Title: Aliens: Resistance.
Writer(s): Brian Wood.
Penciller(s): Robert Carey.
Colourist(s): Tamra Bonvillain.
Letterer(s): Nate Piekos of Blambot.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books.
Release Date: August 20th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.
With the Alien franchise, it is no surprise that throughout 40 years of its existence, it has been stretched in all kinds of direction, looking to expand its universe in unimaginable ways to tease and seduce fans. With its beautiful design for the xenomorph, its dystopian outlook on life and its futuristic vision for technology, the angles to exploit are infinite. In fact, the franchise isn’t just pure horror with gore to elevate the intensity, it’s also about the exhilarating tension that is built up before every kill and all the action sequences that could be imagined between humans, androids, and aliens. Where it is the most exciting is when prequels and sequels are created based on Ellen Ripley’s adventures following her tetralogy on the big screen. Only if it’s done right, though.
What is Aliens: Resistance about? Set after the events of the video game Alien: Isolation, the story follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, and Zula Hendricks, an Ex-Colonial Marine, as they join forces to expose a bio-weapons program. While the xenomorph threat continues to grow, this team-up find themselves on a journey through space and countless research labs as they discover some of the most unthinkable creations that could ever have been thought of. It is only in their power to put their lives on the line to take down the Weyland-Yutani weapons program before it introduces the beginning of the end for mankind.
There’s nothing pleasant about seeing a critically-acclaimed writer like Brian Wood to dish out such a poor and unimpressive four-part comic series. Although I went into this one thinking that an original story might be waiting for me, it turns out that a dialogue-light and a context-less plot is all I was going to be served. Thrown into a universe set 15 years after the events in Alien (1979), this sequel to a video game made no effort in drawing the reader into this story. The threat is intangible, the direction is invisible, there’s simply nothing in Aliens: Resistance that was remotely comprehensive.
As if it to make matters worse, the artwork was far from being exceptional. Although I found the environment drawn by artist Robert Carey astonishing at times, there was way too much inconsistency in his technique for me to wholly appreciate his vision. The most bothersome element of his work lies in his character designs. Their facial expressions are plain bad with matte-black eyes and lips that make no sense at all. Their proportions are also unexplainable, reminding me of sketch drawings created to brainstorm for ideas. As a whole, the colouring is decent but the flow in the artwork is absent and this graphic novel’s short-length simply does not help its cause.
Aliens: Resistance is a poor attempt to extend a video game’s story and suffers immensely in both plot and art with little contextualization or purpose in its narrative.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
Amanda Ripley is looking for answers regarding the disappearance of her mother in Alien: Isolation! Have you played it? What did you think about it?