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Alien #3 Review

4 min read


Creative Staff:
Story: Phillip K. Johnson
Art: Julius Ohta
Colors: Yen Nitro
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

What They Say:
The devil you know…While searching the Xenomorph-infested Tobler-9 for an alien sample that can save humanity, “Steel Team,” the mythical Synthetic Special Operations team, has made a shocking discovery: a colony of humans who have managed to survive there for decades. With only their mutual mistrust in common, the humans and synths strike an uneasy bargain: the alien sample in exchange for Steel Team’s help in clearing a subterranean Xenomorph nest. But while the humans have had to sacrifice some of their humanity to survive, Steel Team learns that the ICARUS alien strain has taken on some disturbingly HUMAN tendencies…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I continue to piece together some of the other events that have happened in the Marvel-connect realm of stories for this property, I continue to be glad that it’s not required reading. I had read a bit of the series from about a year ago with Phillip K. Johnson’s writing but I never kept up on it, so I figured I’d try again with this one. The series so far has done some decent setup and I liked the focus on the synthetics even if it does basically place them into a quasi-superhero mold to play with. Julius Ohta has long been a favorite of mine for some interesting properties and there’s definitely an interesting approach here since the story doesn’t, so far, lean into the dank and grim interiors but rather exterior and modern world sequences.

The mission so far has definitely worked well with the setup and introduction of the Steel Team group as well as what Tobler-9 is like as a planet now that the Xenomorphs have largely taken over. I wish we had more time to explore it but we got into the action quick and the connection with some of the survivors gives us a solid piece of expansion here. There’s some natural distrust on both sides, and some admiration as well, and seeing how this group has managed to find a balance in surviving while the creatures basically rule over everything is engaging. There are some decent character moments in connecting with some of the locals while also getting one of their own fixed up after taking a hard hit from the aliens. We even get a moment where the fly that was taken from the labs has now infected one of the locals and we see that starting to play out as well.

With the mission still at play and the team now offering some hope to the survivors of extraction – though enough know that it’s not likely going to happen – we get a small passage of time before the leaders take the Steel Team folks to where they want to get the egg material that they need to help others. They’re clear about why they’re after it and that’s understood by the survivors. But they’re also aware of the truth of what these aliens are and they’re willing to keep surviving as they are rather than to let it out there into another world. It may be shortsighted in one sense but it’s also showing us a group of people that understand the big picture and are willing to sacrifice because of it. The synths haven’t quite realized this yet, even after their first encounters with the Xenomorphs, but they’re now finding themselves in the layer of the queen being offered as either sacrifice or the killing blow to it.

In Summary:
This series is going pretty well so far and I’m definitely interested to see where it goes. I still have some of my minor reservations over it because of the whole synthetic team that makes it more like a super soldier team but they’re being placed in an interesting situation and there are a few dynamics playing from it that I like. The writing continues to be solid for it and Ohta’s artwork in giving us a really ragged group of survivors helps to cement the situation well, especially as they move between various bunkers in order to avoid the enemy.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 23rd, 2022
MSRP: $3.99

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