ALIENS: RESCUE #1 picks up years after ALIENS: RESISTANCE concluded. Now the young Alec Brand is all grown up. And he’s ready to follow the footsteps of his heroes.
Aliens: Resistance left a mark on the fans of the Aliens franchise, so it was an exciting day when a followup series was announced. For those that may not recall (or those that simply want to pick up at this point), Alec Brand was once a young boy hoping to join a new colony. That was all before the aliens came into his life and with them his heroes Amanda Ripley and Zula Hendricks.
Now Alec is all grown up – and he’s a Colonial Marine to boot. He’s looking to save others just like his heroes saved him. More than that – he’s hoping to find his saviors, and maybe even return the favor someday.
So far this series looks like it’s going to have a strong followup to the original, which isn’t always a given. Alec has truly grown up, a fact that took only a few panels to make clear. The events of his past clearly affected him, but who can blame him for that?
Brian Wood did an excellent job of establishing the new plot, while also throwing in reminders of what the original series covered. He managed to keep the tension in the air, even when so many cards were on the table. A few quick bait and switches helped him in that area, at least.
The deep dive into Alec’s past was intriguing and gave us some new perspective on his character. Suddenly he’s more than a kid that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now he’s a man carrying the hopes of an entire village – quite an extreme difference.
It was an effective way to make the readers concerned for Alec. Now we’re all rooting for him to succeed since his success means his small village’s success. It was also a poignant reminder of the best parts of humanity – something that is sometimes lost in the darker alien tales.
This issue spent most of its time setting up for what is surely going to be a large plot. Now we know all of the important details about Brand’s history, as well as a connection between him and the other two characters (Ripley and Hendricks). The question is, what sort of situation are they in, exactly?
The art style for Aliens: Rescue #1 was nice and crisp. It’s a style that lends well to a space exploration tale, as well as creatures that don’t require a lot of shading. Such as the aliens, for example. It does leave the less intense panels feeling a bit bland at time. But that is something that’ll change soon enough.
Kieran McKeown was the penciler for this issue, while JL Straw did the inking. Together they created a basis for art that can go in any extreme. This is essential for what likely lies ahead. Meanwhile, Dan Jackson provided the colors – and the color palette matched perfectly to expectations based on the Aliens franchise.
There were some panels that were extremely effective, even early on in the issue. The split panels between Brand and his new commander, for example. It was oddly evocative, the dichotomy between the two.
Another smart decision was putting a slight patina effect over all of the flashbacks. It immediately gave the impression of an older film. This is something that allowed us to immediately translate the events as ‘older’, thus saving time on an explanation. Dan Jackson was the color artist on the issue.
The lettering for this issue was solid. Everything was clear and easy to read, even the location and date identifiers in the corners. All credit goes to Nate Piekos (of Blambot) for that.
Aliens: Rescue #1 has made the series look like it’s going to be an interesting run. While it is based on events in the previous series, they’ve clearly put effort into making it approachable for new fans as well, which is always a smart call.
Spending the first issue establishing the situation and characters was a smart call. Now the series will be free to focus on all of the action it desires. And since this is an Alien series, that is bound to happen.
What do you think about the plot so far? Will Alec Brand get to his heroes in time?