If you’ve been thinking that many of the ‘Aliens’ comics coming out in recent years have been repetitive then the first issue of ‘Aliens: Dead Orbit’ is the comic you’ve been waiting for. James Stokoe is pulling double duties here by both writing the book and illustrating it as well. Comic books have long meant to be a form of storytelling that is just as visual as it has to do with reading and this book is highly visual. The introduction has a bit of flavor text to set the mood and location but the imagery is the key here in setting the atmosphere, and Stokoe knows exactly what he is doing with it.
The general tale is that we’re following an engineering officer named Wasclyweski as the space station he is on suffers an accident. Specifically, the station is titled Sphacteria and to tie it into the greater mythos it is owned by Weyland-Yutani. Clearly, that accident is going to be what causes the Xenomorphs to go on a spree, and he has to use everything at his disposal to survive. Flashbacks show us that he wasn’t always alone and I bet readers can hazard a guess as to what happened.
The style felt a bit more classic anime-esque in the vein of ‘Akira’ and other iconic works. The cover is a good example of what you’re in for, and this piece of space horror is self-contained so would be good for Alien, horror, science fiction, and survival fans.
I feel that this is the first MUST HAVE for ‘Aliens’ fans in comics from the past couple of years. The different style of artwork fits so perfectly in this comic book in a way that I never imagined anime would and yet now it is the only style I want to see an entree into the ‘Aliens’ comic book franchise in.
A solid pacing with menacing imagery will have your imagination captured from the very first panel. I can’t stress enough how enjoyable this book was and it is one that you just need to pick up.
If you’ve ever been curious about how the Xenomorphs could work in a comic book, this is one of the shining examples of how to do it right.
‘Aliens: Dead Orbit’ #1
Writer & Artist: James Stokoe
Dark Horse Comics
April 26th, 2017.
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!