The comics for the “Alien universe” is now at Marvel kicking off a new era for the classic film franchise. The debut issue set up what we can expect from this new era, a little new but a lot of what’s expected. Alien #2 builds upon that with some interesting underlying details that make for a solid second issue.
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, the second issue throws Gabriel Cruz into the thick of it. Gabe’s son has been pinned in the attack on the Epsilon Station and it’s not surprising that Gabe is being pulled back in by Weyland-Yutani due to that. The company has decided to blackmail Gabe to retrieve some of their science experiments from the station or the attack will be pinned on him. The result is a tense situation that evokes classic gathering of soldiers to take on the mysterious xenomorph.
Johnson does an excellent job at the build-up to this issue and through the issue. Gabe is presented as a rough father but the situation he’s placed in is one we can all understand. There’s a deeper motive to Gabe’s coming conflict beyond the usual “bug hunt”. This is a father attempting to protect the son with who he has an estranged relationship. There’s a deeper aspect to the comic this way and separates it from conflict just due to Weyland-Yutani’s business.
The blackmail adds a layer to the situation. There’s no way we should trust what was promised to Gabe and throughout the issue, I was looking to see if Gabe believes that as well. He’s presented as a veteran and smart in his actions, unlike his rather gung-ho companions, and he’s clearly thought out what he’s stepping into. It’s an interesting aspect seeing the veteran deal with “rookies”, a bit like Ripley in Aliens.
Johnson also understands some of the appeal of the films is the tension and suspense. He mixes the horror of the first film with that of the action of the second. There’s a progression in the issue as we await the reveal of xenomorphs. It’s something we know is coming, we just don’t know.
That tension is helped by Salvador Larroca‘s art. It’s nice and serves the second issue well. Joined by Guru-eFX on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering, there’s a nice aspect to the art and delivering the mix of action and tension you’d want. It’d be easy to go too far one way or another but there’s a balance her. There’s a sense of horror at the right moments and when the action really gets rolling Larroca’s art begins to really stand out.
Alien #2 is one that fans of the franchise will want to check out. It blends what works so well for the series taking the best of everything and mixing it together to expand the world and also celebrate it.
Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review