Comic Rewind: Aliens: Dead Orbit

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Weyland-Yutani way station Sphacteria is approached by a mysterious ship which is not responding to attempts to contact them in Aliens: Dead Orbit.

Ship Engineer Officer Wassy was making some repairs to the way station when he spotted a ship in the distance.  The Sphacteria tried to herald the ship, but they received no response. Wassy took a look at their equipment and everything looked in working order.  However, their calls received no response.

Thermal scans showed the mysterious ship had cryo-generators running so someone is aboard, but they be sleeping.  They decided to take a look just in case they need help.

Aliens: Dead Orbit was written and drawn by James Stokoe.  Dark Horse published the volume in 2018.

I am not a huge fan of the Aliens series, but I do like the horror genre so I decided to check this out.  A big part of why I wanted to read this is because I am a huge fan of Stokoe’s art.

Stokoe did not disappoint in this comic.  His art is hyper-detailed and really makes his art standout from other artists.  The art is very busy, but it never distracts from the main subject of the panel. This is very hard to do and Stokoe is able to do it in every panel.  However, it is very easy to find myself lost in each panel just admiring the detail.

It is always very easy to spot Stokoe’s art because of his color pallette.  He always uses muted reds, oranges and blues. These colors added a lot to the atmosphere of a space comic like this.  I could really feel the isolation of the ships and the emptiness. I also felt so cold reading this just because the colors he used.

Even though this is titled Aliens it felt much closer in tone to Alien. The Aliens movie is an action movie, but Alien is a straight horror movie.  Once the action starts in this comic everything happens so fast I didn’t even have a time to take breathe and neither did the crew.  The crew didn’t even have time to analyze what was happening. Having a frantic pace added to the drama and suspense.

A lot was left to my imagination and it made the comic even scarier.  I couldn’t stop thinking about having to board a big empty ship when I know there are people on it somewhere.  Every little noise or creak would make me want to poop my pants. Stokoe did a great job of capturing this.

Wassy is the Ripley of this comic and tried to help and save everyone.  He was in over his head and I really felt for him. I wanted him to make it out of this situation alive, but the Xenomorphs overwhelm people very quickly.

This is a pretty perfect comic.  The art is topic notch and the writing perfectly captures the Alien movie tone.  The ending wraps up the comic perfectly. This can be read by people who know nothing about the movies.  I highly recommend this comic to any sci-fi horror fan and especially fans of the Alien movie franchise.

Rating:

5/5

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