ALIENS: RESISTANCE #3
After an adrenalin filled free-fall, riding the wake of the plummeting colonist cruiser Gaspar, Amanda Ripley and Zula Hendricks face the fruit of a Weyland-Yutani evolutionary tests on the surface of the moon below. As the two allies try to find answers the colonists disperse into the surrounding jungle, hunted by the virulent residents as the synthetics impassively gather data. As Davis makes his presence known he reveals they are trapped in an environment that the Company have taken great pains to keep hidden and he in turn plans to do all he can to destroy it!
Writing: Very succinct and to the point, the script allowed the action to tell most of the story without overloading us with perfunctory dialogue and overblown exposition and Brian Wood uses his two protagonists like the fine tuned instruments they are, and they drag us right there along with them into the heat of the Crucible. Even as Davis chimes in it was short and got to the heart of the matter. Synthetics always seem to manage to do it so much more efficiently, while humans rely on over-explaining. Speaking of which, those sinister handymen were all so busy collating data and cleaning up the mess they didn’t even register the intruders.
Which was chilling in itself as they clearly assume the Xenomorph will deal with them. And they didn’t disappoint. As soon as they made their presence known they did what they do best. Carnage. The action took over this issue and didn’t let up for an instant. Though it was a little hot off the mark and the resulting bloodshed was minimal, it was obvious that things are high stakes now and it’s time for the girls to get into it and resolve this. And though the Xenomorph had the element of surprise the pair rose to the challenge, as the female of the species always does in an Aliens tale and Zula shows them who’s boss.
Art: Beginning with two stunning covers, regular by Tristan Jones and variant by Roberto De La Torre, both depicting our heroines being stalked by the eponymous enemy in the tropical jungle environment. And following on the story itself has some spectacular touches with just the set pieces and panel layout from Robert Carey. Who also keeps the action moving in line with the script. Every panel had something special going on. First in the fast paced set up, showcasing the cold depths of space. And then planet fall, keeping the monochrome element of the void before exploding into bright flames as the atmosphere takes hold and the action literally hots up as we arrive in the jungle.
As we plunge into the steamy tropical woodland, the shading is shown perfectly on the figures waiting in the shadows and the scenery comes alive so well I half expected Dagobah flora and fauna to be present. The Jurassic Park of it all was maybe even implied a little, which did allow for the imagination to fill in any gaps in descriptive art and narrative with reminiscence of tried and tested backdrops. Though I feel the comparison may be doing it a disservice, as it told the tale admirably without any need for keying off existing tropes.
The locale was more typically Predator territory, but the Xenomorph fits in just as well and makes the surrounding shadows and tall grass it’s refuge. And the fine detail is right there in every panel, painstakingly etched into the petrified expressions of the colonists, the perfect lines of the Xenomorph and even the Gaspar as it plunges to the surface of the planet. Also a nice touch is seeing the character bold in the foreground while the behemoth of the Gaspar is blurred in the background as Amanda looks on and remarks at the evidence of the colonists tracks.
The color was the perfect complement as well to Robert’s style and Dan Jackson does a masterful job. Using color to express the contrasting arenas and injecting the full spectrum of the natural palette to blend all the elements together and give a seamless surrounding for the drama being played out. Noteworthy is the splendor that is the sun dappled trees as the colonists take in the surroundings in trepidation.
Characters: Nice seeing Zula and Amanda gel so well, showing us what they are made of at last. It has been hard to ascertain the depth of their friendship before, as it was only stated they knew each other well. But as they are seen in action together the feeling becomes evident that they are a force to be reckoned with and have done this before in each others company.
Much like the Marines of Aliens they are a smooth well oiled machine. It is clear with their back and forth banter that they are great friends and know how to key off each other and what makes each of them tick. Even in the heart of the action they have each others back and while plunging planetside can work out how the other one is dealing with the high stakes peril.
And despite the fact Alec uttered not one word his part was also integral, as now the girls have someone to track and focus their attention on. Which I strongly suspect will be the lead into Aliens: Rescue next month. Also the support characters of the colonists do what they do best. Cannon fodder, or more accurately ‘meat for the Beast’ as Peloquin would say (obscure Nightbreed reference). And the horror on the faces of the gathered refugees was enough to inform of the plight they all faced and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes at all.
Don’t forget to mark the date of Alien Day, details of which can be found HERE, which falls on April 26th. Directly between this issue and the finale of Aliens: Deliverance #4 NEXT ISSUE.
Loving this tale so far and am hyped and ready for the big finish. Though with Aliens: Rescue to follow I’m not sure what the outcome will be. But given the Company still has a vested interest in Ellen years later, it's safe to assume it doesn't end well for Wey-Yu.
Aliens: Resistance #3: Rock The Gaspar
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10