• Aliens Dead Orbit #2

    Aliens Dead Orbit #2
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 31st, 2017.
    Written & Illustrated by: James Stokoe
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    Picking up where the first issue left off, Wasclewski has managed to escape the xenomorph, at least for now. He makes his way through the ship and heads into the medical bay, hoping to rest – until he notices the bloody corpse lying on the table.

    We flashback and see what happened to get that corpse there. A heavy set middle aged man, a doctor, and a younger woman, Park, try to hold a woman with what look like severe burn marks all over her body still so that he can get an IV into her. Eventually it works and she goes to sleep. It turns out she’s one of three in this condition. The other two are at least stabilized. The doctor tells Captain Hassan that he’s concerned about infection, he needs bandages and antiseptic. These three were the people pulled off of the ship – Hassan had hoped maybe that they’d get some information out of them, but it didn’t happen. It’s kind of hard to talk when you don’t have any lips.

    Hassan finds Wasclewski in the hallway and orders him to start going through the logs of the ship that they took the three survivors off of – a movie that Hassan acknowledges broke established quarantine rules in a big way. He begrudgingly obliges and soon enough he, Hassan and a few others are exploring the manifests. It looks like they exchanged a few crates for some Chinese yuan, a currency only used in frontier colonies. It also looks like there were eight crew members onboard, but when they searched the vessel they only found the three that they brought back. Hassan asks Rook to call this into head office.

    The intercom goes off – Park says that doc needs everyone down in the medical bay a.s.a.p., all three of the rescues are having seizures. Given how much sedative they’ve been given, this shouldn’t be possible, but then one of the bodies flips off of the bed and onto the floor, a chestburster cracking out of its rib cage – then a second body follows suit…

    Building very nicely off of the impressive debut issue, this second chapter ups the suspense and in doing so, makes for a pretty compelling read. There’s some good character development here but so too is there an impressive amount of action and horror. This issue comes together well, it’s pretty gripping stuff. Stokoe’s telling a solid story here, building a bit of a mystery behind the ‘how and why’ of the three bodies that have been brought on board, but still very much staying true to the type of space based horror that makes a good Alien story a good Alien story. The artwork is once again exceptional. Loads of detail in the manga inspired pencil work ensures that you’ll want to take your time with this issue to let your eyes pour over every panel in the book. Some great larger pieces impress here too, including a fantastic double page spread wherein all the gory details of the chestburster’s birthing scene are laid out in a big way.

    This one also ends on one Hell of a cliffhanger – we won’t spoil it, you can get there on your own, but the buildup and then they pay off in this second issue are big. Stokoe’s on to something here. Don’t miss out on this book.

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