Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Colors by: GURU-eFX
Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 2, 2022
Alien #9 redefines the term “union-busting” when a traitor among the Spinners is found out and reveals the true intentions of the last ship to land on Euridice.
Was It Good?
Alien #9 does something well, and it does it the same way the first arc (issue #1- #6) did it – Issue #9 captures the basic spirit of humans being chased by Xenomorphs for chills and thrills.
“What kind of critique is that?” you puzzle. I’ll explain. Comics don’t have sound or true motion, so they rely on tricks from artists, honed over decades, to stimulate the reader’s mind to hear and see what isn’t really there. The Alien film franchise owes so much of its success to the moody, atmospheric music, and the deceptively cautious camera movements. Therefore, the praise here goes to the art team for replicating the feel of the better Alien films in a familiar yet still scary way.
In short, the highlight of the issue is the art.
As for the story and the writing, it’s not bad but it’s quickly moved into a predictable phase of the story. The Xenomorphs are now known to the colony, and it’s a race to find safety or a ship to abandon the colony. Opposite from the art, the story is familiar but in a predictable and tired way.
That said, we do get a reveal about the “traitor” and why the Xenomorphs have suddenly appeared in the colony. The answers are not all surprising to anyone who has even a mild understanding of Weyland-Yutani.
However, the traitor’s exposure and Weyland-Yutani’s intentions are obligatory reveals but not the down point. The down point is how easily and quickly the entire premise of the Spinner religion is discarded once things go badly. We noted in the first issues of the arc that this new Spinner religion appeared to pop up too quickly and gained too fervent a follower base when it a) didn’t have time to develop, b) didn’t have one or more spiritual events to serve as its foundation, and c) didn’t contribute to the story in a meaningful way. When you look at the arc up to this point, you could excise everything related to Spinner’s religion and it would make no difference to the story at all.
In other words, the complexity and mechanics of trying to understand a new religion didn’t need to be here, and depending on the activity level of your headcanon, could have been replaced with something more impactful.
Where does that leave the arc? Now, the colony survivors are running for their lives as in every Alien film, so it’s up to Kennedy Johnson to pay it off in a fresh way. We shall see.
Alien #9 treads on well-worn territory in both the art and the writing. In art, the familiar tropes are a success because they hit the creepiness nerve in just the right ways. In the writing, those tropes produce an issue that takes the originality of the colony’s setup and devolves into formulaic territory. In short, this issue is a mixed bag of very good and very predictable.