The first issue of Aliens: Rescue #1 was a solid re-introduction to Alec Brand. In the previous book we knew him as just another survivor, but now he is being set up as someone who can now also step up in this universe to a higher calling like Amanda and Zula. Not a lot of answers did we get from the first issue, though that’s not a bad thing when we needed to be given a reason to anticipate what comes next. Especially when it comes to missions in these stories which never seem to go according to plan.
With this second issue they wasted no time at all jumping into the actual team-up with Amanda Ripley, Zula Hendricks, and Alec Brand for this new mission. They gave us the impression that this would happen in the first issue, but it was better that this happened in the second issue after getting to know Alec. How this creative team jumped right into their encounter this issue was also smart for the sake of pacing because these are the kind of stories where you want to be quick to getting down to brass tacks. None of these people are scientists, which means your expectation is the standard kind of briefing, and then moving forward. With that said, their meeting itself was handled well enough. This was never going to be a big thing, but it still mattered to show how the rare survivor can actually run into the one(s) who saved them.
Now for all the hype they put towards the fate of Amanda and Zula, I can’t say that our patience was all too rewarded. I was expecting them to actually give us a scene visually showing what happened after that last page in Resistance. This could have just been one page to satisfy those of us who jumped into this mainly for their return, but this didn’t feel like the thing that they needed to rush through or go through so casually.
Where they did good was that there was at least a solid focus on revealing the mission at hand, and what is at stake this time around in contrast to their time on the moon. How the situation changed from the mission on the moon was intriguing because we would have all assumed the threat of the Xenomorphs would have been contained there. The worst case scenario will always be what happens when you give them more room to roam free, and this was that scenario. With that said, the core mission still stays the same, because at the end of the day this is Aliens. It would be a different story altogether if the main objective isn’t to destroy as many of these things as possible.
In terms of character development, it did stand out that they took the opportunity this time around to establish Alec’s true motivations. Getting to Amanda and Zula was always going to be the first step. The second step is confronting the monsters that initially put him through the nightmare he experienced on that moon. The events of this issue put him in the right state of mind for better or for worse.
Having another issue to take in the interior work from this art team, it was easier to assess where they do best. When it comes to Aliens stories, you will either have an art team which excels all-around, or they are good at rendering some things better than others. In the case of this team, it seemed like they were at their best when it came to drawing stations, interior structures, weaponry, and the Xenomorphs themselves. Great detail from all of those things, which gave you the impression that they were more comfortable with inorganic objects and things inhuman. The work with the characters was okay at best. Nothing that really jumps out at you, though good enough that you can still be sold on a scene where expressions and reactions matter.
Overall, Aliens: Rescue #2 was a solid transition into what comes next for Alec when he meets his heroes and gets up to date on the mission. There were some places where they could have given us a little more, but there is always time to make up for this when we know that no mission ever goes so smooth.