In Space, They Can’t Hear You Yawn
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 24, 2021
Marvel getting the Alien franchise is cool, and while I am not the biggest Alien fan (my favorite of the franchise is Aliens), I was looking forward to this book hitting the stands. Why? Because I am a comic book guy more than a movie guy and without the restraints of budget and such, I am looking forward to some creepy, sci-fi fun. Did we get that? Yes and no, and unfortunatley, more in the no column for me.
We open with a dream sequence that involves Xenomorphs and narration that reminded me of some of my back-in-the-day goth poetry. You know the kind… “My soul is a pit of blackness and she is the fountain of my despair,” type of stuff. Yea, I wasn’t exactly Oscar Wilde, but who is? This beginning seems to function only to get some Xenomorphs into the first issue because they are pretty much MIA from here on out.
We find out that all of this is part of our main character, Gabriel Cruz, ‘s last weekly meeting with the Bishop of Epsilon Orbital Research and Development Station before his retirement. Philip Kennedy Johnson is setting up many mysteries here, but I was not interested much in any of them without knowing this character yet. This is the first issue, so I know we will get more, but I need to like the main character, and I wouldn’t say I like Cruz. Cruz mentions his son back on Earth, and then we cut to what we can guess is him. Again, Johnson shrouds everything in a mystery, and we get another character I don’t especially like right off the bat.
We continue with a father and son reunion that goes bad and sets up one of the book’s conflicts. There is talk of family history that connects as much as overhearing someone talking on a cellphone while waiting in line at McDonald’s and again, we get another mystery. Cruz adds to all of this by keeping a huge secret from his son , but his son has some stuff on his plate that he isn’t letting on.
After another psych meeting with Bishop (local version), we end the book with a decent scene of terrorism or freedom fighting (depends on your pov) and the promise of some Xenomorph and possibly cloning coming up. It did pick up at that point, but it was a little too late to get me into any hunger for the next issue.
Alien #1 was a disappointment for me. It’s not a book that would typically be on my pull list, but I wanted it to get me interested enough to change that. This issue did not. The characters are not set up well and are just unlikeable. The story is full of hints and mysteries, without much to hook me. Maybe fans of the Alien franchise will disagree, but to me, this was just boring down to the art. I am a Salvador Larroca fan, but this isn’t his best work.
Alien #1 is a slow, disappointing start. Philip Kennedy Johnson and Salvador Larroca try to set up the atmosphere more than the characters and story, and it falls flat because of it. I hope it gets better, but such a dull start doesn’t make me want or need this book on my pull list yet.