Aliens: Rescue #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics. The story is by Brian Wood, with pencils by Kieran McKeown, inks by J.L. Straw, colors by Dan Jackson, and letters by Nate Piekos.
Aliens: Rescue #1 opens with a potential new recruit to the Colonial Marines, Private Brand, in a debrief on a lunar base above the earth. The unnamed ranking officer shows him the pictures of two women and asks what he knows about them. Brand identifies them as Amanda Ripley and Zula Hendricks. When pressed on what he knows of them he simply responds that he knows them “…as heroes.” After a brief glimpse into a flashback of the two women in a pitched battle with the titular Aliens, we return to the interview.
Brand begins detailing his youth. Born on earth, Brand grew up in a life of poverty and hardships. Knowing that he could escape that through interstellar travel, he boarded a colony ship intent on exploration. However, before his ship could arrive at it’s intended destination, it was intercepted. The resulting fight for his life is only hinted at, but Brand’s new goal is made clear. The officer suggests he join the Colonial Marines and he readily accepts. Now as a Marine, Brand must prepare for another struggle for survival, but perhaps not in the ways he originally expected.
The story from Brian Wood does a fine job setting the table for the more expansive series ahead of it. Brand is an interesting character who clearly has a lot of baggage. It will be interesting to see how his frequent flashbacks and hints of PTSD are dealt with in future issues as well. Additionally, the pacing and structure are solid despite only a little actually happening ensuring the issue does not get bogged down. As the first story to establish a new foundation under a well-known franchise, this one does a fine job.
The art from penciler Kieran McKeown and inker J.L. Straw is excellent. The style that these two bring is immediately evocative of 90’s cartoons and comic books. Considering how the Alien series is one of aesthetics seemingly held in stasis – this is a strength. Meanwhile, Jackson’s colors are pitch-perfect. Whether the panel depicts a sterile space station or the dusty surface of Mars. Both feel authentic and that is in large part thanks to the color schemes provided. Finally, the letters from Blambot’s Nate Piekos are solid. It is always evident who is talking and where. Though I will say that a few more sound effect letters would have added some punch to the action.
Overall, this is a solid first issue for the new series. We haven’t seen much by way of characters, but the one we follow has potential. The art is strong and helps keep this series feeling close to it’s 80’s/90’s era roots. If you’re a fan of the Aliens film and comics series then Aliens: Rescue #1 will be a good fit for you.
Aliens: Rescue #1 is available in comic stores everywhere.
4/5 Hugged Faces