If Gabriel Hardman’s intention was for Issue One of “Aliens: Dust To Dust” to try and recapture some of “the intensity and terror” of “James Cameron’s 1986 blockbuster [movie] Aliens”, then he undoubtedly succeeds, as a “12-year-old Maxon and his mom” fiercely fight off an infestation of xenomorphs which seems just as insanely terrifying as that faced by Newt and Ripley. In fact, the storyboard artist for “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” somehow even arguably manages to replicate “the [self-same] emotional rollercoaster of motherly feelings” the Nostromo’s warrant officer “develops for the terrified little girl” with his narrative’s “edge of your seat” depiction of the “mother and son” fighting “for their lives against the deadliest monsters in the galaxy.”
Admittedly, this twenty-page periodical’s persistent pace could debatably prove to be a somewhat tiring experience for any perusing bookworm ill-prepared for such a frantically fast read, as it simply does not stop from the moment the anxious adolescent wakes up to the sound of automatic gunfire and discovers his unresponsive parent in bed with a face-hugger firmly latched onto her face. But in penning such a pulse-pounding narrative the “co-writer/artist of Invisible Republic from Image Comics” indisputably “weaves an Aliens story harkening back to the classic film.”
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine any passing bibliophile returning this publication to its spinner rack once they have started following the pairs headlong drive through the partially-destroyed streets of the Trono colony, or their subsequent foot race alongside Assistant Administrator Waugh as they’re pursued to the very doors of the last departing evacuation spacecraft by a veritable horde of angrily hissing extra-terrestrials; “Hold the shuttle! We’re here!” Such sequences really prove enthrallingly gripping story-telling, and one can almost hear the desperation in the cast’s breathless dialogue as their party perpetually encounters more and more of the vicious creatures, whether they be hidden beneath stairwells, seizing upon hapless pedestrians desperately trying to flee for their lives, or assaulting moving motor vehicles with their deadly sharp-pointed tails.
Sadly however, Hardman’s ability to pencil all these sense-shattering shenanigans is not quite as strong as his wordsmith skills. For whilst the artist’s scratchy style does a first-rate job of illustrating the devastation and ruin which the aliens have caused on planet LV-871, as well as imbue every figure with a captivating quota of dynamism, it does occasionally cause his darkly lit panels to mask much of the actual detail to events, such as Maxon’s discovery of his ‘bedridden’ mother and the parasitoid paralysing her…