Celebrating Dark Horse Comic’s Alien Anniversary Today With Two Releases!


It’s hard to believe nearly 30 years have passed since Dark Horse Comics first published a comic that’s a sequel to James Cameron‘s Aliens. Not only is this company acknowledging this fact with a deluxe hardcover release (now out) of Mark Verheiden and Mark A. Nelson‘s original six-issue Aliens black and white story. Technically, the celebration is in honour of the second movie’s release in 1986; the comic came out in ’88.

When I have the original comics carefully stored away and the portfolio which accompanies it (I got it autographed by Nelson years ago), I want to be careful with handling those. This bookshelf edition makes for a great copy to pull out and read from time to time. Rereading this comic even now still brings shivers down my spine!

Also hitting shelves this week is an all-new tale to continue the terror. More prey and intense action define Aliens: Defiance.

In space, no one can hear you scream. On Earth, everyone can hear you cheer. I have most of the early material (including the short material from Dark Horse Presents) but started missing titles when finances became tough. I was craving more in-universe material than crossovers into superhero titles. The Predator and Terminator realm were fine, as I saw the potential for this company’s own brand of a shared universe (a detail confirmed at Emerald City Comicon‘s Dark Horse Panel is that they are intending to go that direction with the assistance of 20th Century Fox). While I took a break from reading, just what I missed does need visiting to see how the newest entry, Defiance, ties in. In what I’ve read in issue one is welcoming.


Written by Brian Wood and drawn by Tristan Jones with colours by Dan Jackson, this tale looks at Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks role within a company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics. She is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of the alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars. She is also recovering from a traumatic spinal injury, and I wonder how this detail factors in her fight with the bugs. Could something in their biology help her? Throughout much of the franchise, the corporations want to harness these Aliens bio-eugenic abilities to create a super-soldier. Just what are they after in this latest entry?

Throughout much of the franchise, the corporations want to harness these Aliens bio-eugenic abilities to create a super-soldier. Just what are they after in this latest entry?

I’m being drawn right back into reading about where this extended universe can go. The characterization of Hendricks is one I can relate to. She’s a figure with plenty of internal conflicts to resolve.

The art is terrific; it has a cinematic style that I remember from the films because of the colour palette used. The play with the red and grey tones creates a brooding atmosphere.

In outer space, to encounter the alien threat again must mean the team has damnable luck. Even though the search for them is intentional with Defiance, the Corporate boys are flirting with disaster. Let’s just hope they know how to contain it. After all these years, they must have learned something about how to deal with these bugs!

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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