Remember the first time you saw a baby Xenomorph burst from someone’s midsection in Alien? The moment when that monster opened its jaw only to see an even smaller head inch so close to Sigorney Weaver’s face that it made you clutch the armrest of your seat even tighter. For almost 30 years now Alien has been one of the seminal names in science fiction. Dark Horse Comics is getting set to publish a new series set in Ridley Scott’s grandfathered universe. Aliens Defiance tells a story in the expanded universe which follows a new colonial marine named Zula Hendricks as she finds herself the last line of defense between Earth and the Xenomorphs.
We got a chance to talk to New York Times bestselling author and one of comics hardest to break writers, Brian Wood (The Massive, DMZ), about this new book. Wood isn’t just a hired gun on the title, he has the right emotional attachment to the franchise and the filmmakers; but let’s let him talk all about it:
Comics Beat: This is the first Aliens comic done in awhile that’s not a crossover or a movie tie-in. What’s the story of Aliens Defiance?
Brian Wood: It follows Colonial Marines Private First Class Zula Hendricks as she accompanies a squad of mercenary synthetics tasked with boarding and diverting a derelict freighter drifting towards Tranquility Base on Luna. This should be as routine as it comes, just intercepting a hunk of space junk and seeing if there’s anything aboard worth salvaging. Zula is in a tough place in life, seriously wounded in her first mission out of training, and spends her days in physical therapy and being super lonely (a pre-Isolation Amanda Ripley is her only friend). So when this salvage mission needs a Marine to come along for jurisdictional purposes, she agrees to be that Marine.
Tell me about your first memory watching the original Alien on screen? What was the part that made you realize this was something special?