Aliens (comic book)
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Cover of Aliens Book One: Outbreak
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
|Format||Comic book limited series and one-shots|
|Main character(s)||Rebecca "Newt" Jorden
Corporal Dwayne Hicks
Aliens is a non-canonical comic book series set in the fictional universe of the Alien films. It was first published by Dark Horse Comics in 1988. The stories often feature the company Weyland-Yutani and the United States Colonial Marines. Originally intended as a sequel to James Cameron's 1986 film Aliens, the first mini-series features the characters of Rebecca "Newt" Jorden and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Later series also included the further adventures of Ellen Ripley. Other stories are completely unique to the Alien universe, and are often used to explore other aspects of the species, such as their sociology and biology.
The first three stories formed a continuation of the two Alien films that had been released by the time they were published. However, 1992 saw the release of Alien 3, which contradicted the events of the comics by beginning with the deaths of Newt and Corporal Hicks. In order to keep the stories relevant and canonical to the Alien film series, Dark Horse changed the names of the characters for future printings of the stories. Newt became Billie while Hicks was now known as Wilks. The only other major difference between the original publications is that as well as being renamed the trade paperbacks were also recolored.
Outbreak starts 10 years after the events of Aliens. Hicks and Newt have been struggling with the aftermath of their encounter with the Xenomorphs. Newt is in a mental institution, and when nothing seems to help her, the doctors decide to wipe her memory. Hicks has never gotten over the Aliens and the annihilation of his squad, so he agrees to go on a mission to the alien homeworld to recover some eggs and to destroy one of the hives (the hive-destroying serves no purpose other than to satisfy Hicks' hatred). Hicks goes to visit Newt before he goes, only to find out that her memory is about to be wiped. Hicks believes Newt to be the only thing that marks his existence and the only thing that marks his squad's sacrifice, so he rescues her and takes her to the homeworld. Their spaceship is followed by another, though...
Meanwhile, strange things are happening on Earth. A scientific corporation has acquired an alien Queen, and begins harvesting eggs. A weird cult that believes the Aliens to be God's spiritual rebirth breaks in and they all give themselves up for facehugging. Earth is overrun.
On the home world, the team lands (Newt has fallen in love with a soldier named Butler), and are attacked by a band of soldiers, who want the eggs for themselves, after tracking them to the planet. They give up their weapons and stand down, but the attackers are forced into the hive by the various other hostile species on the planet. The team gathers weapons, and foolishly go into the hive to rescue their attackers. They rescue a few, and most of them get out, but not before the reason they so stupidly went in is revealed: they are all synthetic humans.
Newt is distraught; Butler makes it back, but is ripped in half (revealing he is actually a synthetic), and Hicks almost kills them all by waiting until he has set the charges to take off, but they make it and go back to Earth. As soon as they get there, they have to leave, and are told by a general that they are following a standard military procedure against the Aliens: they are retreating. There is a mass exodus from Earth, most of the survivors being military. Butler, Hicks, and Newt get on a ship and flee Earth.
Script by Mark Verheiden, art and title illustration by Den Beauvais and lettering by Willie Schubert.
The story continues where Outbreak left off, with Newt, the synthetic Butler, and Hicks a short time after having escaped the alien-infested Earth on a cargo ship. The crew discovers the ship is ferrying aliens to an unknown destination. After killing the aliens, the ship autopilots to a military post commanded by General Spears, who is breeding and attempting to train aliens to fight against their own kind on Earth. He is depicted as ruthless, and is called insane by several characters. Throughout the story it is revealed that Spears is extremely paranoid about his own safety and the safety of his aliens, and is willing to sacrifice his own troops without hesitation. As the story progresses, the aliens inevitably escape captivity and begin taking over the military base. Hicks and Newt manage to hide on the same ship General Spears uses to escape. Once aboard the ship Hicks and Newt realize it is full of "trained" aliens that Spears intends on using to take back the infested Earth. The synthetic Butler also manages to send a transmission saying goodbye to Newt as they were separated in the middle of the story. Since Butler is a synthetic and torn in two the aliens do not engage him in any way. Butler is left alone and abandoned in the military base. Before Spears lands on Earth Hicks and Newt jettison out in a small escape pod towards a different space station called Gateway, which becomes a haven for the few people capable of reaching, aware that their chances of survival on Earth are slim. Once Spears lands on Earth he releases his "trained" aliens and expects them to attack the Earth-bred aliens. The "trained" aliens end up turning on Spears. In the end Spears realizes that the aliens were never actually trained, but simply remaining patient throughout their supposed training. The Queen and the other aliens had every intention of getting to Earth and killing Spears. Spears is brutally killed at the end of this realization.
On the final page, Ellen Ripley appears, heavily armed, saying the time has come to take the battle to the xenomorphs.
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Dark Horse has produced a number of Aliens comic books and collected volumes:
- Aliens 1-6 (AKA Aliens Book 1 & Outbreak, by Mark Verheiden and Mark A. Nelson, Dark Horse, 1989, ISBN 1-56971-164-X, 1996, ISBN 1-56971-174-7, Titan Books, 176 pages, 1990, ISBN 1-85286-276-9, 1996, ISBN 1-85286-756-6)
- Aliens 1-4 (AKA Aliens Book 2 & Nightmare Asylum, by Mark Verheiden, Denis Beauvais and Mark A. Nelson, Dark Horse, 1990, ISBN 1-878574-03-5, Titan Books, 112 pages, 1991, ISBN 1-85286-378-1, 1997, ISBN 1-85286-765-5)
- Earth War 1-4 (AKA Aliens Book 3 & Female War, by Mark Verheiden and Sam Kieth, Dark Horse, 176 pages, 1991, ISBN 1-878574-23-X)
- Rogue (by Ian Edginton and Will Simpson, 1993, 1994, trade paperback, 112 pages, 1995, ISBN 1-56971-023-6)
- Hive (AKA Harvest, by Jerry Prosser and Kelley Jones, 1997, 128 pages, Titan Books, 1993, ISBN 1-85286-469-9, Dark Horse, ISBN 1-56971-122-4)
- Labyrinth (by Jim Woodring and Kilian Plunkett, trade paperback, Titan Books, 136 pages, 1997, ISBN 1-85286-844-9)
- Genocide (by John Arcudi, Damon Willis and Karl Stor, tpb, 112 pages, 1997, Titan, ISBN 1-85286-805-8, Dark Horse ISBN 1-56971-196-8)
- Purge (by Ian Edginton, Phil Hester (pencils) and Ande Parks (inks), 1997, trade paperback, 88 pages, 1999, ISBN 1-56971-409-6)
- "Pig" (by Chuck Dixon, Henry Flint (pencils) and Andrew Pepoy (inks), one-shot, 1997)
- "Xenogenesis" (by Tom Bierbaum/Mary Bierbaum, Dave Ross (pencils) and Andrew Pepoy (inks), 4-issue mini-series, 1999)
- Apocalypse: The Destroying Angels (by Mark Schultz and Doug Wheatley, 4-issue mini-series, 1999, trade paperback, 96 pages, 1999, ISBN 1-56971-399-5)
- Aliens Omnibus:
- Volume 1 (collects Outbreak, Nightmare Asylum, Female War, Theory of Alien Propagation, and The Alien, 384 pages, July 2007, ISBN 1-59307-727-0)
- Volume 2 (collects Genocide, Harvest and Colonial Marines, 448 pages, December 2007, ISBN 1-59307-828-5)
- Volume 3 (collects Rogue, Sacrifice, Labyrinth, Salvation, Advent/Terminus, Reapers, and Horror Show, 376 pages, March 2008, ISBN 1-59307-872-2)
- Volume 4 (collects Music of the Spears, Stronghold, Frenzy, Taste, Mondo Pest, and Mondo Heat, 376 pages, July 2008, ISBN 1-59307-926-5)
- Volume 5 (collects Alchemy, Kidnapped, Cargo, Survival, Alien, Earth Angel, Incubation, Havoc, Lovesick, and Lucky, 364 pages, November 2008, ISBN 1-59307-991-5)
- Volume 6 (collects Apocalypse, Once in a Lifetime, Xenogenesis, Headhunters, Tourist Season, Pig, Border Lines, 45 Seconds, Elder Gods, Purge, Glass Corridor, Stalker, and Wraith, 376 Pages, December 2008, ISBN 1-59582-214-3) 
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 1". Darkhorse.com. 2007-07-11. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 2". Darkhorse.com. 2007-12-12. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 3". Darkhorse.com. 2008-03-05. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 4". Darkhorse.com. 2008-07-09. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 5". Darkhorse.com. 2008-10-29. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Aliens Omnibus Volume 6". Darkhorse.com. 2008-12-31. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films (by David A. McIntee, Telos, 272 pages, 2005, ISBN 1-903889-94-4)