William Gibson’s Alien 3 #1 Rewrites the Initial Alien Encounter for Communists

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ridley Scott’s 1977 sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien works because it is slow, atmospheric, and truly terrifying. Much of that terror comes from watching the various forms of an unknown alien species wreaking havoc on the crew of the Nostromo, who are, by all accounts, a bunch of blue collar folk just trying to make their way in a world run by enormous corporations. These working stiffs would have survived their encounter just fine were it not for the dispassionate, often robotic, interference of The Company. It’s Weyland-Yutani’s plant, Ash, that breaks protocol and allows Kane and the facehugger onto the ship, despite ranking officer Ripley denying them access. The first issue of William Gibson’s Alien 3, Darkhorse Comic’s adaptation of Gibson’s un-produced script for the sequel to 1986’s Aliens, revisits a very similar point of first contact with the alien, this time without a company stooge to muck it up. Continue reading

The Marriage of Star Wars and Horror in Star Wars 32

by Michael DeLaney

Star Wars 32

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Star Wars 32 is the penultimate issue of “The Screaming Citadel”: a curious chemistry experiment of blending elements of classic horror with those of a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars traditionally deals in the fairly broad notions of “light vs dark” and “good vs evil.” Here Jason Aaron decides to take George Lucas’s space fable of willpower and determination and put it in the face of darker sci-fi concepts of alien parasites, mind control, and vampirism. Continue reading

Belfry

belfry-1

Today, Taylor and Michael are discussing Belfry, originally released February 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: One of my favorite bits of trivia about the very first Alien movie is that the titular monster doesn’t appear in its full form until an hour into the movie. Even after this first appearance, the alien is on screen for less than four minutes total. This trivia caught me by surprise when I first heard it. After all, the alien scared the hell out of me and has become a symbol of sci-fi horror. But the dread the xenomorph inspires is precisely because of how unseen it is. Not knowing where, or exactly what a xenomorph is, is exactly why it’s so terrifying. These thoughts on Alien and what makes a good horror story were in my mind after reading Gabriel Hardman’s  Belfry both because of its triumphs and in shortcomings. Continue reading

Nameless 3

Alternating Currents: Nameless 3, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Nameless 3, originally released April 8th, 2015.

It’s like the goddamn “Exorcist” meets “Apollo 13”!

Grant Morrison, Nameless

Drew: One day, I’d like to write an essay defending allusions as the defining artistic device of our time. That’s not to say allusions haven’t been used well throughout history, or that allusions are ubiquitous in all contemporary art, but it’s hard to deny the prevalence of allusions in modern pop-culture, from sampling in hip-hop to the naked homages of Quentin Tarantino. It makes sense; allusions are the natural, artistic extension of the hyperlinks we’ve come to expect throughout our daily reading. In that way, remixes and pastiches are the distillation of our time, simulating the experience of living in an overstimulating world, combining countless inputs into one meta-narrative we might call our lives. Nobody does this kind of remix better than Grant Morrison, whose career is as much defined by his ability to reconcile unwieldy continuity as it is by his affinity for impenetrable density. Nameless 3 showcases both of those sides, meditating on a whole host of sci-fi inspirations before spinning into a wickedly self-aware web of confusion. Continue reading