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Aliens: The Essential Comics Volume 1

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These are the comics stories that kept fear alive. Since 1988, whether there was an Alien film on the horizon or not, Dark Horse Comics delivered scares that audiences demanded. From the depths of space, to bizarre alien worlds, and even to surface of our own dear Earth, in the pages of comic books there were dozens of sequels and spinoffs to the films, as well as original These are the comics stories that kept fear alive. Since 1988, whether there was an Alien film on the horizon or not, Dark Horse Comics delivered scares that audiences demanded. From the depths of space, to bizarre alien worlds, and even to surface of our own dear Earth, in the pages of comic books there were dozens of sequels and spinoffs to the films, as well as original stories that carried the monsters and the mythos to new heights. These are the Aliens Essential Comics--stories which have stood the test of time . . . and kept readers awake at night. In this first volume is the initial Aliens trilogy--Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum, and Earth War, in which Hicks and Newt--and eventually Ripley--join forces to battle an infestation of Aliens both on Earth and in the wider galaxy (all of these stories were written before the film Alien3 chronicled the deaths of the heroes of Aliens). Written by Mark Verheiden (who went on to write The Mask, Timecop, Battlestar Galactica, Daredevil, and many other films and television shows), and beautifully illustrated by Mark A. Nelson, Den Beauvais, and Sam Kieth, these stories are the perfect starting point for readers new to the Aliens mythos, and a volume to be treasured by longtime fans.


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These are the comics stories that kept fear alive. Since 1988, whether there was an Alien film on the horizon or not, Dark Horse Comics delivered scares that audiences demanded. From the depths of space, to bizarre alien worlds, and even to surface of our own dear Earth, in the pages of comic books there were dozens of sequels and spinoffs to the films, as well as original These are the comics stories that kept fear alive. Since 1988, whether there was an Alien film on the horizon or not, Dark Horse Comics delivered scares that audiences demanded. From the depths of space, to bizarre alien worlds, and even to surface of our own dear Earth, in the pages of comic books there were dozens of sequels and spinoffs to the films, as well as original stories that carried the monsters and the mythos to new heights. These are the Aliens Essential Comics--stories which have stood the test of time . . . and kept readers awake at night. In this first volume is the initial Aliens trilogy--Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum, and Earth War, in which Hicks and Newt--and eventually Ripley--join forces to battle an infestation of Aliens both on Earth and in the wider galaxy (all of these stories were written before the film Alien3 chronicled the deaths of the heroes of Aliens). Written by Mark Verheiden (who went on to write The Mask, Timecop, Battlestar Galactica, Daredevil, and many other films and television shows), and beautifully illustrated by Mark A. Nelson, Den Beauvais, and Sam Kieth, these stories are the perfect starting point for readers new to the Aliens mythos, and a volume to be treasured by longtime fans.

30 review for Aliens: The Essential Comics Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    MonumentToDecency

    To this day Alien is a reigning masterpiece. Multiple times it has been voted in the top ten best sci-fi movie of all time, including by the AFI. Alien has been the winner of Oscars, Baftas, Saturns, Hugos, and dozens of others. Even Roger Ebert gave it a solid 4 out of 4. In 2002 Alien achieved enduring greatness by being added to the USA's National Film Registry to be preserved as 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant'. That's some pretty good accolades for a movie about a 's To this day Alien is a reigning masterpiece. Multiple times it has been voted in the top ten best sci-fi movie of all time, including by the AFI. Alien has been the winner of Oscars, Baftas, Saturns, Hugos, and dozens of others. Even Roger Ebert gave it a solid 4 out of 4. In 2002 Alien achieved enduring greatness by being added to the USA's National Film Registry to be preserved as 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant'. That's some pretty good accolades for a movie about a 'space monster'. Fifty seven years after Ripley blew the creature out of the goddamned airlock in Alien, she joins a return expedition to LV-426 in Aliens. Ripley acts as an advisor to a group of Colonial Marines sent to investigate the Hadley's Hope Colony which had recently fallen silent. Only Ripley, Cpl. Hicks, and Newt escape. In Alien3 Ripley crash lands on a new planet, Fiorina-161. Cpl. Hicks and Newt are dead (*I'm irked beyond comprehension that there is an egg on board their EEV, how did a queen get an egg in there? How are there two Facehuggers in the EEV but only one egg?) Imagine the EEV didn't crash on Fury-161. Imagine Ripley, Hicks and Newt made it safely back to Earth. Ripley goes off and does whatever one does after fighting an Alien Queen. Hicks returns to active service. Newt, with no parents and suffering relentless nightmares, is sent to live in a hospital, 'obviously, for her own personal safety'. Don't you want to do the touchy touchy? Aliens: The essential comics Vol. 1 features three stories which all take place before Alien3. Let's have a squiz: Aliens: Outbreak (1988) is set 15 or so years after the escape from Hadley's Hope. A company (not The Company) is studying the xenomorphs on Earth in the hope, as always, of using them as a bioweapon. Meanwhile civilians are having dreams of their mothers, wherein their mother inevitably turns into an xeno. The civilians get it into their heads that the xenos are to be worshipped; they form the obligatory cult, and set out to visit the Queen at the facility where she is being studied because they believe she has been sending them telepathic signals. Aliens escape. Hell on Earth ensues. Meanwhile, Hicks, Newt, and the military are on a mission to eliminate the remaining xeno's on LV-426. This comic had a lot going on, three or four storylines at once, so the story was a bit scattered but it was ultimately enjoyable. Solid art throughout, though it was difficult at times to figure out who was who. The xenos were rendered beautifully. I loves me a good bit of xeno art. I also liked the appearance of the (not-)Engineer. I didn't like that Outbreak adds telepathy to the Alien Queens repertoire of beastliness. I found that to be completely ridiculous. So far everything in the Alien Universe has been realistic and believable: big bugs with nothing but a survival and reproductive instinct, with a constitution and biology different to what one finds on earth, there's nothing really unbelievable in that. Indeed, most of the elements of the xenomorphs constitution can be found in bugs and insects right here on Earth. Alien has never needed to depend on supernatural or inexplicable elements to further its story. The Aliens might be sentient but they don't think the same way we do. They don't know how to appeal to our emotion, the Queen's have been shown to understand threat but that doesn't lead to a possibility of telepathy. Nor does telepathic control explain how the Queen had the drones back off from Ripley and Newt at the end of Aliens. I seriously dislike the addition of supernatural elements to what, at Alien and Aliens, was a solid story. Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (1989) picks up where Outbreak left off. Hicks and Newt left the devastation on Earth on board The American (a Conestoga-class like the Sulaco) cargo ship. Of course xeno's are on the cargo ship and the ship is auto-piloting to … somewhere … Actually, we're never told where. annoyed Hicks and Newt arrive at a military outpost, where the quite insane General Spears rules with an iron fist. Gen. Spears is collecting and training xenos to return to and reclaim Earth, so to speak. He thinks he can teach and command the creatures through the use of fire as a threat. He thinks he has some kind of affinity with them. Did I say he's insane? By the end of Nightmare Asylum we see Hicks and Newt lead somewhat of a rebellion against Gen. Spears and his few loyal soldiers; the xeno's escape and kill a lot of people: Spears returns to Earth with as many xenos as he could fit in his cargo ship and learns the hard way that he knows nothing John Snow. Hicks and Newt grab an escape shuttle to get to safety. Nightmare Asylum has some bad-ass art that was a pleasure to look at. Newt's love story was fun too. It provided a different angle to appreciate who exactly the scared little girl from Aliens could have grown into and where her life could have led. And guess who finally shows up, right at the end, when Hick and Newt reach the 'oasis' of Gateway Station: Want to do the touchy touchy now? Aliens: Earth War (1990) is our last stop. Ripley has a plan. She wants to return to the xeno's 'genesis world' to capture a queen and take it to Earth. "Why, that's stark raving mad," I hear you say. Well, yes… it is and it isn't. This is Ripley we're talking about. The idea is to stick the Queen in a facility filled to the teeth with nuclear missiles, and wait for all the xeno's to come running home to mama. Then: KA-BOOOM The Queen in Earth War looks like … I don't even know. She's not well imagined. She has one set of dinky little arms like a T-Rex, and her head is whacko, she's missing her crown. Her body looks like an old beach ball. And she has weird tentacles on the sides of her mouth, not unlike a catfish. She kind of looks like a Bilby in an exoskeleton suit. Newt again gets her own side-story where she sets out to rescue a family trapped on Earth. It was nice to see her taking charge and being a grown up. The art hasn't stood the test of time too well. It looks very dated and, by today's standards we'd probably say, it looks rushed. It's a solid story though and I enjoyed it. With some tweaking I could maybe see this one as a movie. There are a number of elements throughout the three stories that have worked their way into the canon and it was fun to discover their origins - or maybe they were simply inevitable, but they don't come across as inevitabilities. I'm not going to tell you what they are. Go to the library, hire the book and find out for yourself. No spoilers, sweetie! Annoyments: Somewhere in these three stories, the last one I think, Newt talks about how the xeno's are basically pack animals and they can't really survive away from their mother. One of the biggest facets of xeno's is that they easily and happily work alone, they are solitary predators. I mean, you can't blend in for an ambush if there are fifty of you. Being in a pack reduces their ability to ambush their prey and increases the likelihood of potential hosts escaping. Powerloader does the touchy touchy Final Word: I liked that the three stories fed into one another, making a 350 page Alien epic. I also liked that none of it was canon, making it kind of like reading really good fanfic. With the exception of the telepathy, the stories were each a lot of fun and definitely worth a read for any Alien fans, especially Aliens fans. My rating: 3 very sore chests out of 5 *I accept that the Directors Cut of Alien included drones with the ability to reproduce using a cocooned prey. But then why add a queen? Life evolves by necessity, if the queen wasn't necessary to their proliferation why does she exist. Sure she might be able to create eggs quickly but the eggs are limited by location: prey must come, or be brought, to them. That's entirely inefficient and unnecessary if the drones can reproduce on-site and at will, ensuring they reproduce possibly faster than a Queen can lay eggs and at a wider spread. Also, cutting out the facehuggers makes the reproductive cycle faster, again, negating a Queens contribution to their life-cycle. Spare picture prize for making it this far, yay:

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ming Wei

    Basically these comics were written after Aliens (and before Alien 3) so the characters follow a different furture path than the fate given them by Alien3. Three storylines are included, (1) Outbreak (2) Nightmare Asylum (3) Earth War. The standard of artwork is very different between the storylines, in my opinion I was impressed with the artwork for (1) Outbreak and (2) Nightmare Asylum, and less impressed with the artwork for (3) Earth war. I found the stories pretty easy to follow and underst Basically these comics were written after Aliens (and before Alien 3) so the characters follow a different furture path than the fate given them by Alien3. Three storylines are included, (1) Outbreak (2) Nightmare Asylum (3) Earth War. The standard of artwork is very different between the storylines, in my opinion I was impressed with the artwork for (1) Outbreak and (2) Nightmare Asylum, and less impressed with the artwork for (3) Earth war. I found the stories pretty easy to follow and understand and it was enjoyable to see the main characters follow a different route. I have always been a big fan of Alien comics, and these are decent readable stories, includes everything you expect in a Aliens universe, the deadly creature itself hellbent of killing everything in its path, you have a mentally strange military leader thinking he can actually control the Aliens (Idiot), you have the company wanting to capture a Alien for their own weapon program. The book size is huge, the pages feel quality and not cheap, very happy to have bought it, well worth reading for any Aliens fans, no editorial errors, excellent attractive book cover, the internal layout within the book is clear and easy to understand. I enjoyed reading this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    This can't be canon due to Engineers looking way different. But was interesting the religion based on the Aliens and stuff. Was an okay read. This can't be canon due to Engineers looking way different. But was interesting the religion based on the Aliens and stuff. Was an okay read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Back in 1979, director Ridley Scott unleashes a fictional endoparasitoid extraterrestrial specie into the minds of millions of fans as they are seduced by the strange alien creature and its stealthy ways to eliminate trespassers. While what made Alien such a cult classic was its atmospheric and highly-suspenseful story-telling, James Cameron, seven years later, achieved the impossible and built upon Ridley Scott’s work and delivered an action-ce You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Back in 1979, director Ridley Scott unleashes a fictional endoparasitoid extraterrestrial specie into the minds of millions of fans as they are seduced by the strange alien creature and its stealthy ways to eliminate trespassers. While what made Alien such a cult classic was its atmospheric and highly-suspenseful story-telling, James Cameron, seven years later, achieved the impossible and built upon Ridley Scott’s work and delivered an action-centric sci-fi horror movie that continues to turn Ripley into the immortal and iconic bad-ass hero that she is now known to be. The explosive success of the franchise has then brought comic book writers and artists to create new stories and further expand the universe of xenomorphs before the world encountered the downfall of the franchise in David Fincher’s Alien 3. It is however safe to say that the cinematic universe continues to grow wonderfully with promising spin-offs and that there will always be a talented ensemble of writers and artists ready to explore the madness around these aliens like none other has done before. In Aliens: The Essential Comics Volume 1, Dark Horse Books recollect in a beautiful paperback the first four stories set right after the events in Aliens (1986) and before Alien 3 (1992). Complete in colour on carton-thick paper, this volume presents fans of the Alien franchise the opportunity to discover Mark Verheiden’s launch of the Aliens comic book series, including Outbreak (1988), Nightmare Asylum (1989) and Earth War (1990). Sequels to one another, the stories essentially follows recurring characters Hicks, Newt and Ripley as they encounter a crazed cult, confront an insane war general and go on suicide missions to stop the potential world domination by our blood-hungry xenomorphs. What stands out the most about this collection is how far the Aliens lore has been developed thanks to Mark Verheiden. This isn’t just about androids, aliens and space-rescue missions. Humans become the center of attention in the madness that follows the discovery of these creatures and the stories highlight the monsters that we can be during those particularly deadly times. Mark Verheiden also introduces whole new creatures into the lore and leaves us feeling smaller than ever in a universe filled with unknown beings and their own crusades. Unfortunately, some stories end up introducing too much without giving some of its better ideas time to flourish, especially in Outbreak and Earth War. It’s stories like Nightmare Asylum that shine in its ability to be focused and grounded that makes this collection worthwhile. However, a lot of the plot elements that were featured in the first two movies are also rehashed in these stories and fail to convey any originality on that front. In fact, it led me to believe that this was intentional in order to give fans a quick fix they have been craving as they lived in the unknown on the possibility of a third movie in the franchise. While each story was uneven in quality, the same could also be said about the artwork. As Outbreak was tolerable but sometimes odd and Nightmare Asylum was adequate and sometimes rightfully eerie, Earth War was wrong both in style and colours. The best part about this medium for this franchise is the opportunity to enjoy these aliens fully drawn-out in their majestic aggressiveness. Otherwise, most human designs are very basic and sometimes also quite confusing. In fact, in Earth War I had difficulty differentiating Newt from Ripley, which should never have been the case. While artwork might not be the forte in Outbreak and Earth War, Den Beauvais’ style does give you hope in the potential of the Alien franchise as a comic book. I’ll just have to see what the modern writers and artists have been able to deliver today now. Perfect for fans of the Alien franchise, Aliens: The Essential Comics Volume 1 does a wonderful job in recollecting the first comics book stories that ambitiously expand the Alien universe and throws back at fans some of the best tropes of the franchise. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    I remember hearing a lot about these comics as a teen, particularly Outbreak, the first storyline collected here. As the original continuation of the Aliens franchise, this entire book takes place about fifteen years after the 1986 Aliens film. As someone who genuinely loves ALIEN 3, I can still say that Outbreak is a much more epic story than Alien 3 turned out to be, but just about as grim -- the film's survivors are all institutionalized on page 1, and things never get much better for them. I I remember hearing a lot about these comics as a teen, particularly Outbreak, the first storyline collected here. As the original continuation of the Aliens franchise, this entire book takes place about fifteen years after the 1986 Aliens film. As someone who genuinely loves ALIEN 3, I can still say that Outbreak is a much more epic story than Alien 3 turned out to be, but just about as grim -- the film's survivors are all institutionalized on page 1, and things never get much better for them. I had to take a couple tries just to get through this story on its own, however -- there's just like a MILLION characters and different plot threads all vying for attention, as an Evil Government Scientist and an Evil Corporation and an Evil Cult are all fighting over a new Aliens-related discovery (of course) that will eventually kill them all (naturally). Also the aliens are psychic now or something, and there's a sociopathic supersoldier on the loose, and TV moves at hyperspeed and androids can be programmed to love and and and -- The point is that if Verheidan is anything, he's ambitious -- Outbreak is a stack of stories rolled into one. And while the aliens are rendered pretty well, the humans all look the same, and artist Mark A. Nelson isn't great at making clear scene transitions. So it's a hard and unforgiving storyline to follow, and that's only a third of this particular volume. The second story, Nightmare Asylum, picks up two weeks after the end of Outbreak. Our heroes have escaped a dying Earth, but everything is still terrible. It's dumb because it's called Nightmare Asylum, but hands down it has some of the best art you'll see in a comic from this era, and the reprinting here is beautiful stuff. It's also fairly straightforward, taking place in (mostly) real time and (mostly) just involving the standard action-horror of the original films. The third story, Earth War, works really hard to bring everything home, but draws the short straw in terms of reproduction -- it's mostly washed out and blurry, which is a shame because the art is by Sam Kieth, who normally doesn't disappoint. Anyway, if you want to read some Aliens comics you should read this one and not the upcoming Marvel collection, because Marvel broke all the creators' royalty contracts when they took over the license from Dark Horse. The aliens might be evil, but you don't have to be.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Still relatively new to Aliens comics but this trilogy was recommended to me by a friend so I checked it out. The three stories in this book pick-up after Aliens, the sequel to the original film and follow Hicks, Newt, and Ridley as they try to recover from the events that have exposed them to the Xenomorphs. What follows is a winding path of revenge, evolution, hatred, fear, and some kind of personal redemption. This collection isn't perfect, the third story begins to unwind and spiral out and i Still relatively new to Aliens comics but this trilogy was recommended to me by a friend so I checked it out. The three stories in this book pick-up after Aliens, the sequel to the original film and follow Hicks, Newt, and Ridley as they try to recover from the events that have exposed them to the Xenomorphs. What follows is a winding path of revenge, evolution, hatred, fear, and some kind of personal redemption. This collection isn't perfect, the third story begins to unwind and spiral out and isn't the satisfying end I really wanted. Nevertheless, this collection is a great start for fans of the Alien series who may want to try some of the comics that helped establish Dark Horse as a comics company.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This was a collection of stories I loved as a kid but most didn't hold up very well. There are alot of stories that heavily lean on the universe and get lazy with the writing and actual plot. This was a collection of stories I loved as a kid but most didn't hold up very well. There are alot of stories that heavily lean on the universe and get lazy with the writing and actual plot.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katerina Prokopiou

    Newfound respect for sci-fi stories. Way beyond the sci-fi this trilogy is about the fragility of human nature and the Stone cold, hard reality of how imperfect our societal structure is.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Krk

    For the most part, this was fun. It was nice reading Alien lore that predates Prometheus and Covenant, movies that I'm, unfortunately, not a fan of. Of the three stories, "Outbreak" is the weakest, especially art-wise. Everyone, but the aliens, are rendered in potato levels of detail and consistency. That said, I really did enjoy the ridiculous, yet logical, concept for the living "Space Jockey." He stood as "Outbreak's" only highlight. Art and pacing wise, "Nightmare Asylum" was my favorite. Th For the most part, this was fun. It was nice reading Alien lore that predates Prometheus and Covenant, movies that I'm, unfortunately, not a fan of. Of the three stories, "Outbreak" is the weakest, especially art-wise. Everyone, but the aliens, are rendered in potato levels of detail and consistency. That said, I really did enjoy the ridiculous, yet logical, concept for the living "Space Jockey." He stood as "Outbreak's" only highlight. Art and pacing wise, "Nightmare Asylum" was my favorite. The art is colorful and dynamic and the last panel featuring Ripley with a big damn gun was great. For "Earth War" I thought I'd not get used to the very stylized, 1950's futuristic inspired art, but it grew on me while reading. Overall, the story was good, especially when dealing with questions of trauma, identity, and revenge. The pacing in places could have been better, and I often found Newt's sections, while key to the story, to drag and be repetitious. Although, I did note some of the characters commenting on Newt as being annoying and repetitious, so this character trait seems like the author's self aware choice. I could ramble about religious themes, or questions concerning the Mega Queen's overall goals, but that's not what this space is for. So, a fun read, separate from the overwrought, intellectual, sillyness of the franchises' newest installments. I suppose I ought to hunt down the second volume.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ダンカン

    When James Cameron's Aliens was released in 1986, it was a sequel nobody knew that its better than the first. It was different, it was action-oriented and science-fiction has become a whole other level of entertainment. Fans wanted more and before 20th Century Fox release Alien 3 in 1992, there was the comics. At the height of it all, the 1980s and the 1990s comics has found a new kind of voice and with this new voice, they found a different kind of audience. So when Dark Horse Comics acquire th When James Cameron's Aliens was released in 1986, it was a sequel nobody knew that its better than the first. It was different, it was action-oriented and science-fiction has become a whole other level of entertainment. Fans wanted more and before 20th Century Fox release Alien 3 in 1992, there was the comics. At the height of it all, the 1980s and the 1990s comics has found a new kind of voice and with this new voice, they found a different kind of audience. So when Dark Horse Comics acquire the rights to release the sequel to Aliens in comic format, fans were thrilled and the released of Aliens issue 1 of 6 in July 1st, 1988, it became an instant bestseller! The rest, is history. I have been waiting for a collection that I wanted to get my hands on as I am an Aliens fan (shamefully, not the biggest) and I love most of what Aliens are. The comic books, on the other hand, another matter. After I missed out my chance to collect the omnibus editions (which I had heard the binding was bad), the re-released of Aliens for this edition was something I look forward to. Aliens: The Essential Comics Vol.1 collects the first three books (Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum & Earth War) that became the trilogy of the sequel that follows up from Aliens. Sadly, I was disappointed by its execution. The story is mediocre. It wasn't any thing mind-blowing nor explore much of the universe that started from Ripley Scotts vision based on a story by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. It was... boring. The first, which was Outbreak, had more words that can drive any comic book readers to become in a confuse state manner. There are too many things going around - a cult form over the alien sentient, a military corporation wanting the xenomorphs as a weapon, Newt (all grown up) felt abandoned and betrayed and lost and declared insane, Hicks, fueled with hatred against the aliens that killed his friends and a whole other supporting characters, which later made a mess of the whole arch. Then, the philosophy involvement of what truly happen that relates to the first movie, became a downfall to the first book. The sequel, which was called then Book II (Nightmare Asylum) is no different. The approach is a little less whining but the content is no different with the exception of the return of Ripley. Remember, this was still before Alien 3. Then came the final arch story with Earth War, and every thing else, falls apart. It wasn't a good closure but it was a closure that marks Mark Verheiden ending his trilogy. Art wise, only Denis Beauvais is worth mentioning here. I didn't like Mark A. Nelson and Sam Keith art work at all. The Essential Comics Volume 1 edition collects the first three books. The binding of the book is firm but its also easily creates a line at the bind. Paper quality wise is smooth. Its a book that's has its quality to savor for. Overall, I do like the cover and the universe of Aliens, even though the writing is terrible. This is truly a comic book trade paperback dedicated to fans who want more of Aliens.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eyes Of

    The Xenomorph was my childhood terror, yet I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever watched on film. It introduced me to a storyline I'm still heavily invested in, along with all its spokes that turn on an endless wheel, resurrecting themselves every decade or so. It brought me in touch with H.R. Giger and I began to see aliens everywhere. So, when I stumbled upon the comic series in the early nineties, buried in a shop that feasted on tourist dollars, I was elated. Yet, I ne The Xenomorph was my childhood terror, yet I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever watched on film. It introduced me to a storyline I'm still heavily invested in, along with all its spokes that turn on an endless wheel, resurrecting themselves every decade or so. It brought me in touch with H.R. Giger and I began to see aliens everywhere. So, when I stumbled upon the comic series in the early nineties, buried in a shop that feasted on tourist dollars, I was elated. Yet, I never finished it, losing touch with the story until years later. The Essentials picks up directly where cinematic Aliens left off in a way that was fitting. I never agreed with how the third movie opened, most notably with the loss of two favored characters. The comics turn that around leading the three survivors of The Sulaco on an intertwined tale that can only end one way: survival. I appreciate the range of art styles presented in one compendium, as well as story-telling flair. The last set, Earth War, was a bit rushed for me. The unexplained absence of a notable character is finally answered, but it's handled clumsily with that, "I ain't got time to bleed," bravado that missed the mark. I wanted more of a gut punch and reunion tears. Recommended for fans of Alien, Aliens, those who didn't quite like where Alien 3 took things, horror/sci-fi comic buffs, and it is good background for those who are attempting the new Alien RPG out from Free League Publishing. It's not core, but it is certainly for the Game Mother that wants ideas on how to change things up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Crossley

    The story line is dark. The story is told from the point of view from Newt and Hicks. Ripley is involved in the story as well but not until the later issues. The main reason I gave this a 3 would have to be the drawings in the last part of the story weren't as good as the first two books. Definitely worth the read though, this will help catch the story right up to the third movie. The story line is dark. The story is told from the point of view from Newt and Hicks. Ripley is involved in the story as well but not until the later issues. The main reason I gave this a 3 would have to be the drawings in the last part of the story weren't as good as the first two books. Definitely worth the read though, this will help catch the story right up to the third movie.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Noah Solomon

    Really captures the feel of the original two movies, and certainly better than the canon end for Hicks and Newt. That said, this collection starts on a high note and continues downward from there, ending in a kind of strange place. I won't spoil it, but read this for the atmosphere and the horror it captures from the original movies rather than expecting an incredible story. Really captures the feel of the original two movies, and certainly better than the canon end for Hicks and Newt. That said, this collection starts on a high note and continues downward from there, ending in a kind of strange place. I won't spoil it, but read this for the atmosphere and the horror it captures from the original movies rather than expecting an incredible story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Malik

    Here's a look at what might have been for the Alien franchise if wed never got Alien 3 and the films beyond. Ripley, Newt and Hicks would have had one strange trip indeed. Here's a look at what might have been for the Alien franchise if wed never got Alien 3 and the films beyond. Ripley, Newt and Hicks would have had one strange trip indeed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Interesting stories not quite what I was hoping for but not bad. Though I hated the art style for the third story

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jahir Hernandez

    Great graphics and storyline for Ripley and Newt.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Rigsbee

    It was nice to see these characters again. There are three stories in this volume. I enjoyed Nightmare Asylum the most. Some interesting ideas, but I feel nothing had time or space to be well done.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Brilliant artwork, and great visual storytelling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Book collector

    Volume one outbreak Ok, forget about canon. If you want canon then the movies are the prime source and everything else is extra. It's a lot easier that way. Why talk about canon? Because a lot of fans (not just of aliens but many other movie and TV series) are obsessed by it. For me the movies take precedent all books and graphic stories are extras. If I enjoy them, great. If I don't it doesn't matter. Which brings us to this book. It was a direct sequel to aliens (1986) and led into the followin Volume one outbreak Ok, forget about canon. If you want canon then the movies are the prime source and everything else is extra. It's a lot easier that way. Why talk about canon? Because a lot of fans (not just of aliens but many other movie and TV series) are obsessed by it. For me the movies take precedent all books and graphic stories are extras. If I enjoy them, great. If I don't it doesn't matter. Which brings us to this book. It was a direct sequel to aliens (1986) and led into the following two books in the comic series. Published in 1988 it features a continuation of the hicks/Newt characters after the events of the movie. Which was great. Until... 1992. Alien 3 is released and these books became out of date. There were novels based on this series where the names were changed and Ripley's presence explained. I like those novels and this first graphic novel is good. The story is decent if a bit strained in places (the comics obsessed about the aliens and dreams) but overall this first part is good. The art is strong and the writing decent. It's now a bit of a curio due to the movie history but a fun one. Volume two nightmare asylum Book two of the original alien trilogy from dark horse comics is a good story with great art. Now superceded by events in the primary films this is still an interesting read. The comics ran with the idea of the aliens using telepathy to influence humans and whilst it's an interesting idea it's an idea that wasn't fleshed out in the movies. I enjoyed this one on the whole though. Great surprise ending when it was first released as well as a major character reappears. Volume three earth war The third and final part of the original dark horse comic trilogy released between aliens and alien 3 is a good read. The story is interesting if a bit mad. The return of Ripley was welcome and incidentally the explanation for her return in the novelisations of these stories, which changed hicks and Newt into different characters and were set after Ripley's death in alien 3 was clever. On the whole it's a decent story, a curio now but still fun to read. Unfortunately for me part three drops a star due to the very poor artwork. It feels like an early seventies marvel comic strip in style and after the excellent art of the previous volumes it's very jarring. Newt for instance goes from dark brown hair in volumes one and two to blonde in this one. It's a style which doesn't work for me. However it is still a good read. Overall I enjoyed this omnibus of the original stories I haven't read for something like 25 years. I've read the novelisations more recently but it was nice to revisit these again. Good fun but remember that they were published between movies. 5 stars as the art of volume three whilst poor doesn't detract from the overall story too much.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mujtaba Moosavi

    I have a soft spot for the Aliens franchise. It was the first movie to truly scare the daylights out of me. Years later, I still find the plots intriguing, unsettling, and pretty frightening. This collection of three comics- Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum, and Earth War- tells the stories of Newt, Hicks, and Ripley following the events of Aliens (the second movie), which the subsequent movies either didn't cover or simply overlap with. The final comic overrides the Aliens 3 story line. This is becau I have a soft spot for the Aliens franchise. It was the first movie to truly scare the daylights out of me. Years later, I still find the plots intriguing, unsettling, and pretty frightening. This collection of three comics- Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum, and Earth War- tells the stories of Newt, Hicks, and Ripley following the events of Aliens (the second movie), which the subsequent movies either didn't cover or simply overlap with. The final comic overrides the Aliens 3 story line. This is because there is no official canon for the franchise, so you are free to pick and choose what you like as the official story. The story of the comics was suspenseful, providing just enough backstory to fill in the gaps and know what was happening. The stories are chronologically laid out, and the general dispositions and baggage of each character doesn't change drastically between the comics. And I mean Baggage. The comics covers dark concepts targeting the violent fragility underlying the human experience. I found they were paced quite well too, with action taking place at the right moments to keep the aliens a menacing threat in the readers' minds. Being a rather old collection of comics, I found the art style of the first and last to be somewhat dated, though I chose to see that in a positive light. Yet, I really did enjoy the dark, moody art style of Nightmare Asylum, which significantly contrasts the muter tones of the other two. Definitely worth the price tag in my opinion and I do recommend for any fans of the series who haven't yet check out the comics. I will definitely pick up Vol.2 insha'Allah.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maciej

    Aliens to nic innego jak zbiór kilku tomów uznawanych za kluczowe historie z komiksowego uniwersum Obcego. Niestety wybór nie przypadł mi do gustu. Poznałem już tytuły wchodzące w ten omnibus “The Essential” wcześniej (jako osobne tomy) i nie są one w żadnym stopniu przełomowe, a jakość rysunków ma wiele do życzenia. Tylko dla prawdziwych fanów serii. na skalach: goodreads: 3,3/5 lubimyczytać: 6,6/10 u mnie: 66/100

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Bad call? These people are dead Burke! You're not going to smooze your way out of this one you hear me. Right to the wall! Loved it as much as the films. Bad call? These people are dead Burke! You're not going to smooze your way out of this one you hear me. Right to the wall! Loved it as much as the films.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Asif

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lalo Gonzales

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rick Deckard

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Kropp

  27. 4 out of 5

    William Murray

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Webb

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grace Hogan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steven Brodbeck

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