Aliens: Elder Gods is a comic book short story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in Aliens: Special in June 1997. Published in black and white, the story was written by Nancy A. Collins, illustrated by Leif Jones, inked by John Stokes, lettered by Clem Robins and edited by Philip Amara and Scott Allie.
A religious sect uncovers what they believe to be a holy idol. But everything turns to holy hell when they realize the true nature of the enormous statue! Swamp Thing writer Nancy A. Collins and Negative Burn artist Leif Jones offer a twisted story about the strength — and weakness — of blind faith.
For over seventy-five years, the inhabitants of Earth have been voyaging to the stars in search of fresh resources for their polluted and overcrowded homeworld. For the past fifteen years, Omni-Tech has toiled to shape the arid surface of Mira Ceti 4, and by 2099, the outpost on Mira Ceti was home to 532 of their hard laboring employees and recruits, which included a rebellious, mystic sect known as the Esoteric Brotherhood of Tulitu.
When a colony foreman assigns the Esoterics to a 90-day quarry detail, their leader, High Father Lumley, meets with the chief,claiming that quarry detail is menial labor and that Omni-Tech is deliberately demeaning him and his people. She tells him he and his people are bound by contract to do as they are told by the company.
Twenty-three days into their quarry detail, the Esoterics had uncovered an object buried beneath the sands; A fossilized Xenomorph Queen and its well preserved hive. Lumley and his brotherhood believed this to be "...the lost city of R'lek -- The crypt of Tulitu." This was the resurrection they had traversed the gulfs of space to witness. Lumley performed a sermon that ended with each member of the brotherhood sacrificed himself to a facehugger while chanting "TU-LI-TU!"
Ten days later, the Esoterics returned to the Omni-Tech compound with ovomorphs hidden in their cargo, which they used against the colonists of Mira Ceti before allowing the aliens within them to burst from their chests.
It took Omni-Tech fifteen years and an estimated ten billion credits to establish its Mira Ceti outpost. It took less than three days for its destruction. It took four and a half years for the nearest Omni-Tech cruiser to reach the colony, only to find the horribly mutilated remains of 104 colonists, but there were no clues as to the other 428 Omni-Tech employees and recruits.
The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on August 14, 2013, collected with Aliens: Border Lines, Aliens: 45 Seconds and Aliens: Once in a Lifetime and reusing John Bolton's cover art for the novel Aliens: Labyrinth.
Behind the Scenes
Elder Gods is notably one of seven black and white Aliens comics from Dark Horse that have never been reprinted in color, the others being Aliens: Countdown, Aliens: Headhunters, Aliens: Border Lines, Aliens: 45 Seconds, Aliens: Tourist Season and Aliens: Once in a Lifetime.
Elder Gods was based on the works of influential American horror fantasy writer H. P. Lovecraft, specifically his "Cthulhu Mythos" (on which the fictional God "Tulitu" is based).