Alien (2021-) #2

Happy Alien Day! Though I’d usually write an article that’s wider in scope to celebrate 4/26 (as my friends across the pond note the date, which lines up with the name of the planet in Aliens – LV-426), I thought it was a good time to review the latest issue of Marvel’s new xenomorph-focused series, which arrived last week. In any case, you can still read my previous Alien Day articles – this one from 2019 focusing on the first film and last year’s piece, focusing on a selection of Aliens-focused video games.

Though I did enjoy the first issue of Marvel’s new Alien series, with its anti-corporate feel and a focus on some corners of the universe that haven’t been explored very much – as well as a new threat in the form of the ‘Alpha’, I have to say I was disappointed with the second issue. It just feels like yet another Aliens retread, which isn’t helped by the references that are far less subtle than in the first issue. We do get a flashback to lead character Gabriel Cruz’s time in the Colonial Marines, but that also gives us a sense of Aliens-deja vu. There’s at least one element that I hope is explored a little more, but at the moment it feels like the series is already treading water and retreading far too familiar ground – which is a real shame.

It does at least look the part; Marvel’s high production values are obvious to see and it is refreshing to realise that they haven’t held back on or sanitised the horror, which was something I genuinely feared would happen when the licence passed from Dark Horse – who’d been great custodians of the property since 1988 – to Disney-owned Marvel, when the House of Mouse acquired 20th Century Fox’s franchises.

Let’s hope that things improve in the next issue and get back to the more intriguing, less familiar angle we were presented with in the first part of the story. In the meantime: stay frosty, people. Happy Alien Day!

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