Comic ‘Aliens’, in the comic no one can hear your screams

In 1979 the film that elevated Ridley Scott and gave rise to one of the greatest film sagas of the horror and science fiction genre was released: Alien, the eighth passenger. Where we witness the birth (and development) of what, more than 40 years later, is still the best monster in the history of cinema. A movie that was promoted with that phrase “In space no one can hear your screams.”

In the comic either, but that was not an impediment to launching a collection of miniseries starring these aliens in 1988, whose success made them last for years. Now Panini will compile all these comics in two gigantic volumes of more than 1,000 pages each, of which the first has just been published: Marvel Omnibus: Aliens: The Original Stage.

An essential volume that coincides with the new 12-issue maxiseries that Marvel has launched, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman) and the Spanish Salvador Larroca (The Invincible Iron Man) which has also just been published in two volumes by Panini: Alien: Lineages and Alien: Reanimation.

Some comics that remind us why we are so fascinated by this creature created by the long-awaited Swiss artist H. R. Giger. And it is that, more than 40 years later, these xenomorphs continue to be great stars of cinema and television, since Disney is preparing a series and the Uruguayan Fede Álvarez (Do not breathe, Possession infernal) a film entitled Alien: Romulus.
great authors
Before beginning with the history of the series collected in this volume, remind you that, in 1979, the same year that Alien was released, there was an adaptation of the film to the cartoons, by screenwriter Archie Goodwin and a first-time Walter Simonson (Thor ), which, for me, is the best film adaptation to a comic. You can find it in the Diábolo editions catalog under the title of Alien, the illustrated story.

As for Panini’s volume, it includes the first four complete years of the Aliens miniseries, with real gems like Aliens: Genocide and Aliens: Hive. We also highlight Hewt’s story, which recounts the events of Aliens: the return through the eyes of Newt (the girl), as well as the cartoon adaptation of the Alien 3 film, by David Fincher.
First of all, highlight the great authors who collaborated on these comics: Mark Verheiden, Denis Beauvais, Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett, Mike Richardson, Damon Willis, Jerry Prosser, Dave Dorman, Jim Somerville, Steven Grant, Simon Bisley, Steve Bissette, Sam Kieth, Mark Nelson, Kelley Jones, John Arcudi… who gave us some unforgettable stories.

This first compilation, of two, contains more than four years of these miniseries published by Dark Horse in the late ’80s and early ’90s: Aliens 1-6; v2, 1-4, Aliens: Earth War 1-4, Aliens: Genocide 1-4, Aliens: Hive 1-4, Aliens: Tribes, Aliens: Newt’s Tale 1-2, Alien 3 1-3, Aliens: Space Marines 1-12 and material from Dark Horse Presents 24, 42-43 and 56, Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special and Dark Horse Insider 14-27. More than a thousand pages that expand the universe of the most impressive monster/alien in the history of cinema.
They continue the story of the first two films.
To tell the story of these alien comics we have to go back to the late 80s when the publisher Dark Horse was looking for new licenses and its managers, Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley, came up with the idea of buying movie rights to make comic series. , something that had only worked well with Marvel’s Star Wars collection. They started with Godzilla, which was moderately successful, which led them to try Alien. His intention was to release miniseries that would continue the story of the two films that had been released at the time, Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) and Aliens: The Return (James Cameron, 1986).

To do this they recruited a young writer who was breaking out with the award-winning comic The American, Mark Verheiden (1956) and a stupendous cartoonist, Mark A. Nelson, whose sinister drawings in black, white and gray were perfect for the series (in this edition that first miniseries has been colored so that it does not clash with the rest of the volume). The publisher was risking everything with this series, entitled Aliens, in which they invested all their hopes and it was a sales success, just like the volume in which it was compiled. Which gave rise to a succession of quite successful miniseries.
As we say, the comic continued the story of the first two films in the saga, but its creators encountered a small problem, they could not use the character of Lieutenant Ripley (who made Sigourney Weaber famous), due to problems with rights, so they used the two survivors from Aliens. Corporal Hicks (of the marines) and the girl Newt (already turned into a teenager). Fortunately, those rights issues were fixed for the third miniseries, where Ripley returned to also become

As we can see, the themes of the film are repeated and the villains are again the corporations and governments that want to use the aliens as weapons of war and that end up succumbing to this organism, which is the perfect killing machine. A miniseries that plays very well with other constants in the saga, such as the undercover androids (with secret orders) and the military obsessed with war.

As we can see, these stories are led by some of the characters from the movies and expand the myths of this universe. For example, we will discover things from the past of the protagonists, we will know who is the alien that is discovered in Alien with a burst chest, we will hallucinate with new species of xenomorphs and we will see different factions of aliens fighting each other.

In 1992, the film Alien 3 was released, David Fincher’s debut as a director (and possibly his worst film), and in the early stages we discovered that Hicks and Newt had died, which made these adventures disconnect from the film saga and He even forced those responsible for Dark Horse to change the names of those two characters. Fortunately, in the current volume, those original denominations have been recovered.
Mark Verheiden only wrote the first three miniseries, which were continued by other great writers and cartoonists. For example, in these pages we discover a first-timer Sam Kieth (co-creator of The Sandman), who does a great job, or Kelley Jones, one of the most valued Batman authors, who offers us a surprising and terrifying vision of xenomorphs.

In short, some comics that are still enjoyed as 30 years ago and that reveal interesting versions of aliens. By the way, Dark Horse didn’t take long to make Predator, Terminator, Robocop comics… and even pitted them against each other and other famous comic characters like Superman, Batman. Panini has already announced that he will publish the Predator comics, although the crossovers are more (especially with DC characters).
The big movie news of 2019 was the purchase of Fox by Disney, including the Alien saga (7 movies), which has allowed us to see these classic comics reissued. But it is that, in addition, Marvel also decided to release alien maxiseries, as Dark Horse already did. The first has already been published in Spain in two volumes (Alien: Lineages and Alien: Reanimation), including an annual, and the results are stupendous. Something logical because it has a luxury team made up of screenwriter Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman) and Spanish cartoonist Salvador Larroca (X-Men, The Invincible Iron Man).

A fast-paced comic thanks to Johnson’s scripts, which introduces us to a new character, Gabriel Cruz, who gave his life to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and who was about to die due to an alien attack.

Cruz, who recently retired, is trying to resume his relationship with his son, whom he abandoned, with the help of a friend; a Bishop model android. But his return to civilian life is going to be tricky, as he’s going to run into deadly xenomorphs again!

Highlight the drawings of a Salvador Larroca in top form, who gives his pages a truly vibrant cinematographic rhythm. His xenomorphs are threatening and his mystery and action sequences are very powerful.

As a curiosity to note that, as he did in the Star Wars series, the cartoonist uses himself as a model for one of the main characters, in this case the protagonist. We’ll also recognize actor Lance Henriksen as an android (the same model he played in Aliens: The Return).

In short, some comics as hectic as Aliens: the return, which leave us wanting more. Let’s hope that Marvel continues to release series as interesting as this one.

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