Article by Jason Romeo Leger
Dark Horse Comics, the legendary folks who, for more than 20 years have released excellent companion pieces and even an alternate history to our beloved Alien franchise. Dark Horse has released over a dozen stories in their long history associated with Aliens. Some are silly and some are well written and drawn companion pieces that work in ways that some might criminally overlook.
Lets take a second to consider how and why comic books are a great medium that works alongside our favourite films .
For one , comics released in between films have always personally helped me stay focused on my obsession with everything Alien . They keep me interested , wanting more , and most importantly letting me know personally ” what works ” and ” what doesn’t “
Second of all , I’ve always felt that the comics and or novels for that matter are the safest place for new and bold ideas to be explored . The ‘Music of the Spears’ is a great example of this , it’s completely out of left field and I personally wouldn’t be upset if a film version never got made; but on its own it’s very unique and entertaining in its own right . So take note Disney , I don’t think we need an alien film about a symphony of hate, lol .
Over the years Dark Horse have released some stories that I think with some expansion in regards to length could have served as the basis for direct sequels or standalone films in the franchise . ‘Aliens Salvation’ comes to mind . It’s unique in terms of setting and fresh enough ( at the time at least ) that it would have made a very exciting film . In my personal opinion it stayed very true to the themes of the first three films . It honours the source material while being different enough that it doesn’t come across as a boring re-tread of things we’ve already seen .
In the past year ‘Defiance’ and ‘Dead Orbit’ have been released and I couldn’t be happier . Dead Orbit perfectly captured the claustrophobia and that gritty ” lived in ” feel the first films evoked .
Aliens Defiance was a great addition , such a nice treat to open a comic and see things like the compression suit , the Muthur computer room , pulse rifles and just the overall aesthetic of the films captured perfectly . I absolutely loved the main protagonist. She’s moody , strong willed , and better yet flawed . I could not get enough of the supporting characters either . The story itself felt a tad unfocused towards the end or few final issues but after the extraordinary first few issues it was a lot to live up to .
I’m not sure what Disney buying Fox means for the future of Dark Horse’s long established history with the franchise ; but one can only hope that they can recognize the great works that have been done over the years, and that they stay associated with it .
I encourage anyone who reads this to give Dark Horse Comics a look if you haven’t already, the titles released as of late felt like next-level stuff that deserves to be read.