Thursday, 24 June 2021

Alien #3 - Marvel Comics

ALIEN No. 3, July 2021
Eking out much of the excitement found within this franchise’s cinematic history and cramming it into the narrative for Issue Three of “Alien” Phillip Kennedy Johnson must have pleased the vast majority of this book’s audience when this particular publication hit the shelves in May 2021. In fact, it is arguably pretty hard to find any faults with the twenty-page periodical’s plot as Gabriel Cruz once again wages a very personal war against Xenomorph XX121, whilst simultaneously trying to thwart the insane machinations of some ill-thinking eco- extremists on board Epsilon Station; “You’re Iris Humphries. The zealot terrorist who brainwashed my boy.”

Foremost of this comic’s strengths is the interplay between the retired Weyland-Yutani “loyal security officer” and the rest of the narrative’s cast, which is enjoyably edgy even when the military veteran’s “off the books” mission is momentarily heading in the right direction. Much of this success is down to the tangible friction between the company’s sole-surviving agent and Danny’s father, who despite repeatedly witnessing the older man save his life through either epic gun-slinging or simple, sound advice, continues to question his superior’s decision-making like some frightened schoolboy.

In addition, the “Eisner-nominated writer” makes it abundantly clear that Cruz will sacrifice anyone in order to retrieve the mysterious Alpha Embryo and rescue his hapless boy, even if that means mercilessly gunning down an old family friend from behind when he realises Mitch has been impregnated by a face-hugging alien. Admittedly, it is clear that the ex-soldier commits such an act with a heavy heart, but his momentary display of emotion as he thanks his victim beforehand for previously being so kind to his kids, doesn’t stop him doing his perceived duty.

Equally as adept at adding to this book’s terrifying traumas are the fast-paced layouts of Salvador Larroca, whose ability to etch terror upon the faces of this comic’s characters genuinely helps sell the sheer horror they are experiencing. Likewise, the Spanish artist’s prodigious pencilling really captures the insane speed with which the aliens can move, especially when at close quarters, and how difficult they are to kill even when facing someone as efficient with a firearm as Gabriel apparently is.

The regular cover art of "ALIEN" #3 by InHyuk Lee

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