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Aliens (Series 3)

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This article is about the 2009 American comic book series, the third to be titled simply "Aliens". For info on the third Aliens comics series ever produced, 1990's Aliens: Earth War, see here.

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Cover to Aliens (Series 3) issue 1 by Zach Howard

Aliens (aka Aliens (2009) or Aliens: More Than Human) was a four-issue limited series published by Dark Horse Comics from May-December 2009. The series was written by veteran Aliens writer John Arcudi, drawn by artist Zach Howard, inked by Mark Irwin and colored by Wes Dzioba. It featured cover art by Howard (issues 1-2) and digital painter Raymond Swanland (issues 3-4). It was edited by Chris Warner.

The series was collected and released in tradepaperback as Aliens: More Than Human in April 2010, which reused the Swanland cover image from issue 4.

Marking the 30th Anniversary of the release of the film Alien, and released in anticipation of the 2010 film Predators, Aliens (Series 3) was the first Aliens comic to be released in a decade since Aliens: Xenogenesis (1999). It is the most recent Aliens comic to be published.

The story takes place after the Alien infestation of Earth and involves a human colony coming under the influence of Aliens.

In the Aliens comics line, a prequel story to Aliens (Series 3) was featured in Aliens/Predator Free Comic Book Day Split Issue (May 2009), featuring events immediately prior to the series, and the story from Aliens (Series 3) itself serves as a prequel story to 2010's Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War (Jan.-Sept. 2010), which continues the adventures of Aliens (Series 3)'s protagonist.

No other new Aliens comics have yet been announced.

TaglinesEdit

  • At long last, Dark Horse Comics heralds the return of the heavyweight champion of modern science-fiction/horror, Aliens!
  • Aliens #1 is the first act in the relaunch of all three classic Dark Horse/Fox comics series. The release of Aliens #1 will coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the Ridley Scott-helmed film masterpiece, Alien, and will be preceded by an Aliens/Predator special for Free Comic Book Day!
  • Featuring the top-flight creative team of writer John Arcudi (The Mask, B.P.R.D., Doom Patrol), penciller Zach Howard (Sean of the Dead, Outer Orbit), and inker Mark Irwin (X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, Batman, Amazing Spider-Man).
  • Rising again from the darkness, the horror of Aliens returns to the comics world. Aliens is but the first act in the relaunch of all three classic Dark Horse/Fox comics series. Featured in Free Comic Book Day!
  • This all-new Aliens series is but the first stage in the Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator relaunch!
  • Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Alien film! Special advance solicitation!
  • From the bleeding edge of terror, Aliens returns to comics featuring the talented creative team of writer John Arcudi (The Mask, B.P.R.D., Doom Patrol), penciller Zach Howard (Shaun of the Dead, Outer Orbit), and inker Mark Irwin (X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, Batman). This all-new Aliens series is but the first stage in the Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator relaunch.
  • "Dark Horse's Aliens might just be back on top of the science-fiction-horror genre."-Fangoria online
  • At long last, Dark Horse Books heralds the return to graphic fiction of the heavyweight champion of modern science-fiction/horror, Aliens! Features the top-flight creative team of writer John Arcudi, penciller Zach Howard, and inker Mark Irwin.
  • Major release of new Aliens vs. Predator game for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in 2010.
  • After thirty years, it's finally been announced that original Alien director Ridley Scott will helm the new entry in the franchise, a prequel to the 1979 blockbuster!
  • Six value-priced Aliens Omnibus collections are now available, reprinting the classic Dark Horse Aliens library.

PlotEdit

(Warning: Spoilers) Official description of individual issues:

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Cover to Aliens (Series 3) issue 2 by Zach Howard

A group of wildcat planetary prospectors plant their flag on a distant new world, rich in land, resources . . . and mystery. Within this seemingly uninhabited planet lies the greatest archaeological discovery in history, an ancient, abandoned complex of impossible proportions carved deep within the living rock, a mind-numbing labyrinth of passages, ramps, bridges, and galleries that seems to extend limitlessly. But as the exploration of the leviathan dead city proceeds deeper and deeper, the members of the team slowly begin to lose their grip on reality. But madness gives way to fear as the explorers begin to disappear one by one. Something else lives within the necropolis, a faceless horror as deadly and merciless as space itself, a lethal terror that has waited centuries to awake... and destroy.

A strange, abandoned city of impossible scale lies ready to give up its secrets, but at what cost? Jealously guarded by a half-mad group of planetary prospectors, the labyrinthine necropolis may be a treasure trove of incomparable wealth, or a funeral complex with no exit, as an archaeological team from Earth discovers too late. But these off-planet interlopers soon become the least of the prospectors' worries, as their priceless possession offers up a monstrous surprise of murderous beasts from the darkest abyssal nightmare . . . and the prospectors only hope may lie in the unmarked graves of those they themselves betrayed.

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Cover to Aliens (Series 3) issue 3 by Raymond Swanland

Untold trillions of miles from Earth, the planet Chione holds limitless treasures, ancient mysteries . . . and horrors beyond imagination. In the presence of the greatest archaeological discovery in human history, biologist David Sereda's journey of discovery becomes a desperate rescue mission as he plunges alone into a vast, maze-like necropolis to save the life of a woman trapped amidst an infestation of deadly xenomorphs. But when Sereda comes face to face with the madmen who murdered his crew -- and buried him alive -- he begins to doubt his quest as he realizes that for any hope of success in the midst of monsters, Sereda may need to make a deal with devils.

Can an android dream? After waking from what appears to be just that, the android Sereda struggles with the idea that he may be more damaged than he originally thought. Still, whether it's simply his programming or a newly found free will, Sereda is hell bent on effecting the rescue of the woman whose voice brought him down into the bewildering maze of a seemingly endless necropolis. Most of the surviving planetary prospectors are willing to follow him into the labyrinth, but there are two major obstacles to the rescue mission: a horde of marauding xenomorphs, and the man who shot Sereda, who isn't about to let a damaged synthetic lead the other survivors anywhere.

Behind the ScenesEdit

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Cover to Aliens (Series 3) issue 4 by Raymond Swanland

No stranger to the Aliens/Predator/AVP universe, veteran comics writer John Arcudi formerly wrote Aliens: Genocide, Aliens: Stronghold, Predator: Big Game, and Predator: God's Truth. In 2008 he was tapped by relaunch editor Chris Warner to be lead writer on all three relaunched books for Dark Horse Comics. Though Arcudi did write the subsequent Predator and Aliens miniseries in 2009, according to Warner in letters pages from the issues he was unable to write Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War and was replaced by original AVP writer and Dark Horse vice-president Randy Stradley.

The 2009 Aliens miniseries was released bi-monthly, much like the first-ever Aliens series in 1988, but Issue #4 came out a month late in December instead of November.

There was an effort made with the relaunch of all three of Dark Horse's Fox film franchise lines to strongly established a joint continuity between the lines and between them and all previous Dark Horse comics from the franchises--with the possible exception of the previous Predator comics, to which minimal referencing has been done.

To that extent, a prequel to the 2009 Aliens miniseries was featured in Aliens/Predator Free Comic Book Day Flip Book, and the entire series serves as a build-up to Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, which again features Aliens 2009 protagonist David Sereda as a main character. Three World War also features the appearance of the lead character from the Dark Horse's 2009 Predator miniseries, thus firmly establishing the connectedness of all three franchises, at least in comic book form.

The story in the Free Comic Book Day flipbook establishes that these events all take place after the Alien infestation of Earth from 1989's Aliens: Book I, and the events of Three World War also connect these stories to the continuity of the existing Aliens vs. Predator comics from the 1990s.

See alsoEdit

External LinksEdit

The following features for each issue of Aliens (2009) are available at the Dark Horse Comics website, including a behind the scenes making of featurette for issue #1, a preview of the first three pages of each issue, and downloadable desktop images for each cover:

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