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Alien #4 (2023 – 2024) Review

4 min read
It's a solid story overall and one that may read better in full but is definitely worth it in general but especially for the strong artwork.


Creative Staff:
Story: Declan Shalvey
Art: Andrea Broccardo / Declan Shalvey
Colors: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

What They Say:
STAY FROSTY! The Yutani family has decided to settle the invasion of LV-695 personally. But no corporate executive has the authority to tell a Xenomorph what to do…unless the order is “slaughter”! And knowing the Weyland-Yutani Corp? It just might be. Trapped between an avalanche and a watery death, the mysterious “Cole” makes her hardest decisions yet.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Alien property has a whole lot of great creative talent behind it over the years and this series is no exception. Declan Shalvey has too many great works to cite in this space but I’m thrilled to get not just his talent on this for the scripting but also the pacing, something these books can really falter with at times. Shalvey is joined by one of my favorite Marvel artists Andrea Broccardo and that delivers us a fantastic piece with so much detail, from great character designs to ensuring amusing bits of small continuity from the original film in the backgrounds. I like how things get shaken up a bit here with Shalvey doing the flashback artwork for this issue as it’s different but similar and creates the right vibe for it. There’s an embarrassment of riches here when it comes to this team.

The end of this series, which brings to a close the previous miniseries as well, is definitely a lot of fun even if familiar in a larger sense. Yutani’s desire to find and get the information out of Dayton again is drawn back to the events forty years prior when Dayton then as a synth scientist/work for Yutani destroyed the Xenomorph that he had. As we see it unfold here, Yutani has hunted for him since (and more eggs) because he wants the information that Dayton saw that made him do that all those years ago. The Xenomorph and getting Dayton at this point in time would help him “buy” his way back into the family because of course there are complicating factors here. Namely that this Yutani isn’t a real Yutani but some kind of synth as well. That the Yutani family may have a branch of experimentation like this certainly isn’t a surprise if we factor in some Prometheus-era material as well, but it works to showcase the lack of clarity about this dynasty and Jun Yutani’s part within it.

The chaos of the finale plays out in a couple of ways here, though not much time is given overall to the Xenormorph changes outside. The giant local creature that has been gestated is definitely amusing and it leads to some infighting which is pretty wild to watch. But inside the ship is where the real action is as Dayton is trying to get Zasha to leave so he can drop a nuke on Yutani and end it once and for all. It’s some good up close and personal action and material that really does strain things for Zasha because she doesn’t want to leave Dayton again in the end. It’s a bit of a bleak ending but that’s part for the course for an Alien storyline. It’s effective in showing a good approach for Zasha as we get more background material with how he ended up with her family and the reason for them all to be close. I do think Zasha took it too far but I can understand it after what the family as a whole has been through.

In Summary:
Shalvey’s storyline for this certainly isn’t complete going by the bit we get at the end as a kind of epilogue but this does seme to bring this particular par of the story to a close. With two miniseries for it and some interesting location material, twisted science, and creative use of the Xenomorphs, it’s touched on familiar ideas and elements but made them its own as well. I’m definitely curious to see what’s next for Shalvey on this property and if there really is a bigger plan at work because there’s plenty of ways it can all go if it’s just given time to really build up an in-universe plan that’s cohesive and feels tense. It also needs the occasional standalone piece which the upcoming Black, White, & Red special stuff will handle as wel.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 7th, 2024
MSRP: $4.99

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