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Aliens: Music of the Spears is a four-part limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from January-April 1994. It was written by Chet Williamson, illustrated by Tim Hamilton, inked by Timothy Bradstreet, colored by Matt Webb, lettered by Clem Robins and edited by Jerry Prosser and Bob Cooper, with cover art by Bradstreet and Guy Burwell. The comic was later adapted as a novel of the same name by Yvonne Navarro.

In the Aliens comics line, Aliens: Music of the Spears was preceded by Aliens: Cargo and published concurrently with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Aliens: Crusade, Aliens: Labyrinth, Aliens: Alien and Operation: Aliens, and was followed by Aliens: Stronghold.

Publisher's SummaryEdit

#1: Little-known and under-appreciated composer Damon Eddington wants to hatch an Alien egg so he can nurture the Alien in captivity and capture its sounds of hatred and pain for the ultimate concert — sounds of rage made from "a mouthful of spears". In this first of a four-issue series, Damon's corporate patron, Synsound, has taken on the responsibility of procuring the egg for him, a task that will lead to more excitement than the team of ninjas assigned to it were planning on.

#2: Composer Damon Eddington's plan is to breed an Alien in captivity so he can stimulate and entice it into a rage — just for "the pure sound of it". He starts by feeding terrified and utterly defenseless dogs and cats to the beast, but it hardly makes a sound while dispatching them in an instant. Maybe some larger and more voracious predatory animals would put up a better struggle...? But as Damon daydreams about other more nefarious uses for his pet, he finally realizes that in order to achieve the sounds he wants, he's going to need the ultimate predators to face off against the Alien — humans!

#3: Normal faceless human guinea pigs aren't proving to be any more adept at drawing the necessary screams out of Damon Eddington's pet alien, Mozart, than any of the other animals were. Damon, increasingly dependent on the addictive and mind-muddling alien jelly, schemes to trap his cohort, Darcy Vance, as fodder for Mozart's murderous desires. Darcy's parry with Mozart provides minimal satisfaction for Damon, who's seeking nothing but the ultimate love and death cry of anguish from the alien to record for his symphony. But the jelly is affecting Damon's reasoning, and he may be ready to overstep the bounds of reason in his pursuit of the apocalyptic scream...

#4: Mozart, Damon Eddington's "pet" alien, has yet to produce the sounds he desires for his ultimate symphony. Even the humans he tried using to stimulate Mozart didn't satisfy Damon's needs. Now it appears Damon himself may be the guinea pig that finally gets Mozart to scream his ultimate "music of the spears". Suffice it to say, Mozart puts on the impromptu performance of a lifetime — and the Presley Hall audience eats it up — in this concluding chapter to Dark Horse's latest Aliens gore-fest.

PlotEdit

Eccentric composer Damon Eddington has become disillusioned with the music industry of the future, which is dominated by soulless electronic cacophony performed by bands consisting of grotesquely deformed android musicians, and which has little time for the kind of old-fashioned, carefully recorded live music that he composes. Determined to finally create something that captivates the public's interest, Eddington approaches his superior at Synsound Corporation, a man named Keene, with a peculiar request — he wants Synsound to obtain for him a real, live Alien, so that he may record the creature's rage-filled screams and incorporate them into his Symphony of Hate, a musical masterpiece that he hopes will be his magnum opus.

Despite his indifference towards Eddington, Keene agrees the project may have potential and contacts his boss, Synsound CEO Yoriku, with a plan to steal a Xenomorph from the company's competitors, MedTech. Yoriku subsequently assigns his most trusted agent, a lethal ninja named Ahiro, the task of acquiring the specimen. Ahiro and his ninjas covertly break into MedTech's headquarters near the Synsound building in Manhattan and steal an Egg from the secret laboratories beneath the building, losing four men and killing several Xenomorph "guard dogs" in the process.

The Egg is installed in a containment cell constructed in the basement of Synsound's Presley Hall concert venue. There, Eddington is joined by bioengineers Michael Brangwen, a huge fan of the composer's work, and Darcy Vance, a workaholic who has little time for music. Ahiro is also assigned to them to watch over them. With the team assembled, the next task becomes finding a suitable host for the creature. To this end, Ahrio secures Ken Petrillo, a former musician acquaintance of Eddington's now so hopelessly addicted to jelly that he has joined a Xenomorph cult and actively desires to be host for a Chestburster. Eddington in particular is disturbed by the prospect of sacrificing a live human being for the project, particularly someone he used to live and work with. He tries to convince Petrillo to change his mind and seems to be getting through to the fanatical addict, but Ahiro intervenes, presenting Petrillo to the Egg and watching as he is subdued by the Facehugger within.

After Petrillo's gruesome death, Eddington secretly consumes a vial of jelly he found in Petrillo's clothing before he was offered up to the Facehugger. He soon becomes obsessed with the Xenomorph, which he christens Mozart. When Mozart fails to make any suitable sounds for the sophisticated recording equipment installed in the enclosure, Eddington demands live prey be thrown to the creature to "stimulate" it. When cats and dogs provide little challenge for the Xenomorph, Eddington has Ahrio steal a bull and a panther.

Still unsatisfied and becoming increasingly unstable thanks to his growing jelly addiction, Eddington pushes for even more challenging creatures to be pitted against Mozart, leading Ahiro to kidnap five men to be thrown into the enclosure armed with electrostun rifles. Brangwen is appalled by the turn the project has taken. Eddington at this point had become unhinged and dispassionate and one by one they are thrown into the containment chamber, armed with an electrostun rifle to ensure they have a chance, while the audio of their ordeals is recorded.

With the necessary recordings made, the project begins to wind down. Brangwen attends a concert upstairs in the main concert hall for a break, while Darcy stays to spend a few more minutes with Mozart. Eddington, still obsessively seeking one final scream of Xenomorph rage for the climax of his Symphony of Hate, attacks Darcy and throws her to Mozart, but she manages to escape into the tunnels and flee through a secret escape hatch only she and Brangwen were aware of, although she is seriously wounded in the process. An electrical failure shorts out the recording booth, and when a delusional Eddington opens the chamber to record Mozart's slaughter of Darcy on a portable unit, the Xenomorph escapes and brutally kills him.

Mozart enters the concert hall upstairs, and after tearing the android performers apart, wades into the crowd, slaughtering the gathered concert-goers. In the midst of the carnage, a MedTech security team led by Chief Philip Rice that have been tracking the stolen Egg burst into Presley Hall and eliminate Mozart. In the aftermath, the MedTech team discovers the containment cell in the building's basement, and kill Ahiro when he attacks them. Brangwen finds the wounded Darcy and gets her medical attention.

Three months later, Brangwen performs Eddington's piece, which he has completed posthumously himself, to a lacklustre crowd in a small concert venue.

Reprint HistoryEdit

Aliens: Music of the Spears was eventually collected as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 4 in July 2008, edited by Chris Warner.

The complete comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on April 17, 2013, reusing Timothy Bradstreet and Guy Burwell's cover art from issue 4.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Music of the Spears inker/cover artist Tim Bradstreet would go on to become one of the comics industry's most acclaimed cover artists, chiefly known for his work on Marvel's The Punisher. He would come to be known for incorporating photography and photographic reference into his striking cover images. For Dark Horse Comics, he also illustrated the iconic cover images of Imperial Fighter pilot Baron Soontir Fel for issues of the popular Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron series.

Series editor Jerry Prosser was already an Aliens comics veteran, having earlier written the story Aliens: Harvest.

The novelization of Music of the Spears by Yvonne Navarro added a number of details to the story, including a set date for the events therein.

Music of the Spears builds upon the foundations laid in Genocide and continues the theme of rebuilding Earth after recovering from an Alien infestation.

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