• Aliens Defiance #5

    Aliens Defiance #5
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: September 28th, 2016.
    Written by: Brian Wood
    Illustrated by: Tristan Jones
    Purchase From Amazon

    Picking up where issue #4 left off…

    “OUT IN DEEP SPACE, ZULA HENDRICKS AND DAVIS 01 RECOVER FROM THE UPRISING incited by Weyland-Yutani aboard the Europa. Feelings of isolation cause Zula to secondguess her physical abilities and tempt her to return to the care of her military physician, Dr. Yang. The discovery of a compromised shuttle that is spilling corpses of crew members and aliens into the frozen depths rekindled Zula’s fire for alien extermination—even if it means going up against those who trained her.”

    …we catch up with Zula as she is in a race against time to rewire the system in hopes that it will allow her to remotely do away with a ship containing twelve Marines and one very important, specific passenger.

    But before all of that, we learn how Zula and Davis 01 almost took a rest at what was essentially a space gas station only to learn that the place had been red-flagged as a possible contagion outbreak point. They need what they need but in order to play things cautiously, Davis 01 suggest they do a spacewalk and enter through a fuel line. She does just that and her spinal injury is fine in zero gravity, but as she heads inward and gravity returns, so too does the pain. On their way, in they meet someone on her way out – Dr. Hollis, a med officer who may or may not be the last person alive on the space station, the Wright-Aberra Fuel Depot. Hollis tells them of a life form aboard the ship, but Zula and Davis 01 already know what it is that she’s talking about.

    The three head back inside. Hollis has sealed off the lower levels and explains how the ground zero of the infestation lies in a hauler that docked three weeks ago. The aliens spread from there and while the humans aboard put up a good fight, it wasn’t enough. Hollis tells them she knows a Marine ship is in the area, she assumes it is connected, but Zula levels with her, tells her abut Dr. Yang, at which point Davis 01 realizes her communications to said doctor were a security breach. THAT is why the Marines are nearby, it’s not to help them, it’s to bring them in. Davis 01 figures the only way they won’t get killed by the Marines about to dock, is to unlock those lower levels…

    “This is a war, Dr. Hollis. This is the only way to win. You’ve seen what those aliens can do.”

    This fifth issue of the ongoing series sees artist Tristan Jones return to art duties and while the two fill in artists we got on issues three and four were great, Jones being back is a good thing indeed. The artwork is insanely detailed, it’s clear that this guy has done his homework and it shows. The interiors of the Wright-Aberra look like they could have easily substituted for the backgrounds in any of the Alien feature films while the bugs themselves are nicely detailed and plenty intimidating looking. The human and cyborg characters have realistic expressions on their faces and in their eyes. The layouts are impressive, cinematic at times even, and there’s just a lot going on and a lot to take in for every single panel of the issue. Dan Jackson’s coloring and even the lettering from Nate Piekos at Blambot is the icing on the cake. It all comes together beautifully.

    Woods’s storyline answers some of the questions posted by the last couple of issues and opens up a few more to speculation. The reality behind the Marines’ arrival is worth pondering while the actual circumstance behind the alien infestation on the ship may come into play at some point too. Zula’s background matters here, as does her relationship with Davis 01, while introducing Hollis into the mix could obviously take the story in a few different directions as well.

    So far, so good. Aliens Defiance has been a consistently engaging read from the first issue and five issues into the series that remains the case. Good characters, interesting plot developments and the right mix of action, horror and suspense keep this entertaining, while the art brings the story to life with exceptional detail and style. Throw another amazing cover piece from Massimo Carnevale into the mix and this book once again scores full marks.