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Aliens Returns to Dark Horse Presents

For the first time in almost a decade, an Aliens story will be featuring in Dark Horse Presents, it has been announced:

 Aliens Returns to Dark Horse Presents

The story is written by John Layman and the artwork is being done by Sam Keith. It was also revealed back in July that these pair would be working on a new Aliens series. Whether this is related to that series is unknown at the moment.

Liam Sharp’s novella, Alien – Fast Track to Heaven, was also recently released. You can find that online or in your local comic shops. Look out for news of an upcoming 2nd novella.



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Comments: 44
  1. Lonely Universe
    Maybe we spend more time discussing the new Keith/Laymen entry instead of bickering over the same life cycle and canon arguments that already have dedicated threads? For instance, the bobble head could have been an experiment conducted by human scientists in a lab which became over run and eventually hived. It doesn't likey have anything to do with Prometheus or the SJ's, as much as I would like for it too.
  2. Xenomrph
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    In my personal opinion, I like to think that all of the life-cycles apply to the alien, they're just for different circumstances to ensure survival.
    That's how the "Weyland-Yutani Archive" on the AvPR blu-ray approaches it - it reintroduced the egg-morphing concept into "the canon" and said it was an alternate method used in certain situations, but that the queen method is their normal reproductive method.
  3. RagingDragon
    Yes, they change the past from the present, or basically change something in the present that effects the past.  I think we're dancing around word use.

    I didn't know that about the origins of egg-morphing and the derelict scenes, it's very interesting.  I do recall the eggs being scattered around very hive-like, and the floor had sticky resin covering it, but I always assumed it grew from the eggs.

    The egg-morphing is very alien, but it seems like the queen made the alien a more dangerous and rapidly-producing organism.  In my personal opinion, I like to think that all of the life-cycles apply to the alien, they're just for different circumstances to ensure survival.

    hanks for sharing your knowledge of the movies, I enjoy learning new things about them after all of these years.  I'm too cheap to get the Anthology, only have the Alien Triple Pack from Wal-Mart :D Shame on me.
  4. Xenomrph
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    the word retroactive continuity implies changing something in the past to allow for the present and that's what I believe it means.
    Retroactive means it's taking something in the present and applying it to the past. That's what the word means. :)

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    The thing about the eggs in the derelict all being from the crew I have several issues with.  Where was the drone to incapacitate and turn all of them into the eggs?  Why did a ship that size have so many crew members?  How did they all get so neatly placed in the holding areas that looked like they were specifically designed to transport large numbers of eggs?
    While those are valid points, the "crew is the eggs" intention is actually what was intended by the egg-morphing scene when they were making the movie. The original filmmaker's intention was that the audience was supposed to see the egg-morphing scene and make the connection that that's where eggs come from, and therefore all the eggs on the Derelict were once living beings that got egg-morphed. I'm not just making that up off-the-cuff as an alternate interpretation, that's literally the point of the egg-morphing scene according to the creators.

    Keep in mind that the hole Kane descends through isn't a natural hole, it's got burnt and corroded edges all around that look like acid-scarring. It's not like it was an intentional hatch or ladder descending into the cargo hold. Also, the eggs aren't in neat rows in 'Alien' - they're scattered all over, just like they are in the hive in 'Aliens'.
  5. RagingDragon
    I understand your points.  We'll just have to have different definitions of retcon, as the word retroactive continuity implies changing something in the past to allow for the present and that's what I believe it means.

    The thing about the eggs in the derelict all being from the crew I have several issues with.  Where was the drone to incapacitate and turn all of them into the eggs?  Why did a ship that size have so many crew members?  How did they all get so neatly placed in the holding areas that looked like they were specifically designed to transport large numbers of eggs?  From the audiences point of view, it appears that the eggs were very much there on purpose, hence the protective fields, and that the Derelict might have actually been piloted by only a single crew member thanks to the one funky seat.  I always thought that, or that the rest of the crew was killed by the jockey chestburster that also was missing.

    I'm sure if you read the novel you could have arrived at the more unnatural conclusion of "all of these eggs may have been morphed" since that deleted scene was the only evidence of any life cycle at that point, but the normal reaction to an egg is "what laid the egg?"  The queen to me was just a natural next step.

    I've just never heard that theory and don't buy it at all.  It's very illogical unless it was explained in the story, like the Jockeys let the Aliens morph a bunch of eggs for them in a controlled setting.

    I dunno, I've been able to work around a good number of the "continuity errors" in the AvP movies.
    Yes, I bet you have.

    http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/875/875845/hero-showdown-indiana-jones-vs-han-solo-20080521032849568-000.jpg

     ;)
  6. Xenomrph
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    Agreed, but still disagree about retcon point.  By that logic, every change to a property would be considered retcon.
    Only changes that affect older materials or prior events. Introducing the Queen changed our perception of the eggs onboard the Derelict, especially for those who had read the movie's novelization or script and knew about the egg-morphing idea, because the implication was that all the eggs on the Derelict were the crew of the ship, morphed into eggs. It calls back to Lambert's ominous line when they're exploring, "Where's the rest of the crew...?".
    The introduction of the Queen changed that, and filled in that gap in the Alien's lifecycle.

    The revelation that Leia is Luke's sister is a retcon, but it doesn't actually contradict anything we didn't know - it just fills in more information, and by doing so it changes how we view those two characters and their interactions up to that point. Such as the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Leia kisses Luke - that scene evokes a completely different reaction from the audience with the later knowledge that they're brother and sister, even though that "fact" doesn't actually change anything within the story itself.

    The 'Saw' series is filled top-to-bottom with retcons, revelations that certain characters were in certain locations or did certain things which changes your perceptions of how those events originally played out. The events themselves didn't change, but learning that other things were happening "off-camera" that don't actually contradict what was going on in the prior movies, they just fill in blanks.

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    The EU has problems, but it pales in comparison to the AvP movies and their cornucopia of sloppy continuity errors.
    I dunno, I've been able to work around a good number of the "continuity errors" in the AvP movies.
  7. RagingDragon
    Agreed, but still disagree about retcon point.  By that logic, every change to a property would be considered retcon.  I thought the entire point of having the word was to define when a writer went back and changed something established in the past to make the present story consistent?

    Aliens didn't contradict anything in Alien that it couldn't explain.  Even if the egg-morphing was in the theatrical release, it doesn't make the queen a retcon because for all we know, the aliens could do both life cycles.  No foul requires no explanation, just expansion. 

    The EU has problems, but it pales in comparison to the AvP movies and their cornucopia of sloppy continuity errors.

    The comics are just all over the place, and I think this is made worse by the fact that there hasn't really been a solid Aliens comic on-par with the movies and their level of storytelling and production since Nightmare Asylum.  Some nice side stories, Eternal is one of my favorites, but no big central series that gives people that same magic that the movies had.
  8. Xenomrph
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    When you retcon something, the entire point of what makes it a retcon is that you have to change something that's already been established within a canon.
    No you don't, and I specifically cited a part of that very Wikipedia article that says as such. The Queen *is* a change. Previously it didn't exist, and now it does. That is a change.

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    A comic would definitely be taken more seriously, and lend a hand to repairing the franchise, if it were to stay as close to the movie canon as possible.
    A lot of the EU does stay close to the movie canon (although "movie canon" is a hard thing to define, since the movies themselves vary so drastically from each other in terms of style, tone, and content - for example, which "movie canon" would you prefer they stay close to? 'Alien', or 'Aliens'?). Staying close to "the canon" isn't the solution. Having a quality product is the solution. 'Aliens' strayed from 'Alien' in a lot of ways, but most people ultimately didn't have a problem with it because it was a good movie.
  9. RagingDragon
    I am aware of this noble crusade.

    What was the purpose of discussing whether the creation of the queen was a retcon or not?

    The topic was continuity, in a thread about a new Aliens comic. :laugh:

    A comic would definitely be taken more seriously, and lend a hand to repairing the franchise, if it were to stay as close to the movie canon as possible.  But nobody holds comic books to that kind of standard anymore.
  10. predxeno
    Very well, RagingDragon, you've made your point.  Xenomrph's and my point is that we try to reinterpret the events of all the EU and movies so that they all fit in 1 continuity.
  11. RagingDragon
    From Wiki:

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    Retcons are done for many reasons, including the accommodation of sequels or further derivative works in a series, wherein newer authors or creators want to revise the in-story history to allow a course of events that would not have been possible in the story's original continuity

    When you retcon something, the entire point of what makes it a retcon is that you have to change something that's already been established within a canon.

    No origin for the egg was ever established in Alien, therefore the queen didn't change anything.  It was simply the expansion of the Alien creature.

    If Cameron did something like change the acid blood, and made up a story about how the Hadleys Aliens were exposed to something that neutralized their acidic blood, that would be a retcon in order to facilitate that change in fact established by Alien.

    The queen is not.  We can just agree to disagree, because that's my final answer.  No negativity intended.
  12. Xenomrph
    Depends on how you want to look at it. We didn't know what the facts were surrounding the eggs in 'Alien', and 'Aliens' changed that. Likewise, the opening to 'Alien3' was a retcon - all of a sudden there were eggs on the Sulaco.

    "Some retcons do not directly contradict previously established facts, but "fill in" missing background details, usually to support current plot points." also from Wikipedia. That's exactly what happened with the Queen concept, which is why the Queen is a retcon.
  13. RagingDragon
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    The queen wasn't retconned, because they didn't have to alter anything previously established to create her.
    Sure they did, Cameron ignored the original egg-morphing concept. That, and a retcon is something that merely changes how you view previous works - it introduced the Queen concept, something that didn't previously exist in 'Alien'.

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    Reinterpreting something so that it fits with canon sounds fine, but I've never seen someone on this site try and actually sort out the mess that is the EU and try and interpret it to where it all makes sense, retcon or no.
    Predxeno and I do it fairly frequently. :P
    That isn't what retcon means.

    Retroactive continuity (retcon for short[1]) is the alteration of previously established facts in a fictional work.  From Wiki.

    Egg morphing wasn't in the theatrical release, so there was no retcon required.  All Cameron had to do was think up the queen and put her in the film.  It was kind of natural considering facehuggers come from eggs and are parasitic, the insect thing, I mean.

  14. Xenomrph
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    The queen wasn't retconned, because they didn't have to alter anything previously established to create her.
    Sure they did, Cameron ignored the original egg-morphing concept. That, and a retcon is something that merely changes how you view previous works - it introduced the Queen concept, something that didn't previously exist in 'Alien'.

    Quote
    Reinterpreting something so that it fits with canon sounds fine, but I've never seen someone on this site try and actually sort out the mess that is the EU and try and interpret it to where it all makes sense, retcon or no.
    Predxeno and I do it fairly frequently. :P
  15. RagingDragon
    If reinterpreting something results in fixing the problem, that certainly is reconciliation. :)

    Also the users on this site don't retcon - retcon would imply we were actually contributing something official to the franchise, and we're not. We're interpreting things other people have officially created, that's a pretty important distinction.

    'Aliens' retconned the existence of a Queen into the (off-screen) backstory of 'Alien'. The fans making up explanations for incorporating egg-morphing anyway is not a retcon. The AvPR blu-ray mentioning egg-morphing, however, could be seen as a retcon since it's officially licensed material.
    The queen wasn't retconned, because they didn't have to alter anything previously established to create her.

    Reinterpreting something so that it fits with canon sounds fine, but I've never seen someone on this site try and actually sort out the mess that is the EU and try and interpret it to where it all makes sense, retcon or no.

    It would be a daunting task.
  16. Xenomrph
    "I'm going to ignore this because this other thing said something different" isn't reconciliation. Which is what retconning on this site amounts to.
    If reinterpreting something results in fixing the problem, that certainly is reconciliation. :)

    Also the users on this site don't retcon - retcon would imply we were actually contributing something official to the franchise, and we're not. We're interpreting things other people have officially created, that's a pretty important distinction.

    'Aliens' retconned the existence of a Queen into the (off-screen) backstory of 'Alien'. The fans making up explanations for incorporating egg-morphing anyway is not a retcon. The AvPR blu-ray mentioning egg-morphing, however, could be seen as a retcon since it's officially licensed material.
  17. vikingspawn
    A foolproof way to keep it from selling lower than the 2009 series is to make new Aliens/Predator/AvP series that don't suck.

    The best parts of those books were the Raymond Swanland covers.    They really fumbled the ball with that mini relaunch.   Horrible blotchy computer inking on the art pages.   It's like they inked over the pencil art with sharpie markers.  Or lipstick. 

     :-\   
  18. vikingspawn
    Comics sales and print runs are in the toilet these days.   Dark Horse has been sending alot of their series to the recent 80 page Dark Horse Presents monthly lately.  It's probably cheaper for them to include it inside an 80 page anthology than spending money on print run for a regular Aliens 4 issue mini-series that'll probably sell even lower than the last 2009 series.

     
  19. PRJ_since1990
    Not sure why everybody is down on Sam Keith. I know his art is strange and psychedelic at times but if you ask me it fits in a way, especially when thinking about the shape of the derelict. Personally I enjoyed the original prints of Earth War. The shitty recolor they did for Female War is what ruined people's perceptions if you ask me.

    It's difficult to cry foul on the use of an individual artist when it comes to an anthology series. They are all temporary, so just roll with it.

    However, I am concerned about the writing. I can't recall having ever read anything by John Layman but if Fast Track to Heaven is any indication then Dark Horse really needs to step it up in the quality control dept. That whole thing was just stupid with it's pretentious Biblical references and generic scarred up soldiers ::)

    I have to agree with the first half of your post. I never understood why so many folks out there seem to hate an artist's work because it's different from the norm. I guess I'm just more passive when it comes to these sort of things - I see the multitudes of comics and stories as unique entities that are all good in their own way. I'm going to be purchasing the new series once it releases regardless of prior public opinion :) Also need to pick up Fast Track to Heaven.
  20. Xenomrph
    I really hope this is a fresh start. I can not tell you how disappointed I was when the 2009 series decided to keep to the convoluted contradictory continuity circle-jerk that Dark Horse made of the earlier Aliens & AvP comics.

    If we're lucky, this new series will start with the films as a base and ignore the comics that came before.
    Gonna disagree there, there really isn't a reason to ignore the older comics.
  21. happypred
    DHP was always in black-and-white, since originally all of Dark Horse's work was strictly in black-and-white (including the first Aliens series they did), so DHP stayed true to that. DHC was always in color, so I guess it was around so they could tell stories in color if they wanted to without "compromising" DHP.
    Ah, thanks. I've personally always preferred color, but I suppose black and white has its artsy appeal
  22. Lonely Universe
    Not sure why everybody is down on Sam Keith. I know his art is strange and psychedelic at times but if you ask me it fits in a way, especially when thinking about the shape of the derelict. Personally I enjoyed the original prints of Earth War. The shitty recolor they did for Female War is what ruined people's perceptions if you ask me.

    It's difficult to cry foul on the use of an individual artist when it comes to an anthology series. They are all temporary, so just roll with it.

    However, I am concerned about the writing. I can't recall having ever read anything by John Layman but if Fast Track to Heaven is any indication then Dark Horse really needs to step it up in the quality control dept. That whole thing was just stupid with it's pretentious Biblical references and generic scarred up soldiers ::)
  23. HybridNewborn
    I really hope this is a fresh start. I can not tell you how disappointed I was when the 2009 series decided to keep to the convoluted contradictory continuity circle-jerk that Dark Horse made of the earlier Aliens & AvP comics.

    If we're lucky, this new series will start with the films as a base and ignore the comics that came before.
  24. Xenomrph
    I've always been curious, what was the point of having DH Presents and DH Comics? Was one more geared toward a younger audience?
    DHP was always in black-and-white, since originally all of Dark Horse's work was strictly in black-and-white (including the first Aliens series they did), so DHP stayed true to that. DHC was always in color, so I guess it was around so they could tell stories in color if they wanted to without "compromising" DHP.
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