Aliens: Incubation is a two-part comic book short story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #101-102, from September-October 1995. Originally published in black and white, the story was written by Ron Marz, illustrated and inked by Bernie Wrightson, lettered by Sean Konot and edited by Bob Schreck. The issues of Dark Horse Presents also featured Aliens cover art by Wrightson. The comic serves as a prequel to the two-issue crossover series Batman/Aliens, produced by the same creative team.
#101: Editor Bob Schreck continues to mix it up in Dark Horse Presents, the greatest anthology on the market! Where else could you find one of the most talented macabre artists of the century drawing one of the coolest monsters of film and comics? Bernie Wrightson teams up with red-hot Spiderman author Ron Marz for a two-part Aliens story! This is the finest pen-and-ink work you're likely to see this year, and the creepiest interpretation of the big bugs in a long time.
#102: In this conclusion to the "Aliens" story, the extraterrestrial scientists from last issue become fodder for the big bug, and their ship crashes into an earth jungle. Notables Bernie Wrightson and Ron Marz turn in a fast-moving, suspenseful, and beautifully rendered tale of everyone's favorite exoskeletal carnivores.
Aliens: Incubation was first collected in the trade paperback release of Batman/Aliens, released in November 1997, for which it was colored by Matt Hollingsworth.
The short story was again collected as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 5 in October 2008.
The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on June 26, 2013, collected with Aliens: Lucky and Aliens: Taste and reusing Bernie Wrightson's cover art from Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #101.
Behind the Scenes
Incubation 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 hunting village aliens from Aliens: Alien, 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.
Writer Ron Marz also wrote the cross-over miniseries Green Lantern versus Aliens and the short Predator story Predator: Demon's Gold, which also appeared in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. He is most well known in mainstream comics for his work as writer on DC Comics Green Lantern series and in particular the story Emerald Twilight, dealing with the downfall of perennial Green Lantern Hal Jordan in the 1990s.
Issue artist Bernie Wrightson became popular for his successful and groundbreaking horror-style illustration on DC Comics' Swamp Thing, which would eventually help to establish DC's adult-oriented offshoot imprint Vertigo Comics in the 1980s.
- Incubation is something of an anomaly in the Aliens comics line in that it directly leads into the crossover story Batman/Aliens. As such, it is the only Aliens story to have a direct link to a crossover comic, which are generally considered non-canon with regards to the Aliens line.