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Aliens: Dead Orbit #3 Review

This is about as close as you can get to calling a single issue comic perfect.

After an unexpected hull breach caused a huge portion of the space station to break apart, Wasclyweski nearly suffocated while having the eyeballs practically sucked out of his head. Having passed out from the lack of oxygen, the lone engineer awakes to find himself cocooned in the Alien’s nest. The story is quickly winding down; let’s find out if it’s any good.

Dark Horse synopsis

Wascylewski survived the sudden breach in his ships hull, but is in no better a situation: he comes to, cocooned tightly to the wall under the surveillance of the twin xenomorphs. With only two hours left on his countdown timer and nowhere to go, he will have to pull out his final tricks in order to stay alive.

What’s the skinny?

“Out of the fire, into the frying pan” sums up Wasclyewski’s state of affairs. Having narrowly escaped being sucked into the cold dead embrace of space, the chain smoking engineer finds himself facing a death far worse than the one he just barely avoided. Upon awakening, the confused and terrified man finds himself unable to move, as he’s been encased within an strange alien cocoon. As if that wasn’t worrisome enough, one of his crew members is trapped as well and has been nearly swallowed up by the cocoon-like structure. But even worse still, the two monsters who killed his crew and captured him are slumbering a mere few feet away.

As Wasclyewski works on finding a way to escape, the ever present countdown watch on his wrist triggers a flashback to when the crew was still alive and were finally starting to understand the insane danger of their situation. From here we’ll learn what became of the last remaining scavenger crew member and how the space station came to be in its state of rapid deterioration.

What’s the catch?

You have to wait until August 9th to get your hands on issue four.

Is it good?

Start to finish, this issue is filled with truly amazing artwork. It would have been wrong not to include a sample of Stokoe’s prodigious talent in this review, but man was it hard to settle on an image to share. For the most part I’m not the biggest fan of two-page spreads. They feel overused as filler in today’s comics and for how short a single issue is, I expect more for my money. But this two-page spread is simply crazy. The amount of detail here is nuts. On top of that, the essence of the Alien franchise is perfectly captured; xenomorphs, darkness, anxiety, technology mixed with the dreaded cocoon-like structures and a human who is undoubtedly in the deepest of s--t. Mind you the image above is only pages two and three. From that point on you’ll continue to be gifted with images of graphic violence, humanity at its most desperate and spaceships blowing up. I’ve said it before about this series and I’ll say it again, at the end of the day if for nothing else, buy this comic for the artwork. It’s worth it for that alone.

Oh man the tension. The sweet sweet tension. Stokoe does a masterful job with planting the seed of dread and nurturing it along at the perfect pace. Between Wasclyewski’s current situation of being stuck in a cocoon with two scary as hell Aliens a few feet away, to the flashback showing the fate of the ship’s Captain and doctor, things are pretty damn bleak. As the reader you’re made to feel uncomfortable right off the bat and it never relents. You’ll find yourself wondering if you’d handle the situation any better as you watch the surviving crew members start to crack under the pressure of knowing they’re being hunted and have no means of fighting or escaping.

I feel bad for people that aren’t reading this comic and call themselves comic fans. It’s like saying you love video games and you’ve never played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is about as close as you can get to calling a single issue comic perfect.

Aliens: Dead Orbit #3
Is it good?
This is about as close as you can get to calling a single issue comic perfect.
Utterly amazing artwork. It's so good it's silly
Oh man the tension. The sweet sweet tension. Stokoe knows how to planet the seed of dread and grow it at the perfect pace
I don't think there were any big surprises left. It feels good to be wrong

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