After nearly 3 many years of publication at Dark Horse Comics, the Alien franchise has arrived at Marvel Comics with a brand new #1 situation and a clear slate for storytelling. Alien #1 is about roughly 21 years after the occasions of Aliens and 78 years after Alien, and it seems these are the one factors of context readers ought to anticipate to be conversant in when discovering these new characters and settings. Those two movies are vital as a result of readers are anticipated to fill in some gaps—how Xenomorphs procreate, Weyland-Yutani’s curiosity within the species, the position of house marines—they usually create an attention-grabbing distinction because of this, not all the time for the higher.
Alien #1 is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and drawn by Salvador Larrocca. The first situation facilities upon Gabriel Cruz, a not too long ago retired safety officer for a Weyland-Yutani house station. He fills the acquainted boots of house marines in Aliens in angle and outlook; it’s simple to think about him gladly accepting the outline of a “tough as nails company man.” However, his retirement is stricken by nightmares of a previous encounter with Xenomorphs and household tragedy. Although the small print are stored obscure, it’s clear that Cruz has encountered Xenomorphs earlier than (and misplaced quite a few his fellow troopers to the creatures) and that his family has skilled loss due to Weyland-Yutani’s actions, both instantly or not directly. Before the problem ends, it’s obvious that neither Cruz nor his household has seen the final of this company or their objective of capitalizing upon navy monsters.
What’s fascinating about Cruz is that he’s most identifiable with Ash in Alien and Burke in Aliens. Even lacking some particulars about previous occasions, it’s obvious Cruz is conscious of the existential risk to humanity posed by Xenomorphs, has assisted the company in acquiring these aliens leading to mass casualties, and has remained loyal to Weyland-Yutani whereas deferring obligations to his troopers and household. Simply put, Cruz is the villain of an Alien movie. Yet within the pages of Alien #1 he’s made out to be an anti-hero, on the very least. When confronting the results of his decisions in nightmares and a shattered household, he’s constantly portrayed as put upon and deserving of sympathy. It is unclear what the intention of this portrayal is by the tip of Alien #1, however the alternative of Cruz because the collection’ protagonist and overly sympathetic portrayal raises notable issues about Johnson’s method to themes of company dominance and the military-industrial complicated.
These issues are strengthened contemplating the presentation of Cruz’s son, Danny, the one different notable human character within the collection to date. Danny was deserted by his father who remained in house whereas his household was on Earth after the demise of his solely brother. This has seemingly led Danny to be part of a bunch of activists searching for to expose Weyland-Yutani’s crimes. None of the sympathy seen for Cruz is exhibited together with his son who’s sketched out as a stereotypical lefty radical—dismissive and merciless to his father, utilizing violence in a “both sides” presentation, and behaving stupidly in each look. Rather than creating a distinction between the 2 males, they fall into stereotypes that solely enable the elder, navy man to possess any knowledge regardless of a historical past crammed with household neglect and conflict crimes. This alternative of portrayal is regarding to say the least.
In a stunning vogue, it’s the Xenomorphs who present essentially the most practical and attention-grabbing ingredient in Alien #1. Although they’re solely seen in montage and flashback sequences, Larrocca’s clear traces and sanitized designs match the chilly Xenomorph exoskeleton completely. When seen in an early unfold the figures are posed and resemble unmoving motion figures, however in smaller panels they turn into creepy and threatening. Guru-eFX’s colours, which may solely humanize Larrocca’s human figures a lot, add a creeping darkness to the killing machines that prey upon Cruz’s nightmares. Two spreads imbue ample apprehension into readers and supply a chilling sense of what’s to come with out dashing to introduce Xenomorphs into the very effectively.
Alien #1 is a serviceable introduction to a brand new period of Alien comics; setting itself clearly inside the timeline of the early (and hottest) movies, and offering readers with a brand new lead character and drawback to handle. The Xenomorphs themselves are effectively introduced and the primary situation captures the horror style effectively, even when mixed with an overwrought monologue. However, it’s method to the core themes of the collection with a sympathetic eye for the franchises’ most flawed actors mixed with cliches within the position of people raises notable issues about whether or not it is a story price pursuing. Perhaps future points will shed extra mild on the collection’ method, however for now skepticism appears to be the very best method.
Published by Marvel Comics
On March 24, 2021
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Salvador Larroca
Colors by Guru-eFX
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by InHyuk Lee