Monday, 17 July 2017 07:07

‘Aliens: Dead Orbit #3’ - Advance Comic Book Review

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I’ve been back and forth on my liking of Aliens: Dead Orbit. My “forth” involves James Stokoe’s wonderful art.

The man has created cinematic images from nightmares. It’s almost like Hellraiser has entered the world of the Xenomorph. Bodies cooked of all their skin, still alive and talking, the Xenomorphs approaching from shadows. With every panel we take a step deeper into hell and the madness that ensues. This is why people make stupid decisions in ø films, because they are faced with something beyond their comprehension. In those ways, it’s very much like Cthulu: Fear and madness infect a person’s perspective.  In the first Alien, the crew breaks protocol and allows an infected person back aboard their ship. In Aliens, a group of highly trained Colonial Marines - when first confronted by the Xenomorph - become screaming ninnies with their high-powered automatic weaponry and forget all of their tactical training. It finally takes until Alien 3 for the group of rapists and killers to act with some level of intelligence against these monsters. In Alien: Resurrection, an entire military complex crumbles in on itself. Even Prometheus and Covenant still fit the bill. Stokoe understands this. When faced with ultimate fear, bad decisions are made. Bad decisions are made because people will assume the best of any situation without question. For all of our intelligence, humans are stupid. Ripley might be the smartest human in the entire Alien world.

My “back” in the back and forth is that while the imagery is at times truly horrifying, the story itself doesn’t really expand our understanding of the Xenomorph in any direction one way or the other. The characters are somewhat paper thin. There’s really nothing beyond the imagery to sink our teeth into, but this doesn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it. Even as I write this review, I’m listening to the creepy score of Covenant and seeing the images Stokoe has left in my head.

If you’re an Alien fan, you’ll probably enjoy this. You’ll enjoy seeing everyday people try to keep it together the best they can against one of the most fearsome and fearful cinematic creatures ever created, even though in the end it will absolutely leave you wanting more. This is both good and bad.

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