Aliens: Life and Death # 1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Dan Abnett
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Cover Artist: David Palumbo
Review by Anelise Farris
Dan Abnett has done a seriously impressive amount of work both in comics and science fiction, so it should come as no surprise that his comic book series Life and Death—which brings together three beloved franchises—has been such a success. Life and Death is an ongoing crossover event that began in March 2016 with the 4-issue release of Predator: Life and Death. This was followed by the 4-issue release of Prometheus: Life and Death which began in June, and now, come September, readers will begin the 4-issue release of Aliens: Life and Death. When Aliens: Life and Death comes to a close in December, a 4-issue release of Aliens vs. Predator, although not officially announced yet, is anticipated.
Aliens: Life and Death #1 picks up right after Prometheus: Life and Death and the deadly battle between the Colonial Marines and the Engineers. Now, the group of surviving Marines is scattered around the moon LV-223; wounded from battle, they are left with no time to recover or regroup as a hive of Aliens descend.
The first half of the issue is relentless action (in the best way possible)—panel after panel of aliens snatching up people from Freebody’s group. It’s a dizzying and chaotic situation, and the art communicates this effectively. And then we see Sergeant Roth, alone and separated from the group, in a striking full-page image comprised entirely of different shades of gray. As Roth tries to find Freebody and what’s left of his group, the arrival of a tank makes rescue seem possible, but only time (or subsequent issues) will tell!
Buy it! This is a fantastic sci-fi/horror comic with a whole lot more going for it than just ruthless action. In just this first issue, we see the characters wrestling with the trauma of their situation and the shock of seeing their loved ones die. While you don’t have to have read the other 4-issue sets in the Life and Death series to appreciate this comic, I do recommend at least reading plot summaries of the previous issues so that the storyline makes more sense. Like I said, we jump right into the action following Prometheus: Life and Death #4. In all honesty though, how can you resist your favorite sci-fi horror franchises all coming together in one comic book series?