Sci-Fi Terror and Horrifying Art, an “Aliens Defiance #6” review

Oct 25, 2016

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ad2Aliens: Defiance #6
Dark Horse

Script by: Brian Wood
Artist by: Tristan Jones
Colors by: Dan Jackson

I have been following this series since it came out, and this is one of the closest representations of what an Aliens story should look and feel like. This arc has it all; Colonial Marine grunts just doing their job blindly, a strong female lead that is forced to step up, and androids programmed by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation to bring back a sample of the Xenomorphs to weaponize. Zula Hendricks doesn’t go all space Rambo like Ripley tends to do in the Alien movie franchise, but she shows off her intelligence and compassion which makes her character seem more realistic. Brian Wood’s script does a very good job of charging up the pace of action and making it actually feel like time is running out (even though I am reading a comic book and can just turn back the pages).ad4

The artist of this series, Tristan Jones, has been making the rounds in many of my favorite properties and series for the past few years (Ghostbusters & TMNT). His illustrations have a way of showing great detail while not seeming to be too heavy to make this feel like a comic book still. As a point of emphasis, when you see the splash page of the Xenomorphs stalking their way through the door the Colonial grunts were desperately trying to suppress, but ultimately failed, you should stop and just take in all the details in that scene, and you may have found a new favorite artist. Again, it is hard for comics to express a sense of shared terror between the reader and the characters on the run, but Jones’s Facehuggers gave me a sense of that the creeping fear that Dr. Hollis felt when she was trapped and alone with the little buggers.
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The first arc to this on-going series comes to an end here in the 6th issue. But with the title to the issue being “Incubation” you know that just like in the movies, games, and stories of Aliens, it is never over. There will be a lot of fallout from Hendricks going from AWOL to full on traitor to the Colonial Marines, as well as a sense of dread as we see Dr. Hollis undergoing self-examination in the gastrointestinal region on the final page of the book. I really enjoyed this issue as it was a great end to the first arc, as well as being a great stand-alone issue that anyone could pick up without reading the previous 5 issues and know what the plot line is (through the rogue Davis Android we get a reminder of the treachery and disregard for human life that the seemingly ageless Weyland-Yutani Corporation will go to research and develop weapons from the biomes of extraterrestrial life). I can’t wait for the collected volume to come out to go back to the first issue and read and see how things go so desperate all over again.

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