Advance Review: In ALIENS RESISTANCE #2 Horror Is Replaced By Mystery

FIRST IMPRESSION

The story hots up for the two central characters as the creators throw then into a deeply atmospheric narrative. What this comic lacks in character it more than makes up for with setting and tone.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Lettering
- Advertisement -

With Aliens Resistance #2, the Dark Horse Comics publication continues the adventure of the underdogs against the mass corporation. By drawing on aspects from all over the Aliens franchise, the creators have produced a comic that it instantly familiar and hauntingly uncomfortable.

Like the game Alien Isolation, where one of the central characters comes from, Resistance is not a war on the Xenomorphs directly, but a fight for survival against something larger, something in control of everything else. This is a tale about two women fighting greed and arrogance. As such there are political undertones throughout.

Story/Writing

The essence of this comic is the individual standing up against the faceless corporation. In the opening of this issue Brian Wood gives the reader exactly that. As the mystery deepens around the activities at the Weyland-Yutani Blacksite Wood uses a small act of resistance to illustrate the seeming futility of putting up a fight.

This sequence is a larger reflection on the story as a whole but also on modern government and corporations. It is about who has control and how that control is used. The orange suits worn by the evacuees in Aliens Resistance purposefully conjures up images of prisoners, political and civilian.

- Advertisement -

This overshadows everything that follows with Amanda Ripley and Zula Hendricks. Although they are the heroes, and as a reader you are rooting for them from the very beginning, Wood has laid an element of doubt whether they can succeed.  As the story unfolds the struggle becomes greater and greater as the tension, likewise, increases.

One of the most surprising choices Wood has made is in his approach to the Xenomorphs in this issue. They were hinted at in the first issue, creeping around the outside of spaceships but the villains in this comic are clearly the synthetics in employ of Weyland-Yutani. They are literally representative of a faceless corporation and their gold, reflective masks show no sign of humanity or individuality.

Aliens Resistance #2 Cover Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Art

The atmosphere created in Aliens Resistance is a perfect match for the Alien Isolation game which this series is a sequel to. The design of the space vessels and the industrial Blacksite, clinging to a rock in orbit of a barren planet, match up with the aesthetic created for the original Alien movie. Robert Carey uses extremely thin lines during inking so that he can get as much detail as possible into the panels. His landscape and architecture work is outstanding and creates an ideal setting for Woods story.

Carey’s figure work is a lot more expressive that you would expect after the scene setting first page. He drops a lot of the detail and simplifies the human features. He then manipulates the few lines to relay the emotion of the character. This provides a stark contrast to the machine-like Synthetics and the industrial settings, helping to highlight the themes in Woods script.

The flow of the story is enhanced by Nate Piekos’ lettering as the positioning of the speech balloons and captions lead the reader across the page. Although the lettering itself lacks character distinction, the emphasis within the dialogue creates a rhythm that builds anticipation. The emotional aspects of the speech, especially the nervousness, is evident and this is important for building atmosphere.

As with Carey’s pencils and inks, the coloring for the locations by Dan Jackson is exceptional. It produces a cinematic appearance to the settings, drawing the reader in. The look captures the aesthetic of the original film so well you can almost hear Jerry Goldsmith’s haunting music playing over the top.

Unfortunately, after the opening sequence, the colors on the characters themselves lacks depth; the two central characters especially have a ghostly quality to them. If the intention was to show that they are emotionally ‘cold’ in the same way as the synthetics then this would work, however the rest of the comic is opposed to that concept.

Aliens Resistance #2 Alternative Cover Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Conclusion

Aliens Resistance is an atmospheric story that slowly builds up the tension. It also has a poignant element by showing that Weyland-Yutani has control over life and that the company is above law and reason. How this fits in with the Xenomorphs is still to be seen, however, I don’t think it is too difficult to work out. All will be revealed soon.

Wood’s script is full of banter between the central characters and this plays out well as the comic progresses. From an art point of view, the atmosphere and location work is wonderful all-round. However, some elements lack the definition required to raise the emotional level up that extra notch.

As a single issue, Aliens Resistance #2 works well but I think it will be in the collection where it all comes together.


Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

MEET THE TEAM

Avatar
394 POSTS8 COMMENTS
Avatar
30 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Cody Walker
49 POSTS8 COMMENTS
Avatar
32 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
101 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
159 POSTS3 COMMENTS
David Weber
1 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
121 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Grant DeArmitt
16 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Jason Jeffords Jr
47 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
189 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
23 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
55 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
470 POSTS9 COMMENTS
Avatar
2497 POSTS14 COMMENTS
Avatar
223 POSTS5 COMMENTS
Patrick Kennedy
2 POSTS3 COMMENTS
Avatar
120 POSTS16 COMMENTS
Avatar
275 POSTS6 COMMENTS
Samuel Pratt
12 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
11 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Darryll Robson
Darryll Robsonhttp://www.comiccutdown.com
Comic book reader, reviewer and critic. Waiting patiently for the day they announce 'Doctor Who on The Planet of the Apes'.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

CONTACT US

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!