Weekend Reads: Aliens: Dead Orbit #1

Aliens: Dead Orbit #1, James Stokoe

© Dark Horse Comics

Aliens: Dead Orbit might as well have been called Aliens: Everything Horrible in Outer Space. James Stokoe has crafted a wonderfully unsettling, violent, and claustrophobic extension of the Aliens universe. It’s also absolutely gorgeous. Stokoe’s use of color cleverly conveys how vast and cold outer space is, the only real “warmth” coming from glowing electrical equipment, and one especially terrifying moment later on in the issue. I won’t go in to detail here, but it made me uncomfortable in the way a good horror comic should.

Aliens: Dead Orbit tells the unfortunate story of the crew of the Weyland-Yutani Sphacteria. Anyone who’s familiar with Aliens knows that anything to do with Weyland-Yutani goes horribly wrong very quickly which is  exactly what happens here. The crew of the Sphacteria is a ragtag bunch, but Aliens: Dead Orbit seems to have its focus on their chief engineering officer, Wascylewski. When the Sphacteria hails an unmarked vessel and gets no answer, the crew decides pretty unanimously to investigate, risking potential confrontation with raiders. What they find aboard the ship is infinitely worse.

I’m a huge fan of the Aliens universe, and have been for a while, so I can happily say that I’ll keep reading Aliens: Dead Orbit to find out what exactly is in store next for Wascylewski and the rest of the crew.

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Weekend Reads is a Friday column of The Nerd League featuring nuggets of wisdom on the literary world. Our in-house galley virtuoso tends to have the scoop on stuff before it’s even out. To keep up with this week’s pick click here.

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