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"Aliens: Dust to Dust #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Aliens Dust To Dust 1 00

Written and illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
Colored by Rain Beredo
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 25th, 2018

Review:

One of the most memorable aspects of the Aliens franchise is the life of young Newt.  Putting a kid into such a violent and terrifying atmosphere makes for some tense storytelling.  Aliens: Dust to Dust runs with that idea.  The comic centers on Maxon, a 12-year-old in the Trono colony on LV-871 as it’s under attack by xenomorphs.  He awakes to utter chaos.  His mom grabs him and they rush to get on an evac shuttle before they’re horrifically murdered.

There’s a catch though.  Maxon’s mom woke up a little differently.  She was sleeping soundly for a bit because she had a facehugger covering her head.  Of course, no one knows that this woman is a ticking time bomb, which just raises the terror all around.  When will the xenomorph bust out of her chest?  You know it’s going to be at the most inopportune time.  

Aliens Dust To Dust 1 01Aliens Dust To Dust 1 02Aliens Dust To Dust 1 03
Click images to enlarge

Maxon’s mom’s plight is heartbreaking.  She only wanted what’s best for her kid and took this job out in space to try to get her life together.  Now both their lives are in danger.  You can see how this weighs down on her as she’s determined to make this right and keep Maxon safe.  That is easier said than done with the madness going on outside.  

Writer / artist Gabriel Hardman definitely knows how to tell a story visually, creating some incredible images that stand on their own without a lick of text.  You don’t need to explain how or why the xenomorphs are ripping people to shreds.  Just seeing them doing it while Maxon and his mom slink away in the background is enough to underline the severity of their predicament.  

Hardman’s panel layout is brilliant and adds to the overall reading experience.  He knows just when to pull back and show a larger image, such as the reveal of a xenomorph stalking Maxon and his mom and when to zoom in on close, emotional shots, such as their reaction of escaping said xenomorph.  My favorite segment though comes during a car crash.  The panel shatters just like the window next to Maxon, breaking into a number of smaller, jagged panels.  It’s such a great effect and comes at a perfect time.  
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Although the colony is rather large, it feels suffocating as these two struggle to escape.  The whole place seems to be falling apart with smoke and debris going everywhere.  Colorist Rain Beredo adds to this feeling with some great shadow work.  This works especially well to hide the xenomorphs.  

Aliens: Dust to Dust takes a familiar concept and adds a personal touch to it.  Maxon is an innocent kid caught up in complete pandemonium.  Dozens of xenomorphs are swarming the colony and his own mother is about to give birth to one herself.  This poor child is about to grow up very fast.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Aliens Dust To Dust 1 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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