Review by Nick Banks
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Tristan Jones
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: May 25th, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10
Synopsis: Wood and Tristan continue their excellent entry in the revived Dark Horse Comics Alien’s franchise in issue two of Aliens: Defiance.
Our thoughts: This issue picks up exactly where issue one’s excellent storyline left off. Hendricks, still suffering from her physical and psychological injuries, struggles to keep up with the synthetic Davis One as they explore an abandoned ship in space. Aside from the Xenomorphs, the most consistent “alien” characters to appear in the Alien franchise, both on the film and comic book side, have been the corporate androids. They have been used as villains, courageous misfits, and cold, clinical scientists. The Davis characters follow in this long tradition and Davis One in particular harkens back to Ash from the original Alien film. However, unlike Ash who admired and connected to the hive-mind beasts, Davis instead seeks to eradicate them.
Wood is capable as always handling multiple character types and the interaction between them. Hendricks (who bears many traits of the wounded war veterans of today) has the dual struggle of a long history of compensating for her gender and size among her fellow Colonial Marines and a natural distrust of androids that are both physically and intellectually superior to her. This dynamic, along with the cinematic storyboard quality of Jones’ artwork make for a compelling and exciting story. Fans of the first two films and the original DHC adaptations will feel right at home in this new expansion of this mishandled franchise. Who knows where the cinematic universe will go in coming years, but it is safe to say that at least Dark Horse’s license is in good hands with Wood and Tristan.