MARVEL’s Alien #4 is the fourth instalment to MARVEL’s Alien series. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with illustrations and colouring by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX. Released in June, 2021.
Just when Cruz thinks the Xenomorphs have checkmate, a reliable Bishop is ready to change the tides of the game. With a moment of hope and a breather from shock, the suicide mission continues down in a nightmarish nest of Xenomorphs. The hunt for the Alpha Embryo continues while the hunt for Cruz and his son Danny has just begun.
Guru-eFX’s use of colour in this instalment is subtly brilliant with the bulk of the palette consisting of frostbitten blacks and blues. This monochromaticism can be personified as the Xenomorphs; dark, cold and hopeless. Whereas the contrasting sparks of blistering red and yellows are objectified as a deterrent or escape for the humans; bright, warm and shimmering with hope.
This issue of MARVEL’s Alien series stands out as Larroca’s most comic-looking book so far. What I mean by this is that the layout and scenery all play out like a classic comic book with chestbursting action panelling and bombastic onomatopoeia as opposed to a cinematic snapshot in a comic with garnished subtleties you would use as a screen saver. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is down to personal preference, personally I think the chaotic nature of every page really suits the narrative.
Previously, I mentioned in that the unique characterisation of a father and son bond in the world of Alien had the potential for some much needed emotional depth, this is the comic to pull the trigger on that. On top of the chokingly claustrophobic fear, readers will be holding back tears between Cruz and his son Danny.
This comic series has done a great job of making me believe in the horror of Alien by allowing it’s characters to take a moment to deal with the shock that will shake them for a lifetime. This should be a traumatic experience for all involved and Johnson gets that.
In conclusion, MARVEL’s Alien #4 delivers on all fronts in it’s storytelling with some minimal action scenes that burst off the page when they hatch. The highlight is it’s excellent attention to realistic characterisation that is so often ignored throughout the Alien franchise.
When the comic could just serve the justifiable purpose of explaining the events that transpired outwith the story being told, it is a promising endorsement to see it present major plot developments that change the shape of the series as a whole.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on MARVEL’s Alien #4 and be sure to check out our reviews for the previous instalments of this series below!
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