Aliens: Alien is a three-part comic book short story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in the company's self-titled anthology series Dark Horse Comics #17-19, from January-March 1994. It was written by John Arcudi, illustrated and inked by Paul Mendoza, colored by Jim Sinclair, lettered by Vickie Williams and edited by Randy Stradley and Edward Martin III. Issue #18 of Dark Horse Comics also featured an Aliens cover by Mendoza.
In the Aliens comics line, Aliens: Cargo was preceded by Aliens: Cargo, published concurrently with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Aliens: Crusade, Aliens: Labyrinth, Aliens: Music of the Spears and Operation: Aliens, and was followed by Aliens: Stronghold.
#17: To his tribe, Suom isn't yet a man. But he has seen the Night Reaper, whose hideous reign of fear and death strikes at night and steals away by morning. Only Suom has seen the face of the Reaper and survived, and only he can conquer this beast in part one of "Alien," featuring beautiful art by Paul Mendoza and the story of a horrifying coming of age by John Arcudi.
#18: Dark Horse Comics #18 features part 2 of "Alien," John Arcudi's terrifying tale of a village ripped apart by the mysterious Night Reaper. Young Suom and his hunting party finally locate the beast, but it may be the last thing they ever do.
#19: In part 3 of John Arcudi's "Alien," the Faceless One may have saved Suom and Shius from the deadly Night Reaper, but at what cost to them, their village, and the future of Suom's tribe?
In the United Kingdom, Aliens: Alien was planned to be serialized and reprinted in 3 parts in Aliens magazine, Vol. 2 #21-23, from March-May 1994. However, the cancellation of the magazine after issue 22 (April 1994) left the rerun unfinished.
The comic was eventually collected as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 5 in October 2008.
Behind the Scenes
The comic is notable as one of the few Aliens stories to depict an alien species other than the Xenomorphs. Other notable non-Xenomorph aliens featured in the franchise include the lizard-like space travelers in Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation, the Reapers from Aliens: Reapers, the reptilian Xenomorph-eating alien from Aliens: Taste, the alien pilot shown in Aliens: Earth Angel, the extraterrestrial scientists in Aliens: Incubation, the alien monkeys in Aliens: Fire and Stone and, of course, the Predators and Engineers. While such species were originally limited to Aliens comics from Dark Horse, several recent Alien novels have also introduced non-Xenomorph species, such as Alien: Out of the Shadows and Aliens: Bug Hunt.
John Arcudi is a veteran writer of Aliens and Predator comics, having also worked on Predator: God's Truth, Predator: Big Game, Aliens: Reapers, Aliens: Genocide, Aliens: Stronghold, Aliens: Alchemy, Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens. He was also the original writer on Dark Horse Comics' The Mask, which was turned into a theatrical film of the same name starring Jim Carrey.