Episode 2- Extraction: After barely escaping an attack by the experimental synthetic models known as Franklin, Amanda Ripley and Zula Hendricks make their way to the Weyland-Yutani black site, with the intent to disrupt a xenomorph-based weapons test. Only once they’ve arrived do they realize what is truly at stake, and that they must do whatever it takes to ensure this new technology is never deployed.
Aliens: Resistance #2 opens up with a flashback scene that gives some clues to Weyland-Yutani’s newest nefarious plan. No face-huggers this time. Captive colonists are forced to inhale some sort of aerosolized agent in a weapons test. Flash forward to Ripley, Hendricks, and Davis boarding the self-same ship, trying to piece together the details of what happened, based on little more than scorch marks, damaged plating, and the lack of any life signs on board.
Brian Wood is tipping his hand very slowly with Resistance. For everything that happens in this installment, we still haven’t seen a single xenomorph, except in one nightmare flashback sequence. So far, the face of the current threat is those new Destro-masked Franklin synthetics.
Wood continues to deliver honest, flawed characters. Hendricks and Ripley are both deeply scarred and rely on each other to get past the rough patches. Their success in bringing down Wey-Yu hinges on their collective ability to overcome the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma each has faced at the hands of the Corp.
Robert Carey delivers tight, claustrophobic set pieces aboard the abandoned ship. His characters deliver clear, tense emotion through expressions, posture, and ambulation. There’s even a smug arrogance that’s easy to read on the almost featureless faces of the Franklins.
Dan Jackson gives us great filters of light and dark. The scenes last chapter that take place in Wey-Yu corporate offices are light, well lit, airy. The scenes on board the abandoned ship here are dark, spooky, lit in reds and yellows.
Aliens: Resistance #2 is the very definition of a slow burn, but the pacing works brilliantly. Things are getting incredibly tense and the cliffhanger pretty much guarantees this thing is going to pop off in the next chapter.
Aliens: Resistance #2, Dark Horse Comics, released 27 February 2019. Written by Brian Wood, art by Robert Carey, color by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Roberto De La Torre.