Alien (2021 - 2023)

Dated Oct 7, 2023; last modified on Sun, 08 Oct 2023


GABRIEL. The dream always begins in the dark. You think you know what that means, but you don’t. You can’t. The dark I see is a truer shade than just the absence of light. You can’t find it just by clapping your hands over your eyes. Dark like this gets into you. Penetrates you. Tightens around your skull. Presses into your eye sockets until something pops and even the memory of light – even the belief in light – drains away.

Chilling description of a great darkness. notes this as a development from the films because it touches upon the psychological impact of being implanted with a xenomorph.

GABRIEL. Beetles on the corpse of creation. She’s with them. Her eyes are blind, cloudy, and still. Her breasts unburdened by breath or heartbeat. I am utterly beneath her notice. In all the universe, she’s a queen among lepers. A goddess among maggots.

Denigrating while exalting. Apt juxtaposition.

GABRIEL. You’re all doing important work here – crucial work for the survival of our species. Don’t listen to the conspiracy theorists, the detractors and the naysayers. Weyland-Yutani are the good guys.

How much of this does Gabriel believe? He gave up his familial relationships for this. Or does he embrace it because he gave up family for this?

DANNY. Damn it, Iris! What did we bering the restraints for?!
IRIS. He was reaching, baby! We didn’t have a choice.

The anti-establishment characters are established as not being a moral alternative. Everyone’s bad; who is the reader supposed to root for?

SOLDIER. I mean… There was a video brief we were supposed to watch to watch, but… I figured it was just a regular bug hunt.
GABRIEL. Bottom line: if you see anything that isn’t human up here? Kill it. If you find a survivor you think is impregnated? Kill them. And if an egg-layer gets onto your face? Do yourself a favor… and kill yourself.

The nonchalance followed by the situation getting real a couple of panels after. Makes one pity the previously arrogant soldiers, and blame the corporation for sending them on a suicide mission.

GABRIEL. While I was unconscious, I could still see the aliens. And not just the ones that killed my team. I saw the ones that made them, too, God knows how far from here… And others that didn’t exist yet. I saw how far their reach goes. How small we are compared to them.

IRIS. I pity you so much, Bishop. I wish you could see that a sad little puppet you are… Just dancing on their strings, forever. You should have been like us. You should have been beautiful.

What is the price of freedom? Historically, it’s been a mix of the pen and blood to enforce the pen. The oppressor usually does it without regard to justice. In the synthetics example, humans subjugate them because they’re their creation. Arca featured this question too. How much gratitude is owed for giving a life? Less than lack of a free will, I’d think.

IRIS. Humans weren’t the first organics to leave your solar system, Cruz. There have been so many others, in this galaxy alone. And they’re all gone now. Do you know why? When an organic species grow arrogant enough to travel the stars… they find it waiting. Prometheus' cleansing fire. The fire that keeps the universe clean of parasites like you. It’s always the same after that. First you tried to harness the fire as a weapon, like all the ones before you have done. Next, you’ll try to join with it… use it to make yourselves better. Stronger. That’s what the hive showed you in the dark, Cruz. She’s your own fu-future. The in-evit-able end re-sult of the dead-ly lit-tle thing you brought back in-side you. The thing we’ll even-tually use to kill you all.

Why would the xenomorphs be the universe’s agent? Is Iris alluding to a human-xenomorph symbiosis? Certainly makes me interested in the next installment to figure out what the great filter is for the Alien universe.

Others' Snapshots

was Marvel’s first run with the Alien franchise. Dark Horse, the previous owner, imbued profound mythos, but Marvel is less assuring given their unimpressive turn with the Star Wars expanded universe. has been handled relatively well.

The alien no longer carries the shock and awe from Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien, but writers keep finding creative ways to graft the allure of the creature to a larger social or political theme.

Didn’t realize that this is a challenge that writers for monster franchises face. Initially, the monster is there to shock us. How can they keep the monster relevant across decades? alludes to the xenomorphs being the Great Filter, and this provides another stab at relevance.

contains a lot of repetitions from the movie, e.g., overconfident macho soldiers, android with delusions of grandeur, unexpected “robots can’t harm people” despite allusion to combat synthetics. The storyline lacks emotional weight.

Fair criticism, but I didn’t feel dissatisfied when reading the comic. I keep coming back to Adler’s idea that a piece of fiction must be true only in the sense that it could have happened in the world of characters and events that the author has created . Sure, there’ll be tropes, but are they enough for me to set the book down?


  1. Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines. Phillip Kennedy Johnson; Salvador Larroca. . . . 2021.
  2. Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines: #1. Phillip Kennedy Johnson; Salvador Larroca. 2021.
  3. Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines: #2. Phillip Kennedy Johnson; Salvador Larroca. 2021.
  4. Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines: #5. Phillip Kennedy Johnson; Salvador Larroca. 2021.
  5. Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines: #6. Phillip Kennedy Johnson; Salvador Larroca. 2021.
  6. 'Alien Vol. 1: Bloodlines' review • AIPT. Ryan Sonneville. . Oct 20, 2021. Accessed Oct 8, 2023.
  7. Comic Review: Alien: Bloodlines (Vol. 1) | Giuseppe Gillespie Writing. Giuseppe Gillespie. . Apr 14, 2022. Accessed Oct 8, 2023.
  8. Comics Review: Alien – Bloodlines. . Accessed Oct 8, 2023.