Review – Alien #1 (2023) (Marvel Comics)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Declan Shalvey
Artwork: Andrea Broccardo
Colours: Triona Farrell
Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 26th April 2023
For this year’s Alien Day, Marvel have launched a brand new Alien series from Declan Shalvey and Andrea Broccardo as part of their 20th Century Studios imprint. This first issue takes us to LV-695, in ice-covered moon which serves as the site for some pioneering water conversation research by scientist Batya Zahn and her family. Thing is, the heavily-pregnant Batya has had just about enough of being stuck in the cold isolation, and when her daughter makes an unexpected discovery during a routine excavation, she sees it as her ticket home and immediately calls it in.
I’m always a sucker for a new Alien comic, and Shalvey’s track record made this a guaranteed purchase for me. The characters are fairly intriguing for the most part, particularly the simmering tension between Batya and her husband, and the icy environment adds an interesting new wrinkle to the proceedings. That said, this is essentially what we’ve come to expect from Alien comics at this point. Xenomorphs are discovered, Weyland Yutani come stomping in, all hell breaks loose and a group of hapless survivors are caught in the crossfire.
That familiarity aside, there’s definitely lot to like here, although Broccardo’s artwork, while technically proficient and certainly easy on the eye, feels just a tiny bit cartoony, almost Manga-esque, for this particular franchise. I like my Aliens comics to have a bit of grit in them, and everything here is a little too ‘clean’ for my tastes. The Xenomorph sequences are great though, and colourist Triona Farrell helps add an oppressive edge to the outside environment, particularly following Weyland Yutani’s arrival as darkness closes in.
The final pages ratchet up the tension considerably as the ‘discovery’ starts to thaw and Zasha, Batya’s young daughter, finds herself on the run. It’s clear that all hell is about to break loose, and I’m definitely planning on sticking around to find out what happens next. Sure, there’s perhaps nothing too groundbreaking at play here yet, but there’s enough atmosphere and intrigue to keep the pages turning throughout the course of this first issue. A chilling new chapter in Marvel’s Alien saga, and a first issue that’s still well worth a look.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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