Aliens: Dust to Dust Review

Posted April 24, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Gabriel Hardman

Art By: Gabriel Hardman & Rain Beredo

Published By: Dark Horse

At this point, I’ve reviewed like three dozen Alien books over the years, perhaps more. I know the franchise inside and out, and I know the twists and turns we can expect. I know that almost every comic uses the chest bursting as a bad surprise, and I know that I’m sick of it. Aliens: Dust to Dust does a lot of things I know. I’m sick of it.

Our plot is a mother and her kid Maxon wake up in the night to a Xenomorph attack. They’re afraid and confused, and well I’ll be damned, the mother is facehugged. Step two is to evac the place before they die. The entire comic is step two. Step three is the reveal I’m sick of, which isn’t a spoiler because we all know it’s going to happen. The only people that don’t are the mother and kid, because god forbid we have an Alien comic where the characters know what’s going on.

There honestly isn’t much to talk about here, so I let’s go in a different direction. What would have made this comic work real well?

Well, I’d have liked to see a hyper-slow, hour-by-hour escape with the mother and child making their way through this city under siege. The entire series is this escape, one that spans, say, six hours. Six issues, one for each hour. Maybe the first issue is mostly packing and confusion, and while that’s not interesting, it would allow for some character work. Who is the mother? Why is she here? What’s with her kid? Does he have a personality? I bet he does!

And throughout this six issue run, we the reader will know how it will end: The mother will die. Maybe she knows this too, and so she’s making the most of her last few hours. We’d get six intimate issues with these two characters until the very end when one of them pops.

Is it dark? Yeah. Does it tread too far into nihilism? Yeah. Has it been done before? Not that I’ve seen. It’s something, and you damn well know that by issue three, we’ll have grown attached to this mother/son pairing and forgotten about her little run-in with the chest burster. It’s all about the present because that’s all the book is. That pop will be a surprise.

Or maybe don’t have her pop. Find a guy to take it out. I don’t care, just you know, do something that isn’t what this issue did.

At least the artwork is pretty as hell. Goddamn can Gabriel Hardman draw a Xeno. The action scenes are also nice to look at–this thing is basically eye-candy from top to bottom.

Aliens: Dust to Dust is off to a rote-as-hell start. It’s one big chase with no real tension because no one has time for any character moments. We know the end as soon as it begins, and the end isn’t scary anymore. I’ll give it another issue to see if it does anything new now that our obligatory “Xenos are scary” bit is over, but I’m not all that hopeful.


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.