Dark Horse Comics , the legendary folks who , for more than 20 years have released excellent companion pieces and even an alternate history to our beloved Alien franchise . Dark Horse have released over a dozen stories in their long history associated with Aliens . Some are silly and some are well written and drawn companion pieces that work in ways that some might criminally overlook .
Lets take a second to consider how and why comic books are a great medium that works alongside our favourite films .
For one , comics released in between films have always personally helped me stay focused on my obsession with everything Alien . They keep me interested , wanting more , and most importantly letting me know personally ” what works ” and ” what doesn’t ”
Second of all , I’ve always felt that the comics and or novels for that matter are the safest place for new and bold ideas to be explored . The ‘Music of the Spears’ is a great example of this , it’s completely out of left field and I personally wouldn’t be upset if a film version never got made; but on its own it’s very unique and entertaining in its own right . So take note Disney , I don’t think we need an alien film about a symphony of hate, lol .
Over the years Dark Horse have released some stories that I think with some expansion in regards to length could have served as the basis for direct sequels or standalone films in the franchise . ‘Aliens Salvation’ comes to mind . It’s unique in terms of setting and fresh enough ( at the time at least ) that it would have made a very exciting film . In my personal opinion it stayed very true to the themes of the first three films . It honours the source material while being different enough that it doesn’t come across as a boring re-tread of things we’ve already seen .
In the past year ‘Defiance’ and ‘Dead Orbit’ have been released and I couldn’t be happier . Dead Orbit perfectly captured the claustrophobia and that gritty ” lived in ” feel the first films evoked .
Aliens Defiance was a great addition , such a nice treat to open a comic and see things like the compression suit , the Muthur computer room , pulse rifles and just the overall aesthetic of the films captured perfectly . I absolutely loved the main protagonist. She’s moody , strong willed , and better yet flawed . I could not get enough of the supporting characters either . The story itself felt a tad unfocused towards the end or few final issues but after the extraordinary first few issues it was a lot to live up to .
I’m not sure what Disney buying Fox means for the future of Dark Horse’s long established history with the franchise ; but one can only hope that they can recognize the great works that have been done over the years, and that they stay associated with it .
I encourage anyone who reads this to give Dark Horse Comics a look if you haven’t already , the titles released as of late felt like next level stuff that deserves to be read .