Comic Book Review: Aliens: Defiance #2
Aliens: Defiance had a strong start with a main character you want to learn more about and intentions you want to see further explored. A perfect fit to this growing universe having much to offer in the way of thrills and chills. We pick up on Aliens: Defiance #2 to see just how far Zula Hendricks and these synthetics are willing to go to protect something bigger than themselves.
This issue is where things start to kick off for Colonial Marine Hendricks and the Weyland-Yutani synthetics. They know what they need to do and they’ve set out to stop this threat before it can reach Earth. The threats of course being the Aliens. Having a main character like Hendricks again is cool because the odds are already stacked against her given her physical condition, yet she still has something to prove to herself that this won’t stop her. She is determined to get the job done, and doesn’t seem to entertain the questioning of her ability to do so. It creates the right kind of tension between her and the synthetics because one minute they can be allies, and the next minute they can easily go at it for seeing her as disposable. The best thing here is seeing that Hendricks understands the way things look, and why she was probably chosen for this job in spite.
With that said, her character development continues to be standout for the exploration of her determination as a colonial marine. If you aren’t too deep into the lore of this universe then it will be news to you to understand the struggles someone like her has to face as a woman and one of color. It doesn’t define her either, if anything it pushes her to be better. This issue is more important for the fact that it establishes her true fear, and that is to show weakness. In any world that is big for everyone, though for Hendricks that makes all the difference about her value to herself and others. Seeing her act on the will to not be seen as a liability is what makes Aliens: Defiance exciting. Hendricks was going to have to make a statement to establish right now that she isn’t the person to look down on.
The way these Weyland-Yutani synthetics are given personality is still what I find the most impressive about both the writing and art for Aliens: Defiance. At the core they are machines, but the way they communicate and react you are able to set that aside and look at them like regular people. They even share those few things that makes us all human, fear and suspicion. That which they show consistently when dealing with Hendricks.
Something I’m also noticing about Aliens: Defiance that some might not point out is the episodic feeling to it. The pacing of the story already makes it feel that way, though just the way things get started in each issue sets the tone for what’s to come. It is pretty much the signaling of something that is going to happen eventually. For the most part that credit goes to the art team and Nate Piekos as the letterer. Overall the art team for this issue delivers again for a number of reasons. The first is the way they capture Hendricks as our main character. The determination on her face consistently proving herself to be a badass. The pain she endures as she does so. The horror from the scenes created with the Aliens to make sure we don’t forget what kind of story this is either. Then you of course have the way the Weyland-Yutani synthetics are drawn. They have no emotions and share all the same face. So it can creep you out a bit the way they react to this situation and Hendricks. You don’t know what they are thinking or feeling unless they actually emote it. And even then they don’t leave you feeling very easy about their intentions aside from Davis. Aside from this the atmosphere is always key and Dan Jackson continues to nail it with his application of dark colors and shades.
Aliens: Defiance #2 made progress, though above all gave us some excellent character development from Hendricks. From the start of this you wanted to know more about her, and luckily this creative team struck a balance between delivering that, action, horror, and suspense. Perfect recipe for a memorable story.