ALIENS: RESISTANCE #2
Ripley and Hendricks arrive at the black site and discover exactly what Weyland Yutani are hiding, after witnessing the synthetics exposing the colonists to something gaseous and then herding them back on to the Gaspar in order to send them on their way. Finally the pair of activists are primed to act, but after arming the nine kiloton self destruct device they lose their advantage. Davis is stuck on the nuke.
Much like Gibson’s Aliens 3 adaptation which is currently running alongside this title, the Corporation is the true enemy here. Not least because of the way they clearly treat the prisoners as cargo, with similar parallels to the poor unwilling guinea pigs from the Aliens: Resurrection movie. And also with a tongue in cheek Guantanamo Bay reference, clearly setting them up as cannon fodder.
And this is somewhat cemented in the form of the synthetics as henchmen, performing their autonomous duties at the bidding of Weyland Yutani. This issue there is also the clear absence of the xenomorph. It seems they are just the delivery system for the unfolding drama and not the main villain of the piece. Their absence this whole issue is a bold move and one that proves once again that Wood is the consummate professional and a master of his craft. Clearly a confident writer, he shows his mettle with a firm hand on the wheel, as again he deftly steered us through. And just like the last issue, where he allowed the art to tell two whole pages worth of story, he repeated the process here in the initial confrontation with the synthetic.
This proves he is not afraid to let the story tell itself through a medium other than the written word, and also isn’t just throwing Xeno’s in the thick of it for the quick and easy thrill. There is so much in common with the first film here and the ethos of “less is more”. The cover was suitably claustrophobic this issue and befit the inner narrative, well done to Rpberto De La Torre here. As for the art this issue, the fine texturing of Robert Carey on the uniforms is exquisite here and the lighting is almost a character all of it’s own, clearly showing the cold dark empty surroundings to be quite daunting.
Dan Jackson again proves that over saturation of color isn’t essential and offers perfectly muted and subtle shades, allowing the shape and form of the characters to flow and showcase the visuals of them free floating in the vacuum of space to perfection. Overall it put me in mind of the Alien: Isolation game. Especially the sequence where Amanda is stuck outside the ship and attempts to get back in. Chilling and claustrophobic all at the same time.
And now Amanda and Zula will have to survive alone as they seem to have lost their synthetic ally. Which brings me to my one gripe this issue. “Quit griping!”…”I like griping!!” Sorry…anyway!! The two heroines have both individually put a severe kink in the plans of the Company before now, in completely solo missions. And so it seems to me that the two friends getting together has done very little for their supposed skill sets. They seem a little reticent to actually accept or understand what is going on right under their noses and seem to just stand there taking in the scenery. Ellen herself would be blowing the crap out of everything in sight in a heartbeat. And yet they both hang back, assessing things as unemotionally and as detached as scientific observers.
My only hope is that this is either the fall before the rise, or a pacing issue and we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe setting up the next issue for things to kick into high gear, ramping up the action considerably. Albeit a small inconsistency it is a key one, as this is all part of the dynamic of these two characters and is supposed to form the crux of their relationship together, which has so far been handled perfectly in an understated way, without forcing the believability.
If they don’t pull their socks up then things aren’t going to bode well for the Aliens: Rescue sequel when it debuts in May. Or is that the point maybe? They HAVE to fail to set up the next instalment? Making it so they come back from a setback in order to salvage themselves with the black sites ultimate destruction? This could then explain why the Company is still so deeply vested in continuing their efforts when Ripley senior gets back years from now.
Some interesting sidestepping of action for the sake of development. But one key aspect is missing, the sheer will and determination of the women we know can do better. While they wool gather we can at least take in the spectacular scenery.
Aliens: Resistance #2: Taking in the Scenery
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10