I wonder what the life insurance policy is for a Weyland-Yutani employee? The characters are definitely going to need it in the newest installment of the Alien comic book line. Aliens: Defiance takes place sometime after the movie Aliens. Instead of our favorite icon Ellen Ripley this story follows Zula Hendricks, a Private in the Colonial Marines. Within the first pages it became clear that no prior knowledge of the Alien universe is necessary to pick up this book. In this case that’s a good thing.
Zula is by the Weyland-Yuntani Corporation to investigate a deserted spaceship which contains... aliens. Not much of surprise there. I’ve always found the Alien to be like a zombie outbreak. They’re a dangerous obstacle. The threat of the Alien is the same here as it has been throughout the franchise. We know what they do. We know how they look. It works in this issue because you know what you’re going to get and there’s more of a focus on character. What I was surprised by was how interested I was in Private Zula Hendricks as a character. Being an astronaut is just another boring day at the office for her until things pick up. Her narrations give insight into what makes her tick and how it would be to experience a zenomorph encounter in real-time. Flashbacks reveal that Zula is also dealing with recovery from a traumatic spinal injury. The cause of this injury isn’t revealed but we do we see the conflict for her to be a committed soldier but restricted by her injury.
There are a decent amount of Easter eggs for true Alien fans. I was surprised by an appearance by a special character that has a unique presence in the franchise. You’ll have to read and see it for yourself!
The artwork is as dark and eerie as the movies. The pacing of the page layouts works like the unfolding of a movie and include close-ups that are very well detailed. Space plays a huge factor in creating the atmosphere of this book. The way they are drawn and the perspectives that artist, Tristan Jones uses give a feeling of isolation.
Aliens: Defiance stays true to the franchise by having a strong female protagonist. I’m rooting for Zula to take down the Alien or take it with her like (SPOILER ALERT) Ripley did in Alien 3 which depressed me a lot as a kid.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="teal" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 4/5[/button]
Aliens: Defiance #1 Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Tristan Jones Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/27/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital