WILLIAM GIBSON’S ALIEN 3 #1
Four years after the events of LV-426 and the Saluco is running on autopilot, limping it’s way home to Gateway. It's progress is interrupted by the Union of Progressive People, who board in order to claim salvage little knowing that a stowaway is on board with predictably devastating results, before two of them escape with Bishop.
The Sulaco finally arrives at Anchorpoint to be greeted by two Weyland Yutani representatives and a small biotech crew and it comes to light that the company based at Gateway sent the Sulaco into enemy territory on purpose. As the escapees of the UPP check Bishop’s databanks to retrieve info on the xeno Anchorpoint medics examine the body of their ally in the morgue and close by the sleepers awake.
Well I already knew I’d like this version of the movie, I mean really, come on, what’s not to like? It’s got Newt and Hicks alive and so, of course it goes without saying. I did think I’d have some trouble reading it with my movie head on though and not just see it as another alternate Earth comic, much like the original comics, the second volume Aliens and it’s sequel Earth War. But right from the cover and the tech style credits I loved it and that is in no small part down to the stellar job of the artwork by Johnnie and Tamra and of course Nate Piekos, who’s lettering made for clean crisp reading with no ambiguity as to who was speaking, especially with the comm announcements. The colors are almost a character in themselves and show the cold stark emptiness of space to great effect as well as the bright lights of the medlab, switching to the dark we all know the creature loves and reminds me of the Aliens: Isolation game which was one of my favorite of the series. And thankfully the art isn’t as stylised as Sam Kieth, though it is true to the iconic imagery of the movies, with the Sulaco drifting through space joined by the UPP dropship, right down to the action packed awakening of Ripley and I’m sure it won’t be long until she steps up to her day job once more.
I also find myself half wishing this WAS the movie, as I had always felt a little cheated by the opening of David Fincher’s Alien 3 at the cinema. Gibson has kept to the spirit of Ripley’s redemption/mother image as well as ensure the spirit of the original two movies is retained and not wasted not to mention the continued stories in the 90’s comics. Not bad…for a human. And the small details like the inclusion of the blurring movement of the nightmare to come, which is our only glimpse of the main star that is the chitinous xenomorph. And as such is perfect foreboding and keeps the pacing entirely honorific of 20th Century Fox frightfest that was Aliens.
Or could that be Jones? As he is conspicuously absent, though he should also be there somewhere, surely? Speaking of the original cast I’m hoping for much more of the reunion between our Aliens crew survivors, this should be one to remember and be visibly different from the final released movie. Johnnie does a stellar job of feeding into the genre and bring the background characters to life in both dialogue and art and the motley crew of Anchorpoint are fleshed out realistically and you get a feel right away of who the true villains are, with the introduction of Welles and Fox…interesting name choice there…as well as the beleaguered Rosetti and the grunts of the operation Tully, Spence, Jackson and co. Time will tell who will make it through.
And the use of the political divisions at the time was intriguing, as this was an important part of the narrative, remembering that at the time the Cold War was still very much in the public consciousness and would have played a vital part informing of the current mood, much as they also were in the 1992 Terminator: Hunters And Killers. This is also coincidentally quite current, as there is a resurgence of that political paranoia, echoing back to that feeling. It will also be interesting to see if the setting retains the claustrophobia of the movies, especially that of the third instalment, which was successful and critically well received despite the omission of certain linchpin characters.
And also last but not least, as we look at the final and most important character of the story I cannot wait to see if the Alien that was spawned from Kurtz is a queen, as we saw in the original plot for the Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161 set film.
For more background on the first issue read John Jack’s preview review for more opinion and my own spotlight on the news way back in July (shameless plug)
Having once taken part in the Alien War Experience in the Trocadero Centre in London back in the 90’s, here I could almost once again feel that claustrophobia and adrenalin rush. Sadly as it was removed in ‘96 there is no chance of a return. So I always love an opportunity to revisit that memory and this is as close as I will ever get. Bravo gang.
William Gibson’s Alien 3 #1 In Space No One Can Hear You Repair History
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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