Alien #1 (2022) is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Julius Ohta, colored by Yen Nitro, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Part one of “Icarus” takes place in the aftermath of a Xenomorph infestation of the planetoid Tobler-9. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation abandoned its “City of the Future” to the monstrous creatures. But now they reach out to the ‘Steel Team,’ a group of synthetic mercenaries who went off the grid, in order to retrieve a mysterious item. That item will not only turn the tide for a dying planet, but it’ll also bring Steel Team into the vicinity of a planet overrun with Xenomorphs.
This series marks Johnson’s return to the Alien franchise following the Alien: Revival miniseries. While Revival took place from the perspective of a former Weyland-Yutani employee, this time it’s putting the focus on the synthetics. Synthetics have been an important part of the Alien franchise, from Bishop in the first Alien film to David in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. And by writing synthetics who are former soldiers, Johnson continues the Alien franchise’s themes of exploring the ways capitalism will chew people up and spit them out. It’s especially damming in Steel Team’s case as they were literally made to fight and then tossed aside when they weren’t needed anymore. Johnson should definitely be commended for being able to switch between writing Superman and Alien and nailing what’s great about both franchises.
Johnson also keeps the dark tone of the Alien movies intact. The opening sequence, which takes place during the evacuation of Tobler-9, turns into a bloodbath as the Xenomorphs find their prey. Acid blood burns through weapons. People are ripped in half. And the screams of the dying soon fill the air. All of it is brought to horrific life by Ohta, who also shows how skilled the Steel Team is. Unlike regular humans, the synthetics can leap great distances and are obviously stronger than the average Joe. One scene even features a Steel Team member literally shattering a soldier’s helmet with a single punch. Though the Xenomorphs only appear in a single sequence, Steel Team’s badassery more than makes up for it.
Ironically, all of this carnage takes place in the bright, summery skies of the planet Europa-5. In fact, Nitro’s whole color palette is brighter than you’d expect from a comic about eldritch alien horrors. I’m not sure whether it was implied in the script or if it was Nitro’s choice, but this has the effect of adding an underlying sense of unease to the comic – which works in its favor. The only time the color takes on a darker tone is in the opening sequence with the Xenomorphs, especially in the lettering from Cowles. Their hissing is depicted as a long black string of letters that will send a chill down readers’ spines.
Alien #1 (2022) continues Phillip Kenndy Johnson’s Xenomorph saga, turning the focus on a new set of characters while keeping the same cutting commentary and horrific scenery. So far, both the Alien and Predator franchises have had an impressive start at Marvel. Here’s hoping it continues, or that it leads up to an eventual Aliens VS Predator revamp.
Alien #1 (2022) is available wherever comics are sold.
Alien #1 (2022)
Alien #1 continues Phillip Kenndy Johnson’s Xenomorph saga, turning the focus on a new set of characters while keeping the same cutting commentary and horrific scenery. So far, both the Alien and Predator franchises have had an impressive start at Marvel. Here’s hoping it continues, or that it leads up to an eventual Aliens VS Predator revamp.
Born and raised in Texas, Collier “CJ” Jennings was introduced to geekdom at an early age by his father, who showed him Ultraman and Star Trek: The Next Generation. On his thirteenth birthday, he received a copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 and dove head first into the realm of pop culture, never looking back. His hobbies include: writing screenplays and essays, watching movies and television, card games/RPG’s, and cooking. He currently resides in Seattle.