10 best Alien (xenomorph) comics explored
Xenomorph is not a word commonly heard of. Initially started by Lieutenant Gorman in the Alien franchise sequel Aliens, these are fast, strong, and deadly carnivorous bug-like aliens. Not something even the strongest and fastest Colonial Marine would voluntarily go up against.
Xenomorphs bleed acid and often work in packs, but hunt just as efficiently solo. They're the perfect weapon; if only they could be controlled. Human characters often get into trouble because they're usually sent to retrieve and transport the aliens to be studied. What has been seen in the movies is only a fraction of what these xenomorphs are capable of.
Ten best alien comics
Apocalypse: The Destroying Angels
In 1999, before Ridley Scott cinematically fleshed out the origins of the Engineers in Prometheus, the giant albino race was known as Space Jockeys. Alien Apocalypse: The Destroying Angels followed a team of mercenaries that traveled to a Space Jockey planet. These mercenaries learned a little about the giant elephant-looking species. They also go on to encounter the lethal xenomorphs.
A facehugger impregnated a Space Jockey, and this Jockey is a little more grotesque than shown in Prometheus. Our team of mercenaries gets to witness that firsthand and try to avoid certain death.
Dead Orbit makes the conscious choice to focus on the horror element of the franchise, much like the first film. James Stokoe takes on every role to create this mesmerizing entry into the franchise. He wrote, illustrated, colored, and lettered the entire comic. The only thing he didn't do was edit.
This story takes place on a space station owned by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. The same corporation is responsible for sending the original starfighter to investigate the derelict ship in the first movie. The crew of the space station fight for their lives to survive, being picked off one by one in true horror fashion.
In this four-issue miniseries published in 1998, a reporter investigates Gideon Suhn Lee. Gideon is the world's top technological baron, and he has a secret. It is revealed that Gideon is, in fact, 700 years old and managed to attain such a long lifespan by modifying himself with Predator technology and genetics. He found this technology in a crashed Predator spaceship.
Eventually, Gideon unwittingly sets xenomorphs free in Tokyo. This acts as a beacon to other Predators as they come to Earth to hunt. It's commonly agreed that this entry into the AVP franchise is one of the more bizarre entries, but it's also naturally enjoyed.
The Female War
The comic books showed what the xenomorph universe could have looked like if Alien 3 had gone a different route or wasn't released. Female War is the third comic in the Earth Hive trilogy that followed protagonists Hicks and Newt (later renamed Wilks and Billie). This time around, they're joined by the famous Ellen Ripley.
Xenomorphs completely overtake Earth. The three protagonists figure the best way to save the planet is by finding the most enormous queen alien they can find and bringing it to Earth.
The 90s were incapable of escaping the mad scientist trope when it came to these spacefaring abominations. Some humans couldn't leave well enough alone and wanted to make a bigger, badder xenomorph. That's particularly true of Labyrinth. The exciting aspect of this story is that it's very much a mystery.
As time goes on, more and more of the mystery unfolds, and more is revealed about the characters. The mad scientist character, Dr. Paul church, was captured by the xenomorphs as a kid and experimented on. He eventually escaped from the hive and grew up vowing to exact revenge.
Ever wonder what happened to Newt's family when they discovered the Engineer's (Space Jockey) ship. Or how did the citizens of Hadley's Hope come to be impregnated with xenomorph embryos? This comic shows it all. It fills in all those gaps left to the imagination.
Written by Mike Richardson and illustrated by Jim Somerville, Newt's Tale is a two-issue comic showing what took place before the Colonial Marines showed up on LV-426. The Jordens (Newt's family) investigate the derelict ship where they encounter and are attacked by facehuggers. They wake up in the colony's infirmary, where everything comes to an end for Hadley's Hope.
The sequel to Aliens: Outbreak continues the adventures of Hicks and Newt (eventually Wilks and Billie). Hitching a ride on a cargo ship transporting xenomorphs, the protagonists find themselves in a military base with an unhinged commanding officer.
General Spears wants to exterminate every last xenomorph running free on Earth. He believes he can do this with an army of xenomorphs of his own. Of course, training a xenomorph proves to be far more complex than initially anticipated.
Hicks, played by Michael Biehn, and Newt (Carrie Henn) from Aliens had a trilogy of comics that followed them after the events on Hadley's Hope. This was before the release of the third movie. When the film hit theaters, the comics were forced to course-correct because Hicks and Newt did not survive. By extension, Ripley didn't either.
After 1992, to keep the story relevant to the film franchise, Dark Horse edited character names in Outbreak and other comics with movie characters. Hicks subsequently became Wilks, and Newt became known as Billie.
The original story showed Hicks leading a new team of Marines to exterminate a different hive of xenomorphs. He brings along Newt because bringing along a traumatized child seems like a good idea.
History shows that humans like to push the envelope. It's in their nature. This is especially emphasized in fiction. They can never leave well enough alone. Jurassic Park showed that scientists couldn't resist bringing dinosaurs to life, only to worsen things. Deep Blue Sea saw scientists making sharks smarter, which proved catastrophic for everyone. And Aliens saw a scientist create a king alien.
Having a queen wasn't enough. This is where the movie AVP: Requiem got some inspiration for the Predator/Alien hybrid. The king alien is a human creation and another flawed attempt at taming a xenomorph in the comic. Naturally, this proves unsuccessful, and the result is two giant aliens going toe-to-toe.
Mike Mignola wrote an alien story that injects religious faith into sci-fi horror. Not much of a surprise from the mind behind Hellboy. Partnering with Dave Gibbons, the two created a unique comic that follows a Christian cook and a ship's captain as they try to survive together.
The cook sees his world through a religious lens, viewing the xenomorphs as demons. His former Captain, on the other hand, is gradually slipping into madness as he is driven more and more mad as time goes on.