I’ve been working my way through the excellent 8 disc Alien Quadrilogy box set as of late. Every film in the franchise is so distinct yet it manages to tie-in to an overall story structure, which is impressive. This year is the 30th anniversary of the first Alien film by Ridley Scott and to celebrate, long-time holders of the franchise in comics form, Dark Horse are releasing a new Aliens series. Written by John Arcudi (who also launches next month’s new Predator series), with art by newcomer Zach Howard, I was impressed by this premiere. It wasn’t until the last page that I realised, very little of the aliens were shown, yet I didn’t care. Arcudi creatively introduces us to a new crew and in a shock that made me laugh with its audacity, dispatched them all in a swift bloodbath. With its references to the events on the planet LV-426, where the first two films were set, it may very well become more closely linked with the mythos. It looks great, and as always in any Aliens story, the humans are the main players and there’s a scientific/military conspiracy at play, but this is only set up here.
Howard’s art is is clean, yet murky and dark when it needs to be. I suspect this tale may read better in completed Trade form as the plot appears disembodied at this point. Not being a huge fan of licensed properties in comics however, this bold entry made an impression. Go here for a neato preview of this issue.
Olypmus is a new 4 ish mini from Image. Written by Nathan Edmondson with art supplied by Christian Ward, it’s focused on two brothers who are now eternal, thanks to the greek god Zeus. It reminded me of another new series by Image, the great Viking. That series also has two brothers coming to grips with the warring world around them and is daring in its visual approach. Whereas that tale is gritty and medieval, Olympus is light and sleekly modern. Some may be turned off by Ward’s art, which is kind of like Tommy Lee Edwards (who supplies the variant cover) in it’s sparseness, but it works well within the rambling, yet coherent, nature of the story.
It starts brilliantly with Pollux and Castor casually shooting each other at a New Year’s celebration, before flashing back to the pair chasing the winged Hermes and his staff through the city streets. Most of the dialogue is centred on leaving Olympus, what immortality really means and defying the gods, but it never appears as high-falutin’ exposition. The brothers aren’t really immortal apparently, but they do get a free vacation every year in the underworld, ie, where you and I reside. This is a refreshing take on Greek mythology and the crazy shenanigans that go with it. It’s the pared down concept of Blade Runner with a healthy does of mythology, and the extra pages consisting of Ward’s sketches and a well written prose piece assumedly by Edmondson complete this ably crafted adventure. This series is off to a grand and rollicking start.
Preview of this issue here.
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