Saturday, October 30, 2021

October Comics (2021): ALIENS book one


From Dark Horse Comics, written by Mark Verheiden, art by Mark A. Nelson, with lettering by Willie Schubert. This was Dark Horse's second major licensed title after a Godzilla special the previous year, and it became a ripe property for many great comic stories. 

Ten years later, Hicks & Newt are still haunted by nightmares of what they experienced on the moon of Acheron, when the aliens overran the colony and the marine complement sent to investigate the colonists' disappearance. Now, they are going back into space to gather specimens of these aliens for the government, which has ideas of creating a bioweapon from these fierce killers. Newt is looking for escape from the mental hospital where they keep her sedated, while Hicks seeks only revenge. But, unknown to most on the military ship, BioNational -- a huge corporation with the same ideas as the government -- has paid off the primary officer on the ship and is following them, in order to grab the aliens for themselves once the marines have taken care of business. Of course, everything goes to hell, because there's nothing like a happy ending -- or even a clean ending -- when aliens are involved. 

Verheiden's story is a proper sequel to the first two Aliens films and moves the story along nicely. But, I don't know if it would land so well if not for the moody, black-and-white art from Mark Nelson. Nelson's work in this series is, for me, the star. His feathery inking adds a dimension to the human characters that can be lost in very strict inkwork, such as would often be found in superhero comics, and his delineation of the aliens is breathtaking. They are dominant and creepy and intimidating all at once. I re-read this series regularly and almost always at this time of year. It's a perfect book to read as the weather turns colder and the rising breeze skitters dry leaves up the street. If you're looking for a great October read, you should check this out. It's great!


No comments: