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Dropping Like Colonial Marines: Aliens Life and Death #1

Written by Jacob Sailor on Thursday, September 22 2016 and posted in Reviews

Dropping Like Colonial Marines: Aliens Life and Death #1

In a world of xenomorphs, here is yet another reason to avoid space travel and serving your country.

Source: Dark Horse

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Moritat

Colorist: Rain Beredo

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Aliens: Life and Death #1 is the first of four issues that show us just how much it would suck to come across a xenomorph in the jungle. (Assuming you thought it might be fun.) In the opening pages we’re treated to a scene of Colonial Marines doing what they do best, getting absolutely slaughtered by a horde of aliens as they desperately fight to not die. The massacre doesn’t stop after a few panels either.

For the entire first third of the comic, the reader is left to just sit there and watch helplessly as marine after marine is picked off in waves of H. R. Giger nightmares. It’s pretty clear from the get-go that the marines aren’t even looking for victory, they’re just trying not to lose completely. When the dust settles and our protagonists are given a moment to breathe in the comfort that they’re not dying on that page, it’s hard to believe that any of them even have a chance.

And this is why Abnett did so well in the first of four issues of Prometheus: Life and Death. He took away hope. If any one of the marines we’re setting off with on this journey is going to survive, it isn’t obvious. No one is safe, and there’s an eerie dread running through the pages because we don’t know if the end of someone is coming or not. The marines are way too far up shit creek to hope for anything.

Artist Moritat delivers some character-driven artwork. The setting and the background sometimes have details, and sometimes they don’t. The focus tends to be on the marines and their expressions of horror and rage as they’re being slaughtered or as they’re watching people they care about being slaughtered. It’s a very intimate action comic, which is almost strange for something as over the top as space marines fighting aliens with acid blood. But nevertheless, it is.

Like Predator, Terminator, and many others, the Aliens franchise is a gift that keeps on giving. While the first two films remain the best installments of the cinematic offerings (sorry Prometheus, you were crotch deep in disappointment), the comics have been serving up a whole slew of tales to keep the mythos alive or milk the cash cow, depending on your levels of cynicism and love of Sigourney Weaver. With Aliens: Life and Death #1, the former seems the more likely.


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About the Author - Jacob Sailor

Jacob Sailor? More like Jacob Seamen, amirite? Anyway... Jacob Sailor is the author of She Sees Metaphors (written as Bryce David Salazar) and co-host of the podcast We Write Weird Shit. You can find out more about him at

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