‘Aliens: Rescue #1’ - Advance Comic Book Review

I spent the last hour catching up on Brian Wood’s Aliens saga, reading from Aliens: Defiance Volume 2 through Aliens: Resistance and now the first issue of Aliens: Rescue.

He’s created an incredible character in Zula Hendricks, an ex-Colonial Marine fighting not only against the xenomorphs themselves, but against the military machine known as Weyland-Yutani who wants to harvest the xenomorph for weapon advancement. In Alien: Resistance, Amanda Ripley became a bigger part of the story. (Yes, Ripley’s daughter who was also introduced as the main character in the video game, Alien: Isolation.) There have been some other allies that have come and gone: an android that was becoming more human and a doctor who pulled a baby xenomorph queen out of her own stomach. This saga hasn’t so much been an Alien story as it has been a space opera with aliens in it.

Alien: Rescue #1 switches POV and follows a minor character from Resistance, Alec Brand, now Private Brand. Hendricks and Ripley rescued him as a colonist, and now he’s been tagging along with the Colonial Marines. It’s nice to still see the influence of James Cameron on the world of Alien within the ranks of the Marines.

For those who read Resistance, they know there was quite the cliffhanger, putting Hendricks’ and Ripley’s lives in a pretty precarious position - an almost impossible position. I won’t say what’s happened to them, because I still don’t know, but this issue is about Private Brand, filling in his back story and making him a major character.

This issue also introduces us to another female character, Commander Bowden. What her place is in this, I don’t yet know, but she knows more than she’s letting on when she recruits Brand for a secret mission.

Brian Wood has a handle on strong storytelling, creating pitch-perfect drama and tension while developing some really great characters. Resistance focused a little less on character development and more on driving forward the situation Hendricks and Ripley found themselves in, and Brand has certainly changed since his introduction in Resistance, but that’s what I like to see. These characters are shaped and changed by a monster like the xenomorph. Wood handles the trauma of the characters' run-ins with them in the form of some pretty heavy PTSD nightmares.

While no xenomorphs have popped up yet in Rescue, a lot of Alien stories feel you need a xenomorph every few pages… you don’t. I’m more concerned about what may or may not have happened to Hendricks and Ripley! That, to me, is the sign of a pretty solid series.

Creative Team: Brian Wood (writer), Kieran McKeown (pencils), JL Straw (inks), Dan Jackson (colors), NatePiekos of Blambot (letters), Spencer Cushing (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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