Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Julius Ohta
Colors by: Yen Nitro
Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover art by: Bjorn Berends
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 7, 2022
Alien #1 (2022) begins a new arc, picking up in the year 2217, where a group of Synthetics is approached to stop an interplanetary disaster. There’s just one catch. The solution is on a world infested with Xenomorphs.
Is It Good?
This is better. This is much better. Philip Kennedy Johnson’s previous arcs in the run were okay to good, but the one standout failing was the lack of a new plot. The names, faces, and places were different, but the plots were ostensibly the same as in the Alien films. Now, we have new faces, new places, and a creative plot that adds to the Alien mythology with a clear focus and direction.
The bright spot in this issue is… the plot. Rather than fall back on Weyland-Yutani shenanigans that force innocents into a race to escape, we get a tried and true scavenger hunt where the risks are known up front (so far). The protagonists are interesting, their goal is clear, the stakes are high, and the motivations make sense.
The plot revolves around a group of Synthetics who’ve buggered off to form their own colony after Weyland-Yutani and the government shafted them by denying them citizenship rights from years of service. The military comes calling to locate a bio-medical device that can save millions of people. However, the device is on an abandoned colony overrun by Xenomorphs.
Simple is usually best. Johnson keeps the plot clear and simple without trying (as in the past) to add layers of subtext and rich character complexity that winds up adding nothing to the story. Admittedly, this issue is all setup with a bit of gory violence for good measure, but now that the niceties are out of the way, the arc is free to start running.
The art is quite good in this issue. Ohta has a masterful grasp on anatomy and fight choreography, so those talents fit this material to a tee. The facial acting is excellent, the character movement is outstanding, and the panel composition uses angles for maximum drama.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Alien #1 (2022) is a much improved and engaging start compared to the previous two arcs. The pacing is excellent, the character introductions feel right, the stakes are high, and the plot is clear.