Zula Hendricks is the lone human amongst a team of Weyland-Utani Security Drones investigating a derelict ship on behalf of the company. Surely nothing can go wrong in this scenario, right? What they find on the Europa is of course a hive of nightmare creatures, the crew all caught up in a nursery of organic webbing.
Aside from being totally unprepared, making matters worse is Hendricks’ recent injury, something catastrophic that affected legs and spine and leaves her not quite in top form for a deadly threat. And before we get too deeply into that her suit is compromised and she passes out, waking up nearly a month later with only one of the Mechs still in charge.
He reports that he has cleared the aliens, losing 8 of 14 mechs in the process, and that she was placed in stasis to heal. They are also off course and AWOL, having transferred to the Europa. Because the new nameless leader has realized Weyland-Utani was still (as always) trying to acquire the creatures, and he thinks it more prudent to go to their source and wipe them all out. This is going to be a long and dangerous series, if all we’ve got is one marine and 7 robots against xenomorph hordes.
In a way, it’s sort of like the way things ended in Prometheus, with one woman (who birthed a monster) and one synthetic head heading off to ponder the infinite. Only no sign of any religious missteps yet in this solid first issue. Jones’ art has a reedy, European flair that owes just a little to Moebius, and Jackson’s colors go a long way to add drama and flair to the subdued, slightly deadpan art.
The team of synthetic and female soldier certainly feels familiar, a riff on the 2nd and 4th films, though tech looks firmly planted in the first one. The grim mood gives us a bit of the 3rd film as well. We even see Amanda Palmer, the daughter Ripley left behind, as one of Zula’s nurses. So all the pieces are in place, but it remains to be seen if Dark Horse has anything new to add to the franchise this time out. Last year’s Prometheus era series were hit and miss, and also relentless downers. I’d love for this one to at least rack up a few wins.