Comic Book Review: Aliens: Defiance #7
The mission getting no easier for Zula and Davis. Both truly now feeling like there is no turning back, even if this means there literally is no coming back from this. Again Davis isn’t 100%, Zula clearly isn’t 100% and may be getting worse, then you have a scientist who simply is not well equipped for this kind of action. Aliens: Defiance makes you care so much more than you thought you could reading an Aliens book.
Finding out that Dr. Hollis somehow has a Xenomorph inside of her was one heck of a way to end Aliens: Defiance #6. Now finding out what she proceeds to do next was one heck of a way to start the next issue. She really adds her own layer of complexity to this story. We have Zula and Davis here who as they say are dead set on their mission. They know the risk, they know the consequences, and they understand the chances of their survival seeing this to the end. But now you have this Doctor who we are now questioning if she may be on the same page with these two. Well not entirely that is. What she decides to do next was as shocking to them as it is to us because complicated is not a luxury they can afford right now. These are the moments that genuinely grab your attention in Aliens: Defiance. That fear of not knowing what the future holds keeps you at the edge of your seat. Caring for these characters this much is what makes this book stand out from the others.
When the time for the procedure came, the suspense here was gut-wrenching. Doing what they were trying to do was easier said than done. Especially when you had a perfect picture in front of you of the gruesome process. When you feel the panic I felt during the moment where everything could have gone wrong, that is when you can tell yourself they nailed it. No twists, no deception, just the agony of grasping how far these people are willing to go.
Getting into the headspace of Zula and Davis at a time like this also proved vital. Engaging because as I posed these questions and challenges for them above, that is exactly what their conversations addressed. Smart writing for the fact that every decision since they went AWOL matters. The trust they put in each other, the trust they put in their bodies to hold out to see this through, and the trust they can put in their luck which can only get them so far. Zula is only human, and Davis struggles with feelings of humanity. It was actually quite shocking that through this ordeal we come to connect to Hollis better than we could have thought possible. What she herself goes through here puts her in the same boat with these two in some ways, and the right way to make the statement that the mission is pretty much everything.
Stephen Thompson is another artist to tack a crack at Aliens: Defiance and I have to say a very welcomed changed even if for just this issue. I can be a broken record about this sometimes, but change of artists can be an off-putting topic when it comes to comics. Sometimes too much of a difference in style can become a distraction. Stephen Thompson is a welcomed change for the fact that his pencils and style is fairly similar to Tristan Jones’. The best compliment in my opinion you could give someone taking over because that means the come in with a strong understanding of what we need to see visually from the story. For this very issue he did great for the focus he put on how far these characters have been pushed to the limit. The pain in their expressions, the fear in the details we don’t see from shading. What might have caught your eye most was probably the combined effort of Thompson and Dan Jackson on colors as they captured every detail of the group removing the Alien from Dr. Hollis. Between the detail inside her, blood and all, it was the right kick to make you cringe as it should. Especially knowing that the chance of survival doing what they just did was very low. It was quite literally a bloody mess, and that is the best way to describe the use of reds throughout this issue.
Aliens: Defiance #7 really is a must read. If you are reading any of the AvP books out on shelves, this one should also be on your list if you want a story with a strong cast and plot. This reads as organically as it should when you deliver characters who should and do see the big picture behind the encounters with the Xenomorphs.