This week, the Marvel Rundown looks at Alien #1, the third new #1 for the title in this recent Marvel era. This review is SPOILER-LITE, so scroll down for the Rapid Rundown for some Spoiler-Free reviews of more of the week’s books.

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Alien #1Alien #1

Writer: Declan Shalvey
Artists: Andrea Broccardo and Declan Shalvey
Colour Artists: Ruth Redmond and Declan Shalvey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Another day, another Alien relaunch! By my count, the third under Marvel’s tenure if I’m not wrong. In any case, each relaunch has brought about a different writer and tone so I was pretty surprised to learn that Declan Shalvey not only wrote this, but is drawing some flashback sequences as well!

Shalvey has certainly grown in my estimation as a writer over the last few years, and I think he does find a mostly even tone between the more horror-based elements of the series along with the more pop-action vibes of some of the movies. It skews a little bit to the latter rather than the former, which is fine, but I do think he and Broccardo have a lot more up their sleeves to come.

Alien #1

It’s a pretty standard story; there’s a group of marines, there’s an abandoned ship, there’s an alien or two. Shalvey doesn’t even really pump up the tension with the xenomorphs, instead opting for them to just… show up and wreak havoc. It’s definitely an indicator as to the type of story they’re telling — more “Aliens” than “Alien.” Shalvey is drawing the flashbacks which I think may provide some of the more slow-burn scares that fans of the series will probably be expecting, and there is even an air of mystery to both the present and past sides of the story that had me curious to read more, which says a lot as someone who’s an agnostic enjoyer of the franchise!

Andrea Broccardo’s art is good, again less shadowy and slimy than edged and bright; he really does have the benefit of drawing a Shalvey script, who to me is noted for drawing scripts to his artist’s strengths. Broccardo is also showcasing a different side of the Alien world which is something I don’t think we’ve seen before, with a lot of water-based environments and creatures. Which also plays quite nicely into the ending and the implications of the mission these marines are on.

Final Verdict: Borrow. This is an intriguing start to a new volume of the series, one that seems artistically and visually a little more dynamic than what we’ve seen before! It’s light on the scares at the moment but I think the team is aiming to tell a different sort of Alien story than we’re used to.

Rapid Rundown!

  • Daredevil #3
    • The story of Matt Murdock’s return to being Daredevil continues at a leisurely pace. Daredevil follows up on the the new street gang The Heat and learns who their leader is. Saladin Ahmad continues juggling a lot of balls plot wise with the new status quo of Matt Murdock as priest. So far they seem more interested in Murdock doing things as Daredevil than Murdock as the priest running a youth shelter. Slightly disappointing is Aaron Kuder doesn’t do the full interiors in this issue. He does get to do an interesting page layout when Daredevil spies on the Daily Bugle but that’s about it. Filling out the rest of the issue is Farid Karami’s moody, shadow heavy style. His action sequences have a real kinetic energy never depicting Daredevil staying still for too long. —DM
  • Dark X-Men #4
    • In the penultimate issue of this miniseries, an assault against Madelyne Pryor’s Limbo Embassy from ORCHIS with an alternate timeline Goblin Queen ramps up the action towards the final Madelyne vs. Madelyne confrontation. I definitely enjoyed Steve Foxe’s resolution to the Ben Reilly issue—it’s slightly subversive while still in-line with the character, and Jonas Scharf and Frank Martin do a credible job keeping the visuals dynamic and fun. But many of the overall character beats are messy, and I can’t help but dwell on the missed opportunities here. It seems like a waste for Madelyne Pryor, a character so concerned with identity and self-determination, to fight a mirror image of herself that’s a flat caricature of evil without any of Madelyne’s specific flaws or fears to reflect back at her. —LI
  • Jean Grey #4
    • This has been a fascinating mini, and one that I think only Louise Simonson could’ve pulled together. This reflection on Jean’s past has been so thorough, and does a great job of tackling her strengths and weaknesses. It embraces all of her, not just the perfect Jean that can occasionally pop up. Bernard Chang has been great as well, really nailing the different versions of Jean throughout her history. Marcelo Maiolo has nailed the colors and the somewhat wonky world of the White Hot Room, alongside Ariana Maher’s solid lettering. The only bit of this that gets me is that it ends without a firm conclusion. I’ll be checking out next week’s Immortal X-Men, but I don’t think this mini shouldn’t be contingent on that. It’s been a great character study thru and thru, but the vague references to the Phoenix returning doesn’t do enough to wrap this up on its own. – CB
  • Immortal Thor #4
    • Al Ewing and Martin Coccolo get back to the threat of Toranos after the journey of self discovery last issue. Ewing continues to explore Thor as a strategist rather than someone who fights through every problem. It’s a unique way to portray that the character is now the All-Father rather than just a warrior. Additionally, he has fun working in various characters who previously wielded Mjolnir into the story. Martin Coccolo and Matthew Wilson continue to be a solid team on this book. Coccolo Wilson’s colors in particular do a great job of making sure that the numerous storm sequences never look too static. —DM
  • Star Wars Visions – Peach Momoko #1
    • Amidst the onslaught of Star Wars media over the last few years, Disney+ launched an anthology series called Star Wars: Visions, where acclaimed animation studios from around the world went wild on their own take on the galaxy far, far away. It was a showcase for the global cultural impact of the franchise as well as the flexibility of the expansive mythos. In this week’s Star Wars Vision – Peach Momoko oneshot, the Visions anthology comes back to comics, kicking off a new series of spotlighting rotating creators. This time,  artist sensation Peach Momoko gets the chance to put her stamp on the Star Wars universe. The issue is a fully silent story told only through images. It’s a stunning and evocative tale full of nightmarish and emotional imagery that puts a new level of horror on the Dark Side of the Force. Momoko is an immense talent and the more she gets to do, the more we all benefit. I hope we get a lot more of these artist spotlight series where they get a full 30 pages to flex their talents as storytellers and reimagine familiar properties. –TR

Get ready for more…Carnage!


  1. I think it’s actually the 4th Alien #1 from Marvel. I really wish, since these are all minis, they would give them subtitles

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