Aliens: Defiance #9 Review

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Posted January 26, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: Brian Wood

Art by: Stephen Thomson & Dan Jackson

Publisher: Dark Horse

We’re 9/12 issues into Aliens: Defiance and I’m pretty much out of things to say on the matter. It’s still good, and no one is shocked. Hell, I wasn’t going to review this one except Brian Wood managed to do something I loathe in comics well, and I figure he deserves a few paragraphs for being an excellent writer.

Though once again, no one is shocked.

Whenever I see a comic filled with words, I get nervous. Words are bad in this medium. The artwork is there for a reason, and usually a well-drawn face can tell everything that needs to be said. For the most part, Aliens: Defiance has had the right amount of words on every page with one or two exceptions. Zara will break into her internal monologue on occasion, but it’s never overbearing like a bad DC comic.

#9 is a bit different. Zara does a lot of thinking this issue, and there are a lot of words. What’s awesome is that it works really, really well.

See, the difference is that Brain Wood’s internal monologue isn’t a vomit of facts but of subtle characterization. Zara is stuck between two choices: kill the alien or give it up for her freedom. The more time she spends on the derelict ship in constant back pain, the more she wants to leave. So when a group of pirates show up to rob the place and she’s forced into another battle, her mind is on other things.

Gunfire. She’s obsessed with leaving, of giving up, and she’s feeling guilty about it. Gunfire. Will Davis be upset with her? Gunfire. What about the alien? Gunfire. It would be so nice to be home. Gunfire.

It’s a wonderful way to tell two dramatic sequences at once, introspection overlaying brutal action.

And props to the art team for making the action still feel frantic and violent while also working around the mass of word bubbles. Like normal, this comic looks great, but here it feels more like a well put together puzzle. Also, the blood! So much blood.

Alien: Defiance is an amazing Alien series. I’ve said this a bunch of times now. I’ve purchased the first volume. I’m out of things to say, so unless #10 and #11 really do something amazing or awful, I’ll probably skip reviewing them. I can only gush so much before it feels like I’m being a fanboy (which I am) or disingenuous (which I’m not).


About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.