• Aliens Defiance #2

    Aliens Defiance #2
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 25th, 2016.
    Written by: Brian Wood
    Illustrated by: Tristan Jones
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    Picking up directly where the first issue left off, Colonial Marine Zula Hendricks remains AWOL, her only company a group of Weyland-Yutani synthetics all named Davis. Together they’re trying to hunt down the xenomorphs that those bankrolling this mission would, if they could, turn into weapons... and then Davis 01 breaks protocol and enlists Zula’s aid in eliminating the aliens for good.

    When this second chapter starts out, Hendricks wakes up in a sweat, she’s had a nightmare but it’s not that which has roused her, it’s her radio. The synthetics need her on the bridge, pronto. They know she’s injured and therefor compromised, but this doesn’t change things for them, at least not yet. Their ship has come close to a Seegson owned space station that seems to be dormant when it should be bustling with activity, despite the fact that heat sensors indicate the presence of life on the lower levels. Logic would dictate that it’s the aliens giving off the heat signature, but then, it could also be survivors. There’s only one way to check, and that’s to board the space station and investigate.

    This works out in a sense – the space station would have weapons while their ship, the Europa, is running low in that department. Zula and Davis 01 suit up and space walk across (they’re not going to dock just in case aliens really are there), and Zula can’t help but worry about how or if her spinal cord injury could cause problems. Sure, she had the surgery but she hasn’t really been given as much time as she should have to sort all of this out.

    After boarding, they come face to face with a dead alien hunched in the corner of a hallway. It’s blood eventually melts through the floor below it and it crashes, making a noise loud enough that they now need to be extra careful. Davis heads to the bridge while Zula goes to the armory. As she turns her back she knows the synthetic sees her back brace. She scores big at the armory and then they decide to group and head to the lower levels to investigate the heat source. But getting there, to those lower levels? Well, that’s not going to be easy. After all, we already know that there were aliens onboard at one point…

    If Wood’s script for the first issue set things up and established what would appear to be the ongoing scenario for this series, his writing in this second issue concentrates on building character. We get a bit of background information on Zula but this is mostly concentrated on expanding to the reader who she is in the now and elaborating on what she has to deal with and how she does just that. Determination is key for this character, that much is clear, and while her injury and the back brace she wears to compensate for it clearly put her at a disadvantage, she seems bound and determined to keep that from slowing her down, even while the physical pain involved in her activity is worn all over her face. We see all of this come into play in the last few pages of the issue and the buildup sets it up for us nicely. She’s a tough cookie and an interesting character, we’re left wanting to know more about her. And logic would dictate we’ll get that in future issues.

    Tristan Jones’ artwork and Dan Jackson’s coloring bring the script to life in a big way. There’s ridiculous amount of detail present in pretty much ever panel, enough so that you’ll want to take your time soaking it all in. Humans are drawn very realistically, the synthetics look appropriately cold and the aliens are nothing but pure evil… menace. They’re made to look quite intense and frightening in this series, Jones and Jackson earn full marks in that department. We’re only two issues into this new run but it’s obvious that these guys are on to something here.