- Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
- Art by: Julius Ohta
- Colors by: Yen Nitro
- Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover art by: Björn Barends
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: December 21, 2022
Alien #4 finds the Steel Team moving from one bad situation to a much worse situation when the Scavenger’s betrayal takes a heavy toll, and one Scavenger pays a terrible price for snooping.
Is It Good?
Alien #4 moves the plot from what was a fairly straightforward take on Aliens (1986) into a straightforward take on Alien: Resurrection (1997). Nothing good comes from human/Xenomorph hybrids. Nothing!
When last we left Steel Team on their ill-fated mission to Tobler-9, they learned the original egg hatched, spawning a whole colony of Xenomorphs. Steel Team enlisted the help of the Scavengers to find a new egg in exchange for a one-way ticket off Tobler-9. Unfortunately, the Scavenger aid turns into a double-cross as the Scavengers decide nothing Xenomorph-ish ever leaves Tobler-9.
Now, Steel Team fights for their lives against an onslaught of Xenomorphs while the Scavengers attempt to steal their shuttle. While all that is happening, Lee, one of the Scavengers, starts showing unusual symptoms from a strange bug bite.
Credit where credit is due to Johnson. The plot points may feel very familiar to the films, but the coat of paint is unique enough to give this issue a veneer of freshness. The characters have a unique voice/personality, the pacing and dialog are excellent, and the plot twists are thrilling.
That said, the familiar elements do feel repetitive. How many times can a rescue team get betrayed? How many colonies/worlds can Weyland-Yutani set up for destruction in a covert Xenomorph experiment? The franchise, as a whole, is stuck in a rut, so mixing and matching the players and worlds won’t bring anything new to the franchise.
Ohta and Nitro deliver the goods on art duties. The Xenomorphs are brutal and intimidating. This is the goriest issue in the series so far, with plenty of flying heads, limbs, intestines, and blood. And the action is fast-paced.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Alien #4 shifts from borrowing from Aliens to borrowing from Alien: Resurrection as the Steel Team now has to contend with threats from all groups. The art is gory and exciting, and the overall pacing is solid, but the general themes of the story are getting repetitive.