Aliens: Defiance #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Tristan Jones
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
A dropship full of eyeless drones and a solitary colonial marine by the name of Zula Hendricks. They’re sent to investigate a derelict ship. Flashback – Luna, Tranquility Base, and a stumbling Private First Class Hendricks who runs into Ripley’s daughter. A confusing montage of surgery and recovery leads back to the present, and an alien encounter. Thus Aliens: Defiance #1 kicks off.
The comic opens as a bit of a mess. At first I thought all the drones were corpses, as they look like dead-eyed marines. Then there’s the stumbling Hendricks who goes on about treatment. Initially, I thought drug addict, but then it quickly turns out that she’s suffering from a physical handicap and is undergoing severe treatment to fix it. A small insight into the character, but also a confusing glimpse which will hopefully make more sense later on. However, the comic starts to make more sense after the flashback. Hendricks is leading a squad of synthetic drones to investigate a ship infested with xenomorphs. She doesn’t know about the aliens, but the drones do. There’s some action, some nice suspenseful horror, and then the lights go out for Hendricks. This is when the story gets good.
If a writer wanted to phone it in, they’d have Hendricks impregnated with an alien and she would wake up out of stasis as a prize for a greedy corporation trying to get their hands on a bioweapon. But Brian Wood thinks outside the box and does something completely different. The funny thing is, he does what the common sense thing that no one ever does – kill all the aliens. Cranking it up another notch, it’s the robots that have the bright idea to do the right thing. They deem the xenomorphs too dangerous to hand over to their masters and decide the best option is to eradicate them. Not only do they wipe out all the aliens on the derelict ship, they plan to follow the ship’s logs and wipe out whatever remaining traces of the aliens that might be elsewhere. It’s a bold move that will probably doom them all, but I like the audacity of the mission. Their head’s are in the right spot.
The artwork has some oddities, but for the most part, it works pretty good. There’s details, there’s some good coloring, and sometimes the panels are spot on with the action and horror. At other times, the characters look really weird. It’s not that they look inhuman, but that the artists does things that really mar their faces. I’m not sure if it’s a conscious decision to make the characters kind of ugly or if it’s just the art style. Either way, the characters can sometimes be pretty rough.
With decent artwork and a promising story, Aliens: Defiance #1 has my interest. It’ll be neat to see where this one goes. Will the drones and Hendricks be able to wipe out a bunch of xenomorphs? Will Hendricks’ disability come back to turn the tide against her? Will we see anymore of Amanda Ripley? Hopefully the future issues have some fun answers. I give this one a four out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.