Somebody’s Been Watching A Lot Of Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Written By: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
- Art By: Salvador Larroca
- Colors By: GURU-eFX
- Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover Art By: Inhyuk Lee
- Cover Price: $3.99
- release Date: August 25, 2021
Alien #6 concludes the current arc with an ending that could lead to a new and bigger beginning. When Bishop and Gabriel Cruz are knocked down (but not out) by Iris, her true motivations are made clear. With time running out, can Cruz and Bishop save Danny and themselves or will Iris sacrifice everyone to deliver the Xenomorph gestating in Danny’s body?
Was It Good?
I measure how well or not an arc concludes by a number of different factors, chiefly how well it answers all the questions opened up during the course of the arc. In this arc by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, most of the questions are answered in a believable way. It’s a relatively complete conclusion to the story that feels like the story is complete, even if the ending isn’t a happy one.
Where the arc falls short is in leaving some nagging questions unanswered. To be fair, it’s implied there will be a continuation and those questions could be answered at some later point, but these days, it would be a gamble to assume a series will be continued unless sales are stellar.
Let’s talk about the questions answered and whether or not the story worked as a result
When last we left Gabriel Cruz, Bishop, and Danny, they were shot down and laying at the feet of Iris. Listening in on her comms talk with somebody planetside, we can glean that getting her hands on a xenomorph embryo was the plan all along. In other words, the whole setup about a terrorist group indoctrinating Danny to its cause was just a big old dupe, and Danny fell for Iris and the dupe in one fell swoop.
While Iris focuses on her console, Bishop gets himself together enough to get up and attack Iris with one brutal hit that snaps her neck. You could argue Bishop is breaking one of the fundamental laws of robotics (“Harm no human”) but in this case, it works because Iris turns out to be… a synthetic. Danny has been triple-duped.
Cruz manages to get up and implores Bishop to flow through on surgically removing the embryo to save Danny’s life. Before that happens, Iris’s head continues talking to lay out how and why she created this disaster. A group of rogue synthetics who want to wipe organic sentience away from Earth, and her plan was to unleash Xenomorphs on the surface to kill all humans, leaving synthetics as the dominant “life” form. It’s an interesting plan but something that sounds like it belongs in Blade Runner instead of Alien.
Iris eventually dies (or deactivates), and Cruz again pushes Bishop to do the surgery. Suddenly, Ted appears on a comms console and tells Cruz that if he kills the embryo, he’ll crash the space station rather than leave survivors. Cruz decides to take his chances and he suits up to go outside and disengage the support pod from the rest of the station as soon as Ted turns the engines off.
Cruz succeeds in manually freeing the escape pod but not before the Alpha finds him on the stations hull, and the two of them burn up in Earth’s atmosphere fighting for their respective offspring. Bishop pilots the escape pod to the surface after successfully performing surgery on Danny and killing the embryo. And we end with a little teaser that another embryo may have made it.
All of that sort of works and there’s some emotional stakes around Cruz’s sacrifice for his son.
The questions that aren’t answered are the pieces that bring down the satisfaction of this conclusion. Namely…
Where did the Alpha come from? It doesn’t look like any xenomorph before and it’s bulletproof.
As Iris is dying, she explains the mysterious Alien woman Cruz sees in his dreams is the mother of all aliens or the source ala the Borg Queen from Start Trek: TNG. How did synthetic Iris know about the Alien queen, and how does she know about the Alien queen’s role in the universe?
Most importantly, why is Danny such an idiot?
All good questions. None are addressed, and what we’re left with is a mostly complete conclusion, some good art by Larroca, and unresolved plot points that may or may not get answered until some later arc.
Bits and Pieces
Alien #6 wraps up the current arc well enough by resolving the main conflict with a lot of sacrifices from the main character. The art is good, and the door is left open for the story to continue, but the conclusion here is less than satisfying because the questions raised about the Alien Queen and the Alpha aren’t fully addresses.