Alien #6 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Chapter One of Marvel’s first foray into the Aliens franchise comes to a close in satisfying fashion. To a certain extent this is by the numbers Alien fayre, with all of the required elements ticked off one by one. But, for me, that was the correct approach for Marvel straight out of the gate. They needed to reassure fans that they understand the franchise, know what makes an Alien story an Alien story and that everyone’s favourite xenomorphs are safe in their hands. And by those metrics, this first arc has delivered perfectly.
I know Larocca’s heavily photo referenced art isn’t to everyone’s taste, but for me it fits this series perfectly. I need to recognise that a Bishop unit is a Bishop unit because it looks like Lance Henriksen and not just because the script tells me it is. This kind of hyper-real art adds to the atmosphere and the terror of an Aliens story. That doesn’t mean that other approaches aren’t equally valid, but this works for me here, in the story, and that’s what matters.
Of course no Alien story is complete without a twist in the tale and this comic doesn’t fail to deliver on that, potentially setting up Aliens on Earth, and, indeed, the tease of next month’s cover suggests that’s exactly what we’ll be getting in chapter two. And that, my friends, is very exciting indeed!
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