Writer and artist Gabriel Hardman’s Aliens: Dust to Dust miniseries started off at a sprint and ended last issue with a bang (and the birth of a Xenomorph in the typical bloody, chest-bursting fashion). In the second issue of this new Aliens tale, Hardman continues to ratchet up the tension as readers resume following lead character Maxon, a kid who is literally having the worst day of his life.
Aliens: Dust to Dust #2 picks up where last issue left off, with Maxon and the crew of his makeshift “rescue” ship reeling from the horror of a chestburster exploding from inside one of their passengers in mid-flight. Worse for Maxon, the passenger was his own mother. What follows is a harrowing attempt to regain control, an opportunity to witness the true viciousness of those tiny Xenomorph babies, and the emergence of some interesting characters who may be either heroes or villains in the long run.
While Hardman’s plot isn’t that complex, the first couple of films in the Alien franchise were very much the same. The plot lines were pretty simple overall (i.e., An alien creature is a stowaway on a space ship.), and the strength of the story emerged from the characters, action set pieces, and, obviously, the terrifying creatures. While Hardman’s story hasn’t revealed any complex tendrils as of yet, it successful operates as a run-for-your-life, adrenaline-filled thrill ride, and readers will absolutely get caught up in the claustrophobic and authentic-feeling Aliens mythos he is crafting with Dust to Dust.
As one might expect with a writer/artist, Hardman’s artwork and style really go a long way to enhance and embellish the script he’s written. One of the best moments of this issue is the chaos and insanity that occurs immediately after the chestburster emerges during a rough patch of flying. As the craft tumbles sickeningly about, blood, some unrestrained passengers, and the immature Xenomorph are tossed about the cabin. During these pages, Hardman tilts the panels on the page slightly off kilter, adding a feeling of loss of control and mayhem. Furthermore, Rain Beredo’s dark, dusty, yet somehow vivid colors only add to the final product.
FINAL VERDICT: Aliens: Dust to Dust #2 is going to please any reader who enjoyed the first issue. As Pvt. Hudson says to Lt. Gorman in Aliens, “If you like that, you’re going to love this.” The second issue of the series improves on the first, heightens both the action and terror, and add some complexities among the cast of characters that are sure to pay off during the remaining two issues. Stay frosty and don’t miss your chance to get your hands on a copy!
Creative Team: Gabriel Hardman (script and art), Michael Heisler (lettering), Rain Beredo (coloring), Gabriel Hardman & Rain Beredo (cover art)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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Aliens: Dust to Dust #2 hits shelves on Wednesday, June 20th, so get out to your local comic book retailer and pick up a copy!