Though it does feature a few well-worn franchise tropes – the hidden, traitorous android and the dastardly company seeking to utilise the xenomorphs as bioweapons, for example – Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s Alien series has found a refreshingly unique setting in its second story arc.
Attacked by Ambrose – revealed to be a synthetic human prioritising company orders over the lives of those in the religious, non-technological Spinner colony – things aren’t looking good for the colony’s leader, Jane. Once Ambrose’s secret is out and he’s spilled the beans about the company’s plans, will the rest of the colonists forgo their adherence to their religion to escape to safety? The answer isn’t quite as straightforward as it should be.
It’s another very well written issue, but once again the somewhat stiff artwork by Salvador Larroca, which is clearly leaning heavily on photo referencing, lets it down somewhat. The story is pretty damn compelling though, so the relatively weak art isn’t enough to keep it down.
Despite those aforementioned tropes which always seem to rear their head in Alien stories, there’s a genuine unpredictability about what may be coming next. It’s no small feat to see Johnson leaning fairly heavily on those clichés, but still maintaining a compelling story with some genuinely interesting characters regardless.
It’s not completely unmissable, but for fans of the franchise it does come pretty damn close. It’s certainly a big improvement over the boring first story arc in any case.
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