Hello, my friends. Even though we live in a world where corporations can be monsters in their own right, there still exists the kind of terrors that’re created from the imaginary mind and even from amongst the stars. As we continue the build-up towards a wondrous night of tricks & treats, I welcome you back to another entry of…
So far, William Gibson’s story saw the familiar characters aboard the U.S.S. Sulaco get rerouted to a space station called the Anchorpoint Cluster. As a result, a pair of Weyland-Utani executives have ventured out there in order to retrieve some vital “weapons-related material” within the spaceship, even though Rosetti has his doubts about their actions. Joining the two on board for a virus cleansing and sample collection is a team that includes a particular individual named Tully. Once they come across our certain individuals, Ellen Ripley wakes up and attacks them out of fear for Newt’s safety, only to get knocked out with a sedative. From there, she and Bishop’s severed body get brought into their base while the infected corpse of a particular astronaut is also taken in for an examination. From there, we soon discover that Hicks was also brought back in for a quarantine scan.
For this particular book, it came out in December 2018 and initially sold 13,170 copies. Now that we’re caught up, let’s get back into outer space and allow the looming terror to build.
Issue 2 begins six hours earlier on the U.S.S. Sulaco as Kurtz gets overwhelmed with extremely physical pain, especially since the alien that implanted itself into him has now become a Chestburster and proceeds to force itself out through the guy’s chest. We then transition back to the present time over at the Anchorpoint Station’s quarantine med-lab where Dwayne learns from Spence that Newt a.k.a. Rebecca Jorden and Ellen Ripley are both doing fine. He then asks for the whereabouts of the android Bishop and even wonders why he wasn’t debriefed about this situation. Just then, Newt runs in after biting a fellow worker’s arm and demands to know where Ripley is at. Hicks also wants to know before Spence decides to let the young girl see her, even though it’s against Fox’s order. The three of them then see Ellen sleeping as Rebecca asks if she’s dreaming, since she mentions that “it’s better not to”. Over in the Tissue Culture Lab, Tully is examining Bishop’s lower half as he collects a sample while also mentioning that she thinks that he saw something move within the severed android.
Over in the OPS Room, Frank tries to look over the files concerning the operation that took place on LV-426. However, he discovers that it’s been deleted before he receives a transmission from a Weyland-Utani executive (presumably named Lawrence Stoddart) who responds to his concerns over Fox and Welles’ current operations. Unfortunately, he brushes off his regard and reminds him that it’s his responsibility to provide his assistance towards the corporation, especially since he’s to make sure that Fox and Welles execute their objective under “optimum security”. Shortly after he gets reminded that his current orders are still in effect and that Anchorpoint’s funding is currently in question, Rosetti shuts the transmission off before he’s met upon by Jackson. He then mentions that the executive would’ve told him that Anchorpoint will only stay operative if the weapons division can make it cost effective. Jackson then tells Frank that he’s been on this station for five years as a member of the original design team, yet whatever he wants to occur won’t happen without the corporation turning the station into their own germ warfare lab. Over in the Tissue Culture Lab, Tully meets up with Spence as she informs him that Ripley has fallen into catatonic shock, yet maintaining some good vital signs. As for Newt, Spence says that she’s doing good, yet won’t explain what recently happened to her. Finally, Dwayne keeps asking when he’ll finally get debriefed about the situation. She then looks over some material that will eventually get brought to Welles before she makes a sudden discovery. Later within the Eco-Module, Rebecca has been brought into the facility under Welles’ watch, even reminding her of their talk about the young girl’s unwillingness to discuss vital events. Soon enough, Spence joins them as Welles tells her that Newt will be placed into therapy over at Gateway before she also shares the only piece of information that she was able to learn about the young girl, where it’s revealed that she has living grandparents. After Welles takes her leave, Newt asks Spence if she likes that lady, to which she essentially says that she doesn’t.
Over within the U.P.P. Rodina’s Security Bubble, a secure meeting is being held as the colonel-doctor named Suslov shares his findings from his recent examination upon Bishop with his fellow executives. He presents the vicious alien in its various forms and says that the severed android has informed him about its reproductive mode on a number of organisms, to which Kassel correctly assumes said group to be the colonists on LV-426. Suslov then goes on to explain that the alien that made itself a host within Kurtz is both “sexless and self-replicating”. Not only that, but each of those vicious lifeforms is genetically capable of becoming a queen. When their boarding team brought back specimens of the lifeform, Suslov says that Bishop had “dissected a single specimen” in its pre-larval form, similar to the one that went after Kurtz. Jorge Rivera asks him if those creatures could be potentially important to the military, to which Suslov says that only the adult form would serve as their “killing machine of great strength and sophistication” while seeming to act solely on instinct. Another executive named Nevsky says that their deep-seated sources tells of a special project occurring within the biological section of the corporation’s weapons division, yet the true nature hasn’t been revealed. After Kassel mentions that there may be a connection between the project and the aliens from the mission on LV-426, Jorge reminds the group that he’s a diplomatic officer and that all experiments upon alien genetic material violates the primary biological warfare limitations within the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Nevsky then mentions that while Weyland-Utani may be preparing to do some of their own experimentations, they still have an edge with their potential weapon. Rivera wants to return Bishop to Anchorpoint, as he explains that the Sulaco drifted into their territory and they responded with minimum force. Because they’ve proposed to violate the ban on biological weapons, they should return Bishop, drum up a “stiff protest”, demand for the return of Kurtz’ body and deny any knowledge of the alien. Suslov worries that they would be giving over crucial data, yet Jorge says that Anchorpoint would be unable to prove that they accessed Bishop’s data. Kassel wants them to delete it, but Nevsky says that selective deletion isn’t possible due to how sophisticated Bishop is. As such, Suslov says that they’ll fix the android, return it and avoid any barbaric accusations in order to buy themselves some much-needed time.
Back within Anchorpoint’s Machine Shop, Sterling meets up with Walker as he learns about an assignment that they’ve been assigned to. Before they can send the Sulaco back to Gateway, they have to deal with the damage that was caused by “those U.P.P. Cowboys” and replace a broken afterburner. However, Sterling doesn’t want to go back on that spaceship since something within that spacecraft tore a heavily armored commando apart. After all, he did see Fox armed with a high-end laser during their last trip inside it. However, they ultimately suit up as Walker essentially tells him that they don’t have a choice since it’s a company order. He even compromises by telling Sterling that they’ll complete their task from the comfort of their own repair ship as they proceed to climb in and head out to perform their duty. Back inside, Hicks finally meets up with Rosetti and requests for a comm-link to New Brisbane, especially since he had to leave his entire squad there and he’s responsible for their safety. However, Frank says that his request has been denied as he explains that New Brisbane Command had ceded all of its mission authority towards Weyland-Utani’s weapons division. He tells Dwayne that he doesn’t like it before Welles comes in to properly debrief Hicks. She tells him that he now has an authorized comm-link to New Brisbane, as long as he doesn’t get into the specifics of the mission. From there, she dismisses the two men in order to take care of some work.
Meanwhile, Walker and Sterling attempt to pull out the damaged afterburner from the Sulaco. However, it gets stuck as Walker heads over to investigate. Despite some suspicious smoke, he pulls out the cause which turns out to be a jacket before they proceed to take the broken engine piece back to base. Back over with Rosetti, he has a video call with Rivera who tells him that they’re holding onto Kurtz. Frank says that he’s unaware of that before he mentions that all androids are constitutionally categorized as regular people, yet Jorge says that his group only sees them as machines. Rosetti then calls him out for holding one of their citizens imprisoned, to which Rivera says that Bishop is being held due to a treaty violation that concerns with “an armed vessel”. Frank says that it was originally heading for Anchorpoint and that the violation was caused by a malfunction. Essentially, both sides try to call each other out for being hypocritical on who’s in the right as Jorge says that the incident is being investigated in order to see how much it severely violates the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, to which Rosetti mentions that the spaceship’s weapons system fall entirely within the treaty’s guidelines. However, Rivera says that they don’t comply with the treaty’s section on biological warfare. Frank doesn’t buy it and believes that it’s nothing more than a baseless allegation, yet Jorge says that there’s no formal allegations at this moment. As such, Bishop will be returned as long as Kurtz’ body gets handed over before he hangs up.
Over in the Tissue Culture Lab, Fox meets up with Tully as the latter has called him up in order to share his findings involving the material that he found within Bishop’s body and that he ran it through a compatibility test with human DNA. Fox is amazed by how quickly and effectively he was able to do this before Tully shows up a simulation where the foreign substance manages to fuse itself with a DNA strand. Spence then says that this process occurs that quickly, to which Tully says that it’s why they exterminated the end-result of their test run. Fox is shocked to hear this, to which Spence says that it’s harmful to human genetic material. As Tully says that this is too sensitive for them to work with without being in a major containment facility, Issue 2 ends with Fox telling them that this station will serve as the containment facility.
Overall, this is more of an informative set-up to this story. Yes, there’s no Xenomorph action in this issue and maybe Gibson could’ve originally found a way to give us a small bit of that while we get our main conflicting clash of corporations set up. Not to mention, this chapter is mainly focused on characters that’re exclusive to this narrative in order to get certain aspects from their point-of-views. Thankfully, they receive some nice development for their troubles as amongst those who’re exclusive to this story, Tully, Spence & Frank Rosetti appear to be the most noble allies that Dwayne Hicks should be able to rely on moving forward. With some decent artwork, fairly nice pacing and a small moment of suspense, it succeeds in continuing to expand and develop the situation at hand. More than likely, the Xenomorph will finally start to go after these humans in the next chapter while Weyland-Utani and the United Progressive Peoples’ conflict also looms large over the events to come. As for how corruptive corporations and an intergalactic creature each look to terrorize our primary core of characters, come back next time as the haunting screams will grow louder, yet will still remain silence within the vacuum of space.
Alien (created by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett) is owned by the Walt Disney Company.