Another Dark Horse Aliens story has reached it’s conclusion. Since the relaunch of the series with Fire and Stone this is the first time a story did not leave much of an impact unfortunately. Time for a quick overview.
Mason (Max) is the center of the story. While traveling with his mother, his finds his home under attack by an army of Xenomorphs. In an attempt to escape, Max’s mother gets impregnated, birthing a beast on the escape craft leading to a crash. And such, a battle for survival begins.
Gabriel Hardman does an absolutely fantastic job pulling double duty as a writer and artist. Each panel is gorgeously drawn, with a style that is completely unique. It does a fantastic job of drawing you in. It’s also well written, no dialogue is awkward or forced. Well done all around.
When the ship crashes, Mom-Xeno survives, losing an arm climbing out of the wreckage. Max gets it in his head that Mom-Xeno won’t kill him because of where the alien birthed from. Children sure have quite an imagination don’t they? The story in a nutshell, is your basic survival tale. While not as ambitious as other comics, it works. The art and the action really keep you hooked. You’ll root for some of the survivors, while wanting to throw the facehuggers at others.
There is a great bit at the end with Max and a wounded Company synthetic, he tells Max to cut his head off so he can assist him escaping. Whom of course reveals in the end that their home was nothing but a test area for the aliens. They were there all along. Oh Weyland-Yutani, you’re so sneaky! Yes, it’s been there done that, but I always enjoy seeing how evil they truly are.
And the ending? Well. Remember Max’s theory? As he’s trying to escape to a shuttle to get off planet, a Queen makes her grand entrance. So here I’m thinking that there will be no happy ending for the kid. This is the Alien universe after all, no one lives happily ever after. If he’s going to join his mom, it’ll be in death. But…no…as he’s approaching the queen Mom-Xeno actually attacks the Queen allowing for her son to escape.
First off, I give tremendous credit to Hardman for trying something new. It takes some serious guts to mess with lore and mythology in an established franchise. But the alien retaining the mother’s emotions just did not work. Points for trying, but it took away from all the quality that was done prior.
A solid survival story with a questionable ending. Worth it alone for the artwork and action.
Score: 6 out of 10 Facehuggers