jones and Dan Jackson are terrific additions to DHC’s “Aliens” comic book saga and create a compelling first issue for Brian Wood’s first issue.
Without spoiling much of the plot, it’s revealed that Weyland Yutani is up to no good as we saw in nearly every Aliens film and in Prometheus. They’re aware of “a race of life forms with extraordinary evolutionary defenses” and of their “next level evil” plans. Brian Wood, ever ready to present a sharp and inspired story, characterizes Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks and Weyland Yutani synthetic Hendricks as two of the finest additions to the sprawling Aliens mythos.
By the conclusion of “Aliens: Defiance” issue one, we’re all ready to strap in and join Zula and Hendricks on their mission to stop Weyland Yutani, go on a “bug hunt”, and save the universe. “Oorah!”
“Aliens: Defiance” issue 1 is a lot of fun and a must read for fans of the ongoing Aliens story. Dark Horse Comics continually finds some of the best creative teams to ensure a quality and reverential story that satisfies the casual fans and the die-hards. You will not want to miss “Aliens: Defiance” when it releases April 27th.
Aliens: Defiance #1 – FEB160010
Brian Wood (W), Tristan “T-Rex” Jones (A), Mark A. Nelson (Variant)
FOC April 4
On sale April 27
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