The covers: A pair of covers that takes images from the films and tweaks them just enough to make them new. The Main cover is by David Palumbo. Beneath the stone face of an Engineer a group of humans enters a familiar looking mist covered environment. Just barely peaking through the moist air are the silhouettes of several egg shaped containers. I admit it. I thought, ‘Get out of there, now!’ This is going to go really badly. Nice use of color to create an ominous setting. The Variant cover is by Paul Pope producing the art and Shay M. Plummer doing the colors. This has a female member of the crew in a spacesuit intrigued and frightened by something before her, not noticing that to her immediate left is an odd structure that I would expect to start moving at any second. Nice look on the spacewoman and the colors make her stand out against the background, which is soon to be her undoing. I would have liked to have seen a little more gloss on the background. Overall grades: Main A- and Variant B
The story: 129 years after the events of Prometheus, the ship Helios is on its way to LV-223. Captain Angela Foster reveals in a log that her crew is unaware that their mission to the planet is not just a salvage mission, but it’s to salvage Peter Weyland’s mission. She wants to know what happened to him and learn the true origin of the human species. However, the book opens with a probe going to LV-223 only to be stepped on by humanoid. Who or what it is isn’t revealed, as the timeline jumps up to 2219 aboard the Helios with Clara Atkinson making her way through the ship with a recording ‘bot, highlighting members of the crew. This is a clever way for Paul Tobin to introduce his cast of characters and harkens back to flying bots from the film. Planetfall is quickly made and the crew encounters “something” once they leave the ship. Every page had me cringing. Every reader knows this will go badly, but from what direction? Everywhere this crew goes they encounter “something” that could be deadly. I squirmed on Pages 15, 19 (I really loved the wrong question), 21, 24, and the final panel. I don’t want to look, but I have to…next month. Fun, fear inducing reading. Overall grade: A
The art: Impressive work from artist Juan Ferreyra, who is both the artist and the colorist. I’ve always felt that artists who illustrate an Aliens story do a good job on the monsters and the men, but the settings and the tech typically suffer. That is not the case with Ferreyra. I knew that this book was being drawn by the right person with that probe on the opening page: the tech looks great. The ships and their interiors look equally well done. Clara’s tour is a great way to showcase the ship that these soon-to-be-dead men inhabit. When on the surface of the world I was expecting the wasteland of the film. The story doesn’t go that way and Ferreyra absolutely delights in this new setting. And the “whats” that are all around had just enough familiar elements to make me wince at the approaching doom. Page 20 contains the images that I can’t get out of my head. I don’t know why, but that was the most disturbing part of the entire issue for me. This was beautifully grotesque. And the final panel that stretches across the bottom of the last two pages…I could hear the hissing. Overall grade: A
The letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot, who seems to be doing every licensed movie title for Dark Horse currently, creates scene settings, probe computations, probe transmissions, sounds, dialogue, and transmissions. Those opening fonts for the probe really set the story firmly in the future. Overall grade: A
The final line: If the movie left you wanting more, more is now. The crew is discovering things that should have been forgotten, but readers remember past stories that foretell these characters’ fates. The story will leave you wanting more, but dreading what’s to come. Scary fun. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.