A good day to be an Aliens fan when Dark Horse finds some way to keep these stories going. Part of me really thought that this was it for Hendricks and Ripley after the way Aliens: Resistance ended. It seemed like their time had finally come and it was time to move on to other characters. However, you would only be half right. We did move on to another lead, but not without creating the anticipation in the possibility that Hendricks and Ripley found some way to survive that moon and the many Xenomorphs they had to fight off.
What surprised me about Aliens: Rescue is that we would actually switch gears to follow the kid who they saved. Who would have thought that they could have such an impact on his life that he would grow up into an elite Colonial Marine, and make it his mission to see if he can rescue them? When you survived the kind of experience he did, it is amazing that you would actually be willing to jump back into that madness. I know I wouldn’t, but Alec Brand here had the motivation to find his heroes again. While Resistance was never going to be the proper time to flesh out his character, this first issue was. In a short amount of time they did a solid job of summing up where he came from, the kind of family he was born into, and how he got onto that ship in the first place to have to outlive Xenomorphs. Just seeing the kind of planet he came from was cool for the exploration alone. Not all planets colonized out there are thriving or marvels. Some of them are just enough to get by day-to-day.
Now how he got himself to a position where he could find his heroes was enjoyable. For someone like Alec Brand, it takes work to pull off the kind of mission he wanted to undertake. You have to get your hands dirty, you have to make connections, but most importantly you have to get noticed. Even if what we saw of him as a marine was brief, it was also enough to see how far Alec had come from the last time we saw him. It made sense that he would also still have some fears about the past. I don’t think there’s a single character we’ve been introduced to so far who hasn’t been shook by an experience with Xenomorphs. The only thing they didn’t quite get into was the involvement of Weyland. You know they must have something to do with this. I hope that they don’t let that be ignored when that corporation is just as dangerous as the aliens they are probably still trying to capture through this secret mission back to the moon.
Only one thing I found strange leading up to the release of this issue, and that was why they seemed to hype up the fate of Amanda Ripley. Last I checked, she wasn’t the only one left on that planet fighting off Xenomorphs. They simply said Hendricks was making a return, despite her fate being up in the air too. Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, if you were waiting to actually know what happened to them? That’s something you’re still going to have to stick around for. I wasn’t really expecting to get everything in the first issue and that was definitely for the best. It would be a waste to call this Rescue if we moved that fast in only the first chapter.
As with most Aliens books, I had no concerns about what the interior art would look like. I don’t think Dark Horse has given us a book yet where the artwork disappointed us. Most artists they bring onto these books have a unique style, and know how to tap into the horrors we need to experience visually. While this first issue was not one of those to jump into the violence, we got to see where this art team excelled in other places. Namely when it came to drawing these characters, the settings, and even other forms of aliens. I was impressed by the level of detail that went into all of it. It also helped to have an inker onboard who could emphasize the shadows that you expect from a story taking place in space. Now I should say that the interior work wasn’t perfect. As with some #1s out there, things were a bit shaky at first, but everything cleared up by the halfway point in the issue. The colors I found interesting since for the most part they were pretty faded. Something you aren’t entirely used to in these stories, and yet there was still depth to find in them.
A solid start to this new chapter, and gave us plenty to look forward to as Alec Brand sets off to find his heroes. Aliens: Rescue #1 gets you asking a lot of questions, and that’s never a bad thing with these stories. Especially when this has been an ongoing story since the events of Aliens: Defiance.