Hello, my friends. The Halloween weather continues to creep in with an ever-present chill in the air, yet that’s nothing compared to how cold, terrifying and frightening things are about to become up on some space stations. On that note, I welcome you all back to another entry of…
So far, a navigational malfunction has brought the Sulaco to Anchorpoint and with Ellen Ripley knocked out into a coma, Hicks has been trying to figure what’s been going on around here while Bishop has been worked upon. Meanwhile, the heads of the United Progressive Peoples have caught wind of what’s potentially on board the spaceship (especially since its damaged afterburner is being brought on board) and would like to use the creature in some capacity as a potentially dangerous weapon.
With all of that said, we’ve now reached the halfway point of this five-part tale where it initially sold 13,350 copies upon its original release. As such, let’s discover how our titular monster will finally begin to stalk these people.
Issue 3 opens in Rodina’s bio-lab as Suslov shows a budding Xenomorph to Kassel and Nevsky. He then comments how its rapid cellular generation will allow them to manipulate it into becoming their own powerful weapon. Back over at Anchorpoint’s docking bay, a fellow employee named Tatsumi is present to see a fully-repaired Bishop’s return from the Union of Progressive Peoples. From there, he takes part in a physical and chemical analysis. While he’s being worked on, Fox and Welles are overseeing this alongside Rosetti as they learn that Bishop personally requested this himself. Frank tells them that the android isn’t suffering from any irregularities, whether it be alien cellular material found on him or even any noticeable traces of either tampering or reprogramming. Not only that, but his data on the alien is still in tact. Rosetti then says that if Bishop’s memories have been tampered with, then neither he nor they would know. As such, Welles says that they have to assume the worse and believe that the U.P.P. have found a way to get Bishop’s data.
Meanwhile, Jackson is on security camera duty as he gets contacted by Tully who wants Walker’s help in running a check on their stasis system due to them picking up some fluctuating readings. Jackson tells him that Walker is currently installing a new cooling grid upon the Sulaco, to which Tully reminds him to mark his request as a high-priority. From there, he meets up with Spence as they briefly talk about how they both don’t have many career options outside of their current positions. She then asks him if Walker managed to deal with the “pressure differential problem” Tully says that he was informed by him that it was a glitch that “sorta fixed itself”. Spence then expresses her worry that it didn’t get dealt with mainly because Walker didn’t “want to get his hands dirty”, resulting in either excessive pressure or an incubation temperature that’s too high. Despite her concern, Tully let’s her head out in order to get some coffee. He then looks over a few canisters containing some developing aliens before he’s met upon by Welles. He notices that she’s not wearing an ID badge, since it also has a strip that turns red if its wearer becomes contaminated. As the lab doors close, she says that she’s looking for Spence in order to have her sign some papers. Just as she’s about to return with some coffee, Welles tells Tully to print out some important papers. Suddenly, an egg manages to burst out of its containment with enough force to shatter a nearby window and force both of them onto the ground. From there, the lab gets put into quarantine lockdown to Spence’s shock. Tully then spots the alien egg on the ground and attempts to reach for a tool that allows him to safely handle it. Suddenly, something hits Welles and forces her onto him as the egg fully opens. Thankfully, it was empty as he picks it up with some tongs before he orders the station’s system to take the room down to “De-Con”.
Later, Tully and Welles are getting washed down by a contamination control team. Meanwhile, Newt tells Hicks that she was told by Welles that she’s getting sent back to her grandparents over on Earth, despite the fact that she doesn’t remember them. He assures her that they’ll remember her, yet she mentions that she was only a baby when they last saw her. She also says that Ripley won’t be awake by the time that she leaves before he says that he’ll let Ellen know. However, Rebecca is worried that he won’t be around by the time that Ripley finally comes out of her coma. Thankfully, Dwayne says that he has an idea. From there, Newt preps a map before she reaches Ellen’s bedside and tells her comatose guardian that she’s going to get sent to her grandparents over in Oregon. Rebecca then hands over the map so that she can find her and even stay over. Over with Bishop, he’s met upon by Fox before he informs the executive that he requested a physical and chemical analysis upon himself in order to learn how much of himself was modified. He explains that his repairs were ultimately limited to getting new legs and a lower torso, while also getting some minor tweaks. When Fox asks him if he has any evidence of getting reprogrammed, Bishop says that he’s a complex-enough A.I. that incapable of going through said process. Fox then inquires on whether his or not his memory has been accessed, to which Bishop tells him that he’s not able to know if it did happen. Afterwards, he then says that there wasn’t any mention of the alien once his consciousness was restored. Fox then wants to know what his last memory was while he was on the Sulaco, to which Bishop says that his ability to retain data was partially faltered when he got damaged. While he does remember the phrase “Not bad for a human” within his verbal banks, he can’t remember the context behind said phrase. Suddenly, Fox gets contacted and learns that Welles wants him over in Tissue Culture, to which he tells Bishop to come with him.
Over in the docking bay, Walker has the broken afterburner brought in before he reads some details on it getting replaced with a working part. As he takes his leaves, it’s soon revealed that a Xenomorph was hiding inside of it. Meanwhile, Spence wants to know where Tully went, to which Welles explains that he’s been removed from the project. Not only that, but she tells Spence that she’s been dismissed from it as well and that both of them will be signing forfeit agreements within their contracts. Spence tries to argue back, but she’s unable to get the words out before she solemnly leaves. Later, she meets up with Fox and Bishop as she says that the alien embryos will only be destroyed once they’ve been cloned. Fox then tells him that he’ll be running the lab since they see him as the most-qualified being for the job, especially since they were dissatisfied with Tully & Spence’s work, thus laying them off. Bishop realizes that the recent accident was a major deciding factor in this before Fox tells him to provide them with records of everything within the vicinity and that some special software is en route from Gateway. Back with Newt, the spaceship that will take her back to Earth is ready for launch as Hicks tells her that a red-headed worked named Halliday will escort her to her hypersleep chamber. Dwayne then wishes Rebecca the best of luck for her out in Oregon before she tells him “affirmative” with a positive thumbs up. From there, she gets on board and begins her trek.
Over on the Rodina space station, a fully-grown Xenomorph has escaped from the bio-lab and has begun a rampage through the whole facility. Suslov and Kassel are among those who were captured, especially with the latter figure having been impregnated by a Facehugger before another alien burst out of its chest. Meanwhile, the patrons flee for their lives while a pair of people try to hold the alien back with some gunfire. With the majority of them fleeing towards an upper level, they manage to seal the door off just before the Xenomorph can reach them as it begin to bang away at the hatchway.
Over in the communications room, Jackson tells Rosetti that he’s been unable to get in contact with either Rivera or anyone over on the Rodina space station. Suddenly, he picks up a feint outgoing radio transmission from said station and that it’s a “military decryption standard”. Frank asks him if there’s military vessels in the area, to which Jackson says that he’s picked up a battle cruiser called the Nikolai Stoiko that’s only a few hours away. Over within a decrepit part of Anchorpoint, Hicks meets up with Tatsumi as he brings him to a private meeting that also includes Spence and Halliday. After Tatsumi says that he couldn’t find Tully or Sterling, Halliday mentions that she convinced Spence into letting Dwayne in on what’s going down. The two ladies explain that they must stop the current experiments within the lab, especially since Fox & Welles have ordered for some recombinant DNA experiments upon some alien tissue samples that were recovered from the Sulaco. With the big suits intent on cloning it, they have to stop it at all costs. Hicks warns them that they’ll know who stopped them, but Spence says that it won’t matter. She also mentions that she & Tully were let go from the experiment and that Bishop was put in their place, to which Tatsumi adds the fact that the android was recently within U.P.P.’s care before he was brought back. Dwayne then asks about the group, to which Spence says that they’re all in the dark about them. Either way, she wants all of them to wipe those samples out for good. Tatsumi is initially hesitant about it, but Hicks backs her up on account of his first-hand experience with said creatures. As such, they head out to begin their sabotage. And so, Issue 4 ends within the showers as a guy in a contamination suit is cleaning up when he suddenly hears a mysterious hiss. It’s soon revealed to be a Xenomorph as it brutally kills him.
Overall, this entry has the story’s true terror set in motion. A few more plot details and shake-ups do go down, but now things are finally starting to ramp up for this narrative. A rebellion against Weyland-Utani’s plans to weaponize the aliens while a few Xenomorphs have shown up to do their bloody best has finally been brought into the light in order to become what our main heroes could potentially deal with for the ultimate battle of this tale. In addition, it sets the stage for Hicks to finally claim the spotlight as the central protagonist that he was supposed to become before studio interference axed him and Newt off with a shrug. Speaking of her, if this truly turns out to be her final appearance here, then it’s heart-warming that she gets a respectable sendoff after everything that she went through during the course of “Aliens” and even through the small bit of story that she’s present for here. Backed by some good pacing, continued development for our central cast of characters and some good art work, this middle chapter has laid the groundwork for William Gibson’s story and aims to deliver on what was set up so far. As for how these two brewing conflicts will ultimately collide, come back next time as we finally look foward to some suspense, danger and terror.
Alien (created by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett) is owned by the Walt Disney Company.