- "All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps. A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet. Every paycheck a fortune. Every formation a parade. I LOVE the Corps!"
- ―Sgt. Apone (from Aliens)
Gunnery Sergeant Al Apone was a member of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. He was the senior non-commissioned officer with the combat unit deployed to LV-426 aboard the USS Sulaco in 2179, to investigate the sudden loss of contact with the colony of Hadley's Hope. He subsequently perished as a result of the Xenomorph infestation at the colony.
Despite a sometimes antagonistic relationship with some of the Marines under his command, notably Private Hudson, Apone was greatly respected by his men. He was taken by the Aliens in the Hive during the early stages of the operation, and was subsequently impregnated with a Chestburster.
Al Apone was born in Detroit, Michigan on 2nd September 2137. Little is known about his early life or how, why and when he joined the USCM. He later achieved the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
Mission to LV-426Edit
- "It's a rescue mission, you'll love it. There's some juicy colonists' daughters we have to rescue from their virginity."
- ―Apone, regarding the mission (from Aliens)
Apone was second in command of the detachment sent to Acheron LV-426, under Lieutenant Gorman. During the initial stages of the operation, he assumed nominal command of First Squad, superseding Private Hudson. Apone was one of the few Marines that Ellen Ripley became sociable with prior to the mission, joking with him over the relocation of cargo on board the USS Sulaco; Apone, in turn, appreciated her efforts to help despite not being a Marine.
When the Sulaco reached LV-426, Apone readied his men for the drop in typically boisterous fashion before taking his place on board the unit's APC for the drop to the planet's surface. After breaking up Hudson's attempts to embarrass Ripley, Apone led his men into the colony complex. Despite finding evidence of a firefight, the colony was deserted save for Newt, and Apone insisted they had missed the fight.
Entering the HiveEdit
The Marines quickly discovered the colonists were apparently gathered inside the Atmosphere Processor, and the squad set off to investigate. After entering the Processor, Apone and his men found themselves within the Hive.
As they progressed further into the structure, Apone received orders from Gorman that he should confiscate ammunition from everyone and deactivate the squad's Smartguns to prevent gunfire damaging the Processor's reactor. Apone began to protest, but was quickly overruled; despite being at odds with the order, he respected the chain of command and passed it on to his men, collecting their ammunition and giving Private Frost the duty of carrying it. Soon afterwards, Apone and the Marines, now armed only with sidearms and a handful of Incinerators, discovered the colonists cocooned in the Hive, including one woman, Mary, who was still alive. Almost immediately, a Chestburster erupted from her body, forcing Apone and Corporal Dietrich to torch it with flamethrowers.
The Chestburster's dying screeches woke the Hive, and soon Apone and his men found themselves surrounded by advancing Warriors. In the chaos of the resulting ambush, Apone was dragged away by a Xenomorph as he tried to establish what was happening. The survivors who escaped the ambush later discovered that Apone had not been killed in the attack, but was presumably being used as a host for a Chestburster inside the Hive. It remains unclear whether he died from the Chestburster, or whether he was killed by the detonation of the Atmosphere Processor's reactor.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Apone was passionate leader who had as much love for the USCM itself as he did the personnel under his command. While Gorman was ostensibly the senior officer aboard the Sulaco, in practice it was clear that Apone was the real leader in the unit; when he was taken inside the Hive, order among the remaining Marines rapidly disintegrated. He was strict but fair and commanded a great deal of respect from his men due to both his effectiveness as a leader and his generally light-hearted attitude. He considered the safety of his men was a priority, and he would not hesitate to question an order that he felt compromised that safety, although ultimately he would always defer to the chain of command.
Apone knew the men under his command well and could often be found laughing and sharing private jokes with his troops, even Private Hudson, with whom he often had confrontations as a result of the latter's sarcastic and insubordinate personality. Despite this jovial attitude, Apone was quick to punish any insubordination or disobedience, or put a stop to any joking that had gone too far. He was typically seen with a cigar in his mouth (even going so far as to sleep with one next to him in his cryo tube so that it would be close at hand when he woke). Unlike many of the other men in the unit, who were at best indifferent towards Ripley owing to her lack of military experience, Apone did his best to make her feel welcome, even asking her how she might be able to assist them in preparing for the mission.
Like the rest of the men under his command, Apone was outfitted with standard issue M10 Pattern Ballistic Armor with a TNR Shoulder Lamp attachment for illumination. He carried an M41A Pulse Rifle as his personal weapon, but also used Frost's M240 Incinerator Unit while in the Hive on Acheron. Apone also had a long range visual scanner used to recon the colony during the squad's arrival.
- Apone actor Al Matthews was a real-life Marine, serving with the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam where he received thirteen combat awards and decorations, including two Purple Hearts. He used his personal military experience to help guide the other actors through portraying believable Marines, and based his character very much on himself.
- In the comic Aliens: Newt's Tale, Wierzbowski is taken alive to be cocooned during the ambush instead of Apone.
- Apone had an action figure of him made in the Kenner line of Alien toys.
- Apone appears as a bonus multipalyer skin in Aliens: Colonial Marines.
- His name bears a striking similarity to Al Capone; however, this is merely coincidence, as — with the exception of Dwayne Hicks — each of the Marine characters in Aliens simply took their first name from the actor/actress portraying them.
- There have been comparisons between Apone and Sergeant Major Avery Johnson of the Halo franchise. The game's developer, Bungie, in fact partially based Johnson off of Apone, which they have mentioned several times in interviews, including the bonus disc that came with the Collector's Legendary Edition of Halo 2.
- In Aliens, Apone can be seen wearing a Masonic ring.
- Aliens/novel (First appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (video game, multiplayer only)
- ↑ Aliens: Newt's Tale
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ "Weyland-Yutani Archives". Retrieved on 2013-04-28.
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - I Love The Corps!". Retrieved on 2013-05-10.
- ↑ Trivia section of Sgt. Avery Johnson from Halopedia
- ↑ Halo 2's collector's bonus disc