• Aliens Defiance #7

    Aliens Defiance #7
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: December 7, 2016.
    Written by: Brian Wood
    Illustrated by: Stephen Thompson
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    “CONTINUING THEIR MISSION AND DEAD SET AGAINST letting a xenomorph sample fall into Weyland-Yutani’s corporate hands, Pvt. Zula Hendricks, the synthetic mercenary Davis, and biologist Dr. Hollis destroyed an infected space station, killing dozens of Colonial Marines and Aliens in the process. Their escape into the safety of deep space seemed clean, but then they realize they have a horrifying new passenger.”

    When this issue starts, Hendricks and Davis are talking to Hollis about the alien growing rapidly inside her stomach. As she’s wearing a sono plate she can broadcast a live image. David recommends killing it by way of a chemical injection and a surgical removal but Hollis refuses. She wants to ‘harvest it’ and keep it alive, but will need to be able to keep it contained once it is out of her.

    Davis gets to work setting up the ship’s cyro chamber in such a way that they hope to be able to freeze the alien. Davis will have to be there to make this work and they don’t know how fast it will happen, but this is what Hollis wants and Hendricks is, somewhat begrudgingly, going along with it. They’re all bound and determined to keep the alien out of Weyland-Yutani’s hands, but how long can they keep this up?

    They prep for the surgery. Hendricks has her rifle by her side if they need it. Hollis lays back on the surgical table, takes the scalpel and starts cutting into herself. Davis and Hendricks assist as they’re able. There’s no sense in spoiling what happens from there…. Right?

    Wood’s script goes in some interesting and truly unexpected directions with this latest issue of the ongoing series. It’s smart, well-written and surprising but so too is it heady at times, dealing with some higher concepts than are evident when just evaluating this on a surface level. Hollis’ sense of sacrifice is an interesting aspect of her character, but what are her true motives? If she survives this, does she want the specimen kept alive for legitimate research purposes or is she hiding something? We don’t know her well enough yet to know if her convictions are as strong as Hendricks’. At the same time, Davis seems to be becoming more cognitive in his actions and reactions. At one point Zula mentions she can hear fear in his voice, something that an android shouldn’t necessarily be able to communicate or even feel in the first place.

    So clearly there are bigger things at play here than just the risky surgery and their collective and ongoing effort to keep a money grubbing corporation away from what could potentially be the biggest weapons score in their history. It makes for very compelling reading.

    Artwork this issue is from Stephen Thompson with great coloring work from Dan Jackson. Series regular Tristan Jones sits this issue out but Thompson is a great substitute, drawing in a similar style while still maintaining his own unique sensibility with the pencils. Lots of great detail in the characters and in the backgrounds alike. This is a slick looking book, appropriately cold but that is as it should be.