• Aliens Defiance #3

    Aliens Defiance #3
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: August 17th, 2016.
    Written by: Brian Wood
    Illustrated by: Riccardo Burchielli
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    “AFTER RELOADING THEIR STOCKADE ON THE SCIENCE STATION NEAR PLANETOID LV-44-40, COLONIAL MARINE ZULA HENDRICKS and her AWOL compatriot Davis 01 are still on the trail of the xenomorph monsters their ex-employer seeks to capture. Weyland-Yutani’s reach is long, and while Davis 01 has built firewalls in his programming, his fellow Davis units are not so well protected. Zula may finally understand what the shady corporation is capable of.”

    Hendricks is detailing the physio she got to Davis 01 as he works on her back, giving her some acupuncture in hopes that it’ll provide her with some relief. Meanwhile, the other synthetics are gearing up and arming themselves. New mission parameters are downloaded and they head towards the medical bay where Davis 01 and Hendricks have been talking. Davis tells her to grab her rifle.

    They leave the bay and head deep into the innards of the ship. Alone, he explains to her the concept of the ‘nearfield’ – Weyland-Yutani designed a network protocol shared by all of their synthetics that allows them to connect and share data within short ranges. HQ can use it over long distances, however, which is why Davis 01 turned it off – to keep Weyland-Yutani from meddling in this more than they already are. He further explains that when WT tried to get the synths to bring the Europa to Earth, there was a mutiny. Some new that it would ‘unleash alien Hell on Earth’ but others wanted to tow the company line, and it seems that those synths have turned the nearfield back on.

    A firefight breaks out and they manage to stand their ground but they know the others hold the bridge and are better armed. But Hendricks, knowing that Davis 01 disabled the nearfield locally so that it won’t work on him, figures that she can even the odds a bit. She learned a few tricks from Amanda Ripley back on Luna…

    Proof positive that you don’t necessarily need aliens to tell an interesting story in the Aliens universe, this issue is primarily concerned with two things – setting up a potential war with the WT corporation and filling us in on how and why Davis 01 became the way he is. We get a bit more of Hendricks’ back story here, mostly in regards to her back problem, but for the most part this is all about Davis 01. The firefight that breaks out provides us with the requisite amount of action, it’s placed properly in the context of the story and it makes to include it when and where Woods includes it in this chapter. This installment also ends on a pretty solid cliffhanger, but we’re not going to spoil the ending here.

    As far as the artwork goes, Tristan Jones, who did the first two issues, is on hiatus here and for issue four (but is slated to return with issue five. That might disappoint some, as Jones’ artwork has been pretty much perfect so far, but Riccardo Burchielli holds his own. His style is thicker and inkier but he does a nice job with both the characters and the backgrounds here. He relays action and movement very effectively and his artwork suits the story really well. Dan Jackson’s coloring is rock solid as well, and even the letter from Nate Piekos at Blambot has the right feel to it. And if that weren’t enough, that cover piece from Massimo Carnevale is gorgeous – another great issue in this new ongoing series that is clearly doing a great job of ‘getting it right.’