Aliens 1 (May 1988)

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Here’s why I trust Dark Horse on licensed properties. It’s a misplaced trust, I’ve learned as I’ve gone back to read their comics as an adult, but Aliens still holds up. It’s an earnest attempt to make a sequel to the movie, but it also adapts for the comic form. There are dream sequences and flashbacks–stuff a movie wouldn’t have been able to show seriously.

As far as the writing, Verheiden does a good job. He reintroduces Newt and Hicks from the movie, puts them both in terrible situations, and then brings the aliens back in. The characters are dysfunctional because of the movie events, which the reader easily sympathizes with. It makes the reader inclined to accept the comic book. I can’t believe Aliens didn’t have more crossover appeal.

Nelson’s art is okay. It’s not indie but not accomplished enough to be mainstream; but it’s not the draw either.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Verheiden; artist, Mark A. Nelson; letterer, Willie Schubert; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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