ALIENS: RESISTANCE #4
Amanda and Zula come face to face with the devastation wrought by Wyland-Yutani’s black ops bio weapons experiment and are determined to ensure the continued safety of the one person who is physical evidence of the Company’s wrongdoing. To that aim they make the ultimate sacrifice to secure his escape and continued survival, by jettisoning him to the Celestial and the company of Davis. Who has secured himself aboard, with much needed data as evidence, and is forced to detonate the nuclear device aboard the orbiting station, for fear the enhanced Company synthetics remove and deactivate it. As Zula and Amanda cling to each other and watch helplessly the device detonates and the force blast envelops the area. Amanda, did your mother proud.
Writing: Brian Wood waxes lyrical, especially here in the opening sequence. And he drags us right into the emotional plight our heroes face, as well as highlighting the full scope of the Company’s nefarious vision and the complete cold blooded way they go about it. The opening dialogue could almost be be lifted from the mind of Ellen Ripley herself. The simply stated poetry of it lets us know the full horror of the Xenomorph threat.
The opening panels do a perfect job of drawing a parallel between the Company and the creature the covet, concluding with the inevitability of it all. That Humanity will always doom itself. The assumption is that this is Amanda we are hearing, but it could easily be Zula or even the nameless victim we witness birthing not one but multiple chest-bursters. This is a rare and gruesome vision. I think I’ve seen it only once in movie form and never in Dark Horse comic history.
Characters: Alec is the perfect subject to be our eyes in this closing instalment of the drama and Brian introduces him into the setting perfectly and allows us to move with ease to him as protagonist, from the previous viewpoints of Zula and Amanda. As well as playing sole survivor of the nightmare scenario created by Wey-Yu we see him join his erstwhile rescuers and he serves many purposes. First as a reminder to them to keep the noise down or risk being victims themselves. Then they also update him on the lay of the land and the ultimate goal of their mutual enemy. And finally he serves as a bridge to the cliffhanger ending and beginning of the next chapter in the story. Even as he asks Davis their names and realises they are being abandoned, we can see the tragedy in his words and actually feel for him as well as those left behind.
Overall this series has not let me down one iota. It managed to tell an intriguing story, believably connecting two vastly different and well known heroines from within two different sectors of the Aliens Universe. It delivered a worthwhile and gripping story, as well as introducing a compelling new addition to the team. And it was all blended together with stunning artwork and perfectly balanced colors, that breathed life into an unknown backdrop and fed the imagination with visuals that backed up the narrative to perfection. Every character has an integral part to play in the conclusion of the story here. Even Davis who not only has the most important role to play but is also relied upon for some dark humor, as he muses on the irony of life and existence as an artificial being.
Art: Once again a mind blowing instalment and all the stops were pulled out for the finale. Not only was the final arc top notch, edge of the seat, mind blowing drama, but the art itself did an extremely hypnotic job of dragging me right into the set and unfolding dilemma. From the majesty of the scenery and frighteningly realistic backgrounds of the vast open landscape, to the detail in the outfits and expressions of the few characters involved, this was a tour de force for the whole team.
And though the swarms of chitinous bugs scrabbling to reach our plucky heroes were daunting in their numbers, the sheer perfection of the one image of a few making the leap in broad daylight was downright breathtaking and worth stealing for background image use alone. And Robert Carey and Dan Jackson gave it their full attention. It’s rare to actually see artists show them brave the bright daylight for the hunt, so it was a true visual treat to see them in all their glory. Though usually I am a proponent of the ‘less is more’ school of thought regarding these particular horrors, it worked perfectly here as they bear down on Zula and Amanda.
Throughout this series, both regular and variant covers, provided by Roberto De La Torre and Tristan Jones, offer the perfect complement to this cinematic spectacle in comic form and usher us into the ongoing saga, showcasing the iconic struggle between human and the eternal enemy. And the final issue is no different. The main cover by Roberto shows the Aliens menacingly stalking our two embattled warriors and the variant by Tristan offers up an explosive firestorm of payback to the creature itself.
And well done to the writer here for spinning that shock cliffhanger at me. This is almost comparable to the closing of Empire Strikes Back in it’s ‘everything to play for’ surprise ending. And kudos for feeding us a much needed boost of Adrenalin and seeding interest in the next instalment. I had thought the next series would be the redemption arc for the girls, having failed in their mission here, and that they would take it upon themselves to rescue Alec Brand, the sole survivor of the colony ship. It is however set to be the complete opposite and instead it seems was something far more intriguing. With the shock ending that has him removed from the arena and jettisoned to safety by Davis, the following book will be set years later and involve Alec returning to the planet as a trained marine to rescue THEM! Check out the following link to see what Dark Horse has in store with the soon to be released Aliens: Rescue #1.
With an ending that I hadn’t expected, that still delivered a satisfying conclusion, yet offers so much more still to come. Bravo gang.
Aliens: Resistance #4: The Only Way to be Sure
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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