Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Comic Review: Aliens Omnibus Volume 1

    I imagine it has something to do with character rights issues or something, but one wonky thing I noticed right away was the odd name changes.  Newt and Hicks have become Billie and Wilks.  A few other odd changes aside, the story picks up a few years after the events of the film, Aliens.  Billie has been living in an institution and Wilks has hit rock bottom, both haunted by their memories of those events.  Inevitably, they’re drawn back into the struggle against the lurking darkness.

    There are interesting ideas put forth about the relationship between the aliens and their prey, going to far as to have cults form up around them.  This amps up the tension as things go down hill very quickly.  Aliens on Earth, a return to the planet featured in the first two films, and a revelation about one of the first film’s biggest unexplored mysteries follow. 

    Nightmare Asylum brings us another crazy military man and much more interesting artwork.  It has a painted quality I like a lot.  The story is OK, if a little obvious.  The biggest surprise is the arrival of an old friend at the very end. 

    The third story, Female War is my favorite, and has my favorite art.  It reminds me of Bernie Wrightson’s weird tales type work.  The story goes in all kinds of crazy directions, but it’s a fun path to follow.  By its end, it feels like the comic series has come to an end, or solid conclusion of some kind, though I know that’s not true. 

    A couple very short tales fill out the volume.  They’re fine, and I guess work as a post script for the previous three story arcs.  On the whole, it’s a good read and reminds me a lot of why I love the aliens so much, why Alien is one of my favorite films.

Aliens Omnibus Volume 1
Authors: Mark Verheiden, etc.
Artists: Den Beauvais, Sam Kieth, etc.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
ISBN: 978-1-59307-727-3
Pages: 384


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