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|This article is about the comic book series. For the novel, see Aliens: Rogue (novel).|
Aliens: Rogue, also known as Aliens, Vol. 6: Rogue, is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from April-July 1993. It was written by Ian Edginton, illustrated and inked by Will Simpson, colored by Robbie Busch, lettered by John Costanza and edited by Anina Bennett and Ryder Windham, with cover art by Simpson. The story of Rogue takes place after the Grant Corporation's first mission to the Alien homeworld. The comic was later adapted as a novel of the same name by Sandy Schofield.
In the Aliens comics line, Aliens: Rogue was preceded by Aliens: Horror Show, published concurrently with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Aliens: Sacrifice, Alien3: Terminal Addiction, Aliens: Taste and Aliens: Crusade, and was followed by Aliens: Backsplash.
#1: The mysterious Mr. Kray is a corporate spy extraordinaire, but even he's never faced a mission this dangerous! Kray has been sent to Charon Base to check out research director Ernst Kleist's genetic experiments on Aliens. Kleist is trying to breed the beasties into something useful — something that humans can control. But workers on Charon are starting to disappear one by one, and Kleist definitely knows more about it than he's letting on. Kray and his pilot, Palmer, may be the only ones who can unravel Kleist's schemes... that is, if they make it past his "pet" Aliens!
#2: Things are getting curiouser and curiouser on Charon Base; the more John Kray and Joyce Palmer find out about Dr. Kleist's research, the less they like it. Most of the Marines stationed there have been "executed" despite their commanding officer's protests, and it looks like the few remaining grunts are headed for a nasty new kind of bug-hunt. Meanwhile, since Kleist's attempts to breed a tame Alien Queen have all failed miserably, he's trying a new approach — one that involves using Kray's DNA, with or without his consent!
#3: When a genetically engineered Alien refrains from attacking an injured Kray, it seems that Kleist's attempts to breed a "tame" Alien have finally paid off. Meanwhile, the Sci-Tech elite patrol are deployed to hunt down Palmer, who hopes to rescue Kray by way of the armory. The race for survival is accelerated, as Kleist's latest creation proves to be both highly motivated... and dangerously unpredictable.
#4: The Alien Queen was regarded as the most uniquely dangerous creature in the galaxy... until Professor Kleist created something even more unique. In this final issue of Aliens: Rogue, Kleist's genetically engineered Alien King (also known as the Rogue) wreaks havoc upon Charon Base, while Kray, Palmer, and the ever-resourceful Deegan attempt to escape from Aliens and Sci-Tech special forces. When the Alien King locates the captive Queen, not even the brilliant Kleist knows whether the Queen will greet her mate... or meet her match!
In the United Kingdom, Aliens: Rogue was planned to be serialized and reprinted in 8 parts in Aliens magazine. However, the cancellation of the magazine left the rerun unfinished after just one installment (in Aliens magazine, Vol. 2 #22, April 1994).
A second collected edition was published in August 1997, under the title Aliens, Vol. 6: Rogue. This release was part of Dark Horse's "remastered" Aliens Library Editions series — reprints that attempted to bring the content of all of Dark Horse's previously released Aliens comics in line with the updated continuity presented by Alien3. The Rogue trade paperback was edited by Suzanne Taylor and featured a new cover by John Bolton.
Aliens: Rogue was again collected as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 3 in March 2008.
The complete comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on March 6, 2013, reusing Bolton's cover art from Aliens, Vol. 6: Rogue.
Behind the Scenes
Prior to release, a short preview of the comic was published in Dark Horse Insider, Vol. 2 #14.
Aliens: Rogue was the first Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator comic book written by British writer Ian Edginton for Dark Horse Comics. Edginton would go on to become quite a prolific contributor to the combined Dark Horse properties, serving as writer on series/stories for all three titles at one point or another, albeit with less stellar results at times. Rogue, however, arguably remains his strongest addition to the series, introducing a number of new concepts and characters who would go on to be referenced by other in-universe stories, such as the Rogue and the mad scientist Professor Kleist.
Aliens: Rogue is notable as one of the few Aliens stories to depict the scientific procedure of gene-splicing to create Spliced Xenomorphs, which are bred for sole purpose of being more obedient and controllable. Gene-splicing is also a plot device in Operation: Aliens, and two Aliens crossover series: Batman/Aliens II and Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice.
- The story contains numerous allusions to Greek mythology. For example, the name of the research facility where events take place, Charon Base, is a reference to Charon, the ferryman who transports the dead into the underworld. The research project that creates the Rogue, Project Chimera, is named for the Chimera, a mythological monster formed of the parts of different animals. Greek history and mythology are a recurring point of reference in the Alien franchise; other notable examples include the moon Acheron, the comic Aliens: Dead Orbit (which contains numerous references), the ships Archimedes and Anesidora, the novel Alien: River of Pain, and references to the Titan Prometheus in both Prometheus Tech and the film Prometheus.
- The scene where Kleist surveys the failed "docile" Xenomorph Queens, preserved in giant tanks in his lab, is remarkably similar to the scene where Ripley 8 discovers the failed Ripley clones in Alien Resurrection, made four years later.