Review: Alien #1
In Alien #1, we meet Gabriel. He’s been in space for a very long time and was once captured by a brutal and violent xenomorph breed. While there’s no idea of how he escaped, he’s haunted by his dreams full of xenomorphs and his companions meeting their painful demises. He heads back home to an adult son that wants nothing to do with them, other than stealing what information he can to prepare for an assault of Weyland-Yutani, the corporation that sent his father to space. It doesn’t work out for the son as he’s now trapped in a lab full of the same creatures that are haunting his father’s every sleeping moment.
I’m a big fan of Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s work on Last God so I was pulled into reading Marvel’s big launch of Alien. That said, the second Alien movie is the last time I liked the Xenomorphs so it’s not the easiest sell for me. Aside from Warren Ellis’ butcher job on the Stormwatch characters, I’ve probably never read another Aliens-themed comic.
The problem with that is that I’m not sure this is the book that’s going to get me to want to read more of this world. The character work on this first issue leaves me wanting a bit more. Gabriel and the various Bishop cyborgs have some personality but everyone else is written as if they are just pages away from an untimely demise. Maybe I’m hoping for more out of this property but I’m definitely wanting something more out of my reading experience. Overall, I think the story is okay. In fact, I’d say the opening scene of this helps establish what Gabriel’s ordeal is fairly well. Sadly, I’m hoping Jr. gets his in a most brutal fashion. The reader isn’t given much reason to like him.
To be truthful, I wish for less photo-realism here and do not like the art. Salvador Larroca’s photo-referenced art just doesn’t do it for me and makes Aliens look rather bland. I know it’s not really Larroca’s fault. He was on Star Wars for quite a while and there’s an expectation that the SW characters look a lot like what you see them as in the movies. People would want the Bishops to look like Lance Henriksen and he does illustrate with a good amount of detail on the aliens but his characters just look so stiff and weird. I recognize the skill to work on a book like this but it’s just not pleasurable to me.
Maybe what I want out of this is too much or maybe the Alien comics just aren’t for me. That said, this is a $4.99 comic book and I don’t feel like the cost is worth it. Alien #1 is a fairly average story with average art. The world won’t end if you don’t get it.
Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 6.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 5.5
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review