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Alien #1 (2023-2024)
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Alien’ #1 (2023-2024) review

Under the stalwart stewardship of Shalvey and Broccardo, this once sinking Sulaco now charts an optimistic new course for the stars.

Following decades of Dark Horse produced Alien comics, Marvel Comics’ run on the franchise got off to a bit of a rocky start. Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s tenure on the title included three six-issue story arcs (BloodlinesRevival and Icarus respectively) and the one-shot Alien Annual (2022) that, while responsible for introducing a few original concepts to the well-trodden IP (namely the his “Goddess/woman in the dark”), were met with a lukewarm reception from longtime readers. Conversely, this year’s Alien: Thaw by writer/artist Declan Shalvey (Moon KnightDeadpool) and illustrator Andrea Broccardo (X-Men: Curse of the Man-ThingWonder Woman: Agent of Peace) represented a much-needed course correction. With issue #1 of Alien: Descendant, Shalvey and Broccardo return to deliver their anticipated direct follow-up to Thaw.

'Alien' #1 (2023-2024) review

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In this first of what’s to be a four issue arc, we’re reintroduced to Zasha Zahn, now a grown woman working for the nefarious Weyland-Yutani corporation. Currently traveling under the pseudonym Cole, our plucky, pink-haired protagonist is tasked with returning to Cocito outpost (formerly The Keg) on the ice moon LV-695, the corrupt company keen on her leading a salvage expedition to retrieve their sunken Conestoga class military vessel, the USCSS Boreas. Beneath the ship’s murky hull harbors the lucrative yet lethal xenomorph. But Zahn didn’t return to this frozen wasteland merely to meet her corporate requirements. Zahn has other priorities in mind, namely to locate the scrapped remains of Dayton, a synthetic human who represents the only family she has left. But can she accomplish said task before the dreaded alien and its arctic hybrid close in and kill her and her crew?

Alien: Descendant shares a trait or two with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. A recovery expedition to a barren alien planet, privately funded by one of the company founder’s family namesakes (this time Jun Yutani as opposed to Peter Weyland, both pulling strings from the comfortable confines of their detachable spacefaring yachts). The story’s setting, a snowbound outpost surrounded by ice, is also reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing (and dare I say there’s even a dash of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness). Our heroine Zahn/Cole functions remarkably well as an amalgamation of Amanda Ripley (coping with the absence of her mother) and Rebecca “Newt” Jorden (a survivor who was forced to contend with the xenomorph as a young child). Under the stalwart stewardship of Shalvey and Broccardo, this once sinking Sulaco now charts an optimistic new course for the stars.

Alien #1 (2023-2024)
‘Alien’ #1 (2023-2024) review
Alien (2023-2024) #1
Under the stalwart stewardship of Shalvey and Broccardo, this once sinking Sulaco now charts an optimistic new course for the stars.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
The story features an innovative new heroine reminiscent of both Amanda Ripley and Newt.
The setting and premise evoke the likes of Prometheus and The Thing.
Art courtesy of Broccardo and Shalvey is top notch.
I have yet to be convinced that this arctic xeno variant brings anything new to the table.
8.5
Great
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