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Dark Horse Announces Aliens: Defiance Comic Series

Dark Horse have today announced a new Aliens comic series at the New York Comic-Con due for release in April 2016. Titled Aliens: Defiance, the action/survivor/horror comic is set between the first two Alien movies and follows an injured Colonial Marine called Zula Hendricks who fights the xenomorphs. It will be written by Brian Wood with art by Tristan Jones and the story will involve Weyland-Yutani dispatching a team of Synthetics to investigate a floating derelict freighter. Zula is the main representative of the Colonial Marines and the team soon discovers xenomorphs on the spacecraft. You can read an interview with the writer and artist over on Newsarama.com where they reveal lots of details about the series. Here’s the cover art from artist Massimo Carnivale:

AliensDefiance1_Massimo_Carnivale Dark Horse Announces Aliens: Defiance Comic Series

Wood goes on to say there will be a cameo appearance from Amanda Ripley from Alien Isolation: “Pretty early on… I would say more or less concurrent with the Alien: Isolation story. We even have a cameo with Amanda Ripley at the start of our story. She and Zula are known to each other. If you want to talk dates, the events of Alien occurred during the in-story year of 2122, with Aliens being 2179. We’re at around 2136 or 37.” Aliens: Defiance is its own story so it won’t be tied to other franchises like the recent Fire & Stone series. Look out for the Aliens comic in April 2016.



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  1. Xenomrph
    If it's confirmed that Alien Isolation isn't getting a video game sequel, what are the odds we get a sequel in comic book format to help tie up the cliffhanger ending of the game?
  2. Corporal Hicks
    Ooo! I like that...! Maybe further down the road... I've given the squad in this book tactical shotguns as it stands, but I do really like that... I'm also looking into some of the smaller firearms from Colonial Marines...

    I think there might have been some similar concepts in the Isolation Art Of book. I'll have a gander when I get home this evening (I did have a quick look on Google but couldn't see any) and see if I can find any that might be of interest! Glad you like that though!

    I rather liked the SMG myself. As terrible as the game was some of the designs were really nice and fitting, I thought.

    Quote
    As for the second bit, yep... ;)

    This pleases me. Immensely.  ;D
  3. tyrannosaurusjones
    :) I wasn't criticising, it just amuses me how these by-then archaic designs keep cropping up in future settings.

    I guess one thing the VP70 has going for it is that it has a pretty futuristic look even now. Plus it's a fairly obscure weapon, which helps hide the fact its 45 years old, whereas the old 1911 is iconic to the point of almost being cliché.)

    Haha! Nah, I knew, I was just saying how weird it is that military tech and design rarely changes. Also, it lets me sleep easier about putting a dropship in the book using the film look (though the interior is different, and has a side dock like a plane).

    This is true though! I actually didn't know the VP70 was a real gun until very recently!

    Oooh, I hope you sneaked the Isolation shotgun in there somewhere, that was a really nice piece of design from Creative Assembly.

    Yep! Alistair and the guys at Creative Assembly have been tremendous help!


    Ok, I'm sure there was a better piece than the one below but I can only find this one -

    It's a piece of concept art for Aliens vs. Predator (the game) of a Pulse Rifle-ish style shotgun that I really loved the idea of. I'm sure there's a more refined version of it but I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it.


    That's understandable! Has the VP70 cropped up elsewhere then?

    Ooo! I like that...! Maybe further down the road... I've given the squad in this book tactical shotguns as it stands, but I do really like that... I'm also looking into some of the smaller firearms from Colonial Marines...

    As for the second bit, yep... ;)
  4. Corporal Hicks
    Oh! Shotguns! I have something I'd like to suggest - just let me go find it.

    Ok, I'm sure there was a better piece than the one below but I can only find this one -

    http://www.avpgalaxy.net/gallery/albums/games/avp2/concept09.jpg

    It's a piece of concept art for Aliens vs. Predator (the game) of a Pulse Rifle-ish style shotgun that I really loved the idea of. I'm sure there's a more refined version of it but I can't for the life of me remember where I saw it.

    Quote
    I wanted to put the VP70 into THIS sequence, but there's no way that suit's gloves would let her fire that thing... the colt's a little less of a stretch ;) I ALMOST used the revolver from Isolation, but it didn't sit right with me as a military issue weapon. I know the Russians carry triple barrelled pistols into space missions (for some reason!), but the design of the revolver, while great, just felt unwieldy for this sequence.

    That's understandable! Has the VP70 cropped up elsewhere then?

  5. HuDaFuK
    But, those colt and VP70 designs are timeless... and hey... we're still using AK's these days (don't worry, haven't drawn them into this).

    :) I wasn't criticising, it just amuses me how these by-then archaic designs keep cropping up in future settings.

    I guess one thing the VP70 has going for it is that it has a pretty futuristic look even now. Plus it's a fairly obscure weapon, which helps hide the fact its 45 years old, whereas the old 1911 is iconic to the point of almost being cliché.

    I'm using as many "in-universe" weapons as I can dig up. One of my favourite things I've drawn so far involves a shotgun... ;)

    Oooh, I hope you sneaked the Isolation shotgun in there somewhere, that was a really nice piece of design from Creative Assembly.
  6. tyrannosaurusjones
    I wanted to put the VP70 into THIS sequence, but there's no way that suit's gloves would let her fire that thing... the colt's a little less of a stretch ;) I ALMOST used the revolver from Isolation, but it didn't sit right with me as a military issue weapon. I know the Russians carry triple barrelled pistols into space missions (for some reason!), but the design of the revolver, while great, just felt unwieldy for this sequence.
    But, those colt and VP70 designs are timeless... and hey... we're still using AK's these days (don't worry, haven't drawn them into this). I'm using as many "in-universe" weapons as I can dig up. One of my favourite things I've drawn so far involves a shotgun... ;)
  7. Born Of Cold Light
    I like the idea of the story taking place on the Moon, as it often gets ignored by many sci-fi writers for not being exotic enough, despite the fact that it is a pretty creepy, ghostly place.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/12065760_1643437129232109_6127542663322114303_n.jpg?oh=0445d45371e5a4195478fcd9d0c3a8d8&oe=56CC5BA8&__gda__=1456301855_7d9e733615adf8be75f9998d64f2a909

    That is so cool.  I'll be honest; I almost want this series to be in black and white like the original Aliens series, as color might remove some of the details and the overall cadaver feel to the series.
  8. HuDaFuK
    Thanks guys! I was leaning pretty heavily towards the Prometheus domes on Mars, but also considered blending in some Hadley's type structures, and given the Nostromo's refinery structure's similarity to Sevastopol, and how commonly such structures in the real world share structural similarities, similar towers might be in place. Also, given it's probably something of a hub, there'd be landing ports/docks, so I'm sort of thinking I might run with a bit of a mash. Don't be surprised if it looks a little Neo-Tokyo meets Silent Running.

    Sounds good.

    Don't forget to slip in that Weyland-Yutani headquarters in the Sea of Tranquillity!
  9. tyrannosaurusjones
    Thanks guys! I was leaning pretty heavily towards the Prometheus domes on Mars, but also considered blending in some Hadley's type structures, and given the Nostromo's refinery structure's similarity to Sevastopol, and how commonly such structures in the real world share structural similarities, similar towers might be in place. Also, given it's probably something of a hub, there'd be landing ports/docks, so I'm sort of thinking I might run with a bit of a mash. Don't be surprised if it looks a little Neo-Tokyo meets Silent Running.
  10. Corporal Hicks
    Perhaps these concepts from Prometheus will be of use?

    Heavy picture post contained within spoilers.


    We've got concepts of the orbital stations from the various drafts in the gallery too - http://www.avpgalaxy.net/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=300&page=1
  11. Perfect-Organism
    I think the above mentioned solutions are really great.  I think a mix of the Hadley's hope and dome structure as seen in Prometheus would be ideal.  It would definitely be cool to see a personalized touch such as a bar or pub logo or something along those lines as long as it works with the story.

    If I could suggest anything, it would be to really work out what the layout is in terms of logic and function and once that is nailed down to stick to it in the actual story.  The example of what I am referring to is the first Aliens vs. Predator series.  Phil Norwood actually created a map of the colony which was then referenced in the comic book.  You could literally look at the panels in the comic and then find that place on the map.  That approach really showed the care with which that colony was put together, and the artist's commitment to detail.  It would be awesome if we could also get a map of Tranquility Base and have it consistently be adhered to in the story.
  12. HuDaFuK
    Something pre-fab would make sense.

    Come to think of it, does the EU ever mention whether the moon is actually terraformed, or just colonised with pressurised structures? If it's the latter, pre-fab is kinda the only thing you could do. But if there's an atmosphere you could do a little more construction in situ.
  13. Corporal Hicks
    I can't recall it coming up in any of the comics or books I've read but personally I'd like to see it as some self-contained but pre-fabricated sort of appearance as Hadley's Hope. Or maybe a lattice-work style appearance of Gateway.
  14. Perfect-Organism
    I watched Aliens when I was 10.  It was my first introduction to the Aliens universe.  Hence why I refer to it as the Aliens universe.

    The first film I saw was Alien 3, does that make it the Alien 3 franchise? ::)

    With all due respect, Alien 3 references a specific number in a sequence of films, while Aliens is a generally plural number, hence it makes sense that it defines the Aliens universe in general.  However, naturally, you're welcome to refer to it as the Alien 3 franchise if that fits better with your own headcanon, as much as its ok for other people to refer to it as the Alien franchise.
  15. Lonely Universe
    I absolutely hate Xenogenesis. It's probably my least favorite Aliens thing ever. It's just the absolute worst, rock bottom moment of the franchise.

    Honorable mention to Alien vs Predator vs Terminator vs Robocop vs Buffy vs The Volcano: Butt Hunter
  16. Perfect-Organism
    I think the comment about Aliens making the Aliens less scary is a fair one.  The movie itself doesn't do this, but like what was said, this was what was drawn out from the movie in later media.  A small complaint that I've had about Alien EU material is that it sometimes puts across the idea that one Alien is an unstoppable force of nature no matter what, while many are no problem as long as you have some kind of firearm.  That goes into another complaint of mine; it has often been shown, with a few exceptions, that as long as you have a gun with sufficient ammunition, you can take down an entire hive.  AVP: Xenogenesis was one of the worst offenders, with two skinny hackers taking down hundreds of Aliens with an UZI and a 9mm, all the while tripping over stuff and arguing with each other.  It reminded me of those old Jackie Chan films where he's screwing up in the middle of fights while still beating up the bad guys; all of the horror of the Aliens was gone.  This kind of logic is acceptable for a video game, but should not be used in an official narrative story.

    In actuality, taking on a horde of Aliens should be incredibly difficult, even with a company of the best-trained, best-equipped soldiers.  One slight screw-up and you're dead, unlike Aliens Xenogenesis where it often seemed like the Marines were dancing through the hive.  It seems to be like this new comic is looking to finally get things right; having a pulse rifle does not inherently make one any safer.

    This.

    I watched Aliens when I was 10.  It was my first introduction to the Aliens universe.  Hence why I refer to it as the Aliens universe.  It scared the crap out of me, and a lot of people.  The first EU comics also had a delicious element of horror and dread, but it definitely got lost.  The creatures somehow became fodder and inelegant.  They need to come across as much more dangerous and cunning.  Their intelligence needs to come across more.  Not like that, "I'm a scientist" kind of intelligence, but more like "I am the ultimate predator" kind of intelligence.
  17. Born Of Cold Light
    I think the comment about Aliens making the Aliens less scary is a fair one.  The movie itself doesn't do this, but like what was said, this was what was drawn out from the movie in later media.  A small complaint that I've had about Alien EU material is that it sometimes puts across the idea that one Alien is an unstoppable force of nature no matter what, while many are no problem as long as you have some kind of firearm.  That goes into another complaint of mine; it has often been shown, with a few exceptions, that as long as you have a gun with sufficient ammunition, you can take down an entire hive.  AVP: Xenogenesis was one of the worst offenders, with two skinny hackers taking down hundreds of Aliens with an UZI and a 9mm, all the while tripping over stuff and arguing with each other.  It reminded me of those old Jackie Chan films where he's screwing up in the middle of fights while still beating up the bad guys; all of the horror of the Aliens was gone.  This kind of logic is acceptable for a video game, but should not be used in an official narrative story.

    In actuality, taking on a horde of Aliens should be incredibly difficult, even with a company of the best-trained, best-equipped soldiers.  One slight screw-up and you're dead, unlike Aliens Xenogenesis where it often seemed like the Marines were dancing through the hive.  It seems to be like this new comic is looking to finally get things right; having a pulse rifle does not inherently make one any safer.
  18. Corporal Hicks
    That said, apparently the announcement did lead to some changes in Incursion though. We don't know what. I should be getting my copy within the next few days so we'll have to see if anything obvious jumps out.

  19. Lonely Universe
    Well, SoS was written before Blomkamp's ideas ever came to light. It's likely that if A5 retcons those two pictures Fox & Titan will simply omit the mention in future reprints. Otherwise, the simplest & most logical explanation is 'freak accident'. You'll have to make sense of it somehow.
  20. Perfect-Organism
    I think I remember it just states that a ship called the Auriga crashed into the Earth. In the new canon that could easily be dismissed as a freak accident unrelated to the Xenomorphs.

    Bit of a stretch. So we're rewriting the films, but some of the events in them still happened...? Kinda counter-intuitive, convoluted and daft if you ask me.

    Better to just stick with what it is until the new film is in production and set in stone.

    Yah, I have to agree with that.  Crashing another Auriga into the earth is about as lame as renaming Hicks and Newt as Wilks and Billie, or having multiple juggernauts crash-landing all over the place...
  21. HuDaFuK
    I think I remember it just states that a ship called the Auriga crashed into the Earth. In the new canon that could easily be dismissed as a freak accident unrelated to the Xenomorphs.

    Bit of a stretch. So we're rewriting the films, but some of the events in them still happened...? Kinda counter-intuitive, convoluted and daft if you ask me.

    Better to just stick with what it is until the new film is in production and set in stone.
  22. Lonely Universe
    In SoS I remember it being just an off-hand mention. A memory of the crash in the protagonist Decker's thoughts, which is now looked upon by society as just another historic event. In the story no one but the higher ups at Weyland-Yutani know anything about the Xenomorphs. So, Perez is never mentioned.

    The character Decker is a descendant of Ripley, & I believe that is known to a certain WY representative. I'll try to read back over it after work this evening & see if anything else was mentioned in regards to Ripley by that employee. One thing I know for sure is that they are still looking for specimens even during that far future timeframe.

    Also, it's worth picking them up if you can. There's evidence of an entirely new advanced alien species introduced & it's actually handled pretty well.
  23. RakaiThwei
    I think I remember it just states that a ship called the Auriga crashed into the Earth. In the new canon that could easily be dismissed as a freak accident unrelated to the Xenomorphs.

    This could be true in the sense that the Auriga was infested with genetic mutants and not necessarily true Xenomorphs if you want to look at it like that. But thinking of Resurrection, Perez's line suggesting that the Xenomorphs went extinct suggested that they were gone. I haven't read any of the new canon but how was that handled in regards to Perez's quote?
  24. Lonely Universe

    The new novel Predator: Incursion acts as though the third and fourth films happened (it has to; it's a sequel to Sea of Sorrows which literally states Resurrection occurred), so why not the comic too?
    I think I remember it just states that a ship called the Auriga crashed into the Earth. In the new canon that could easily be dismissed as a freak accident unrelated to the Xenomorphs.

    But yeah, no one will know until Blomkamp's movie comes out or we get the official word from Fox, Dark Horse, or Titan. There's a chance that Tim Lebbon will have already established what the Auriga mention in SoS means in Predator: Incursion, given that the new films are already moving forward. I would imagine Fox would pass him notes saying, "Oh hey, downplay any previous references to 3 or 4 before this thing goes to press."
  25. tyrannosaurusjones
    Are the cheeky nods to (let's just speculate a film that starts with B and ends with R) this other Ridley creation mandated by Fox or is that your own thing?  Also have you been instructed to treat Alien 3 and Resurrection as canon at this time?  Will it be the ALIEN or ALIENS imprint?

    As far as I know, nothing has been mandated by Fox yet. We get notes, but Josh (our guy there) is great. He wants this to be hard canon, like Isolation. Obviously Ridley and Neil have final say in it all, but so far everything's been fine. The visual cues are all by my hand... ;)

    I think the only thing we're genuinely beholden to right now is anything the Alien prequels decide to shift in the mix. And that's purely because we're set around that time frame.
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