• Aliens Defiance #9

    Aliens Defiance #9
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: January 25th, 2017.
    Written by: Brian Wood
    Illustrated by: Tony Brescini
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    Davis walks alone on the outside of the ship, a cable dragging behind him. He needs to make some repairs to the door that opens into the containment chamber where the alien stays frozen. He welds it shut and gets a radio message Zula. She sees something coming their way on the radar, she’s unsure if it’s a glitch or if there really is something heading towards them. Zula asks him to get to the weapons locker before heading back in and he obliges. They’re preparing for the worst.

    Sure enough, shortly before Davis can arrive back with some weapons, a small but heavily armed crew of pirates arrive, docking with the Europa and making their way into the ship. Zula can see on the video monitors that these guys have oxygen, but no pressure suits. She’s low on ammo. If they make it to the bridge where Hollis is holding things down, unarmed, they’ve got a problem. Without much of a choice, Zula manages to shot dead two of the boarders. She’s in constant pain from her back injury but she manages. Elsewhere, on his way back from the weapons locker, Davis follows Zula’s lead and takes out a few more of the intruders.

    Zula can’t stop thinking of Doctor Yang’s offer, however – immunity in exchange for the cargo. If they were to turn over the alien, she’d be allowed to return to Earth, to get the medical treatment that she needs, and maybe live a normal life again.

    Out of ammo and out of options, Zula and Hollis instruct Davis to find a spot to hide. They’ve got one thing on board that the pirates don’t know about, and that one thing is the ace up their sleeve… the one thing they’ve got that they can use to kill off the rest of these guys. And if they’re lucky? Once they let the alien loose in the ship, it’ll be mortally wounded…

    Another solid chapter in the latest Aliens ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, this issue offers up some quality action and horror sequences alongside some interesting food for thought. Zula and the others are in a bit of a moral quandary. She wants very much to get help for her injury but also knows that they simply can’t just hand over the alien to Weyland-Yutani, knowing that they’d weaponized the thing and God only knows what would happen then. She’s got a conscience and a moral code and she’s sticking by it, even if it literally hurts her to do so. Unleashing the alien on the intruders was a nice twist and it has interesting results. Without spoiling the ending of the issue, yeah, it has its pros but so too does that choice obviously have just as many, if not more, cons. Solid storytelling here.

    Tony Brescini’s artwork is good stuff. Nice fine detailed line work, well-illustrated characters and a knack for drawing the interiors of the Europa with cold, clinical precision all help to make this a really nice looking issue. Dan Jackson’s coloring, a constant from the first issue, helps to nail down that ‘cold’ look that’s important to keeping the locations used in the series looking right. Stephanie Hans contributes the cover to this issue – you can’t help but think of Jaws when you see it!