"Aliens / Vampirella #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Corinna Bechko
Illustrated by Javier Garcia-Miranda
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 2nd, 2015
Just once I'd like to see a sci-fi story where humans land on a new planet and find a peaceful race of aliens that just want to hang out and eat cheeseburgers. I guess that wouldn't be much of an exciting story, which is why we always encounter beings that want to murder us. Such is the case with Aliens / Vampirella, the crossover that begins with some folks colonizing Mars only to discover an ancient cavern below with some vampire corpses. Vampirella is called in to investigate and things only get bloodier from there.
At first this crossover seems a little weird. Vampires and Aliens? It's not as far off as you'd think, as Vampirella's convoluted backstory reveals that she's actually an alien herself from the planet Drakulon, where they swim in literal rivers of blood. Vampires are something that humanity is fully aware of, however there is some xenophobia about them. People are afraid of what they don't understand. While Vampirella is welcomed to the Mars base with open arms, some folks aren't too quick to befriend her and even less ready to go into a deep, dark cavern with her.
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The opening scene is a wordless action sequence showing presumably how those vampires got into the tunnels beneath the surface of Mars. Here you have a few killing machines going head to head, but the xenomorph is on an entirely different level. This is brilliantly illustrated by artist Javier Garcia-Miranda. It's amazing how much tension he can convey in this few pages as a xenomorph stalks a few vampires. It's really creepy stuff, especially the second page, which reveals the alien in all its glory, tail waving high and mouths agape in a vicious snarl. The detail that goes into this design is impressive.
Most Alien stories are a little predictable. Some people find some eggs, they get some face-huggers on them and the xenomorphs start killing everyone. That's how this book begins, but Vampirella presents a curveball. We don't see the vampires in the beginning of the issue dealt with in the “traditional” manner with the face-huggers and whatnot. They're hunted. How will someone of Vampirella's physiology react to the xenomorphs and vice versa? Garcia-Miranda closes out the issue with an awesome full-page spread.
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The xenomorphs worst enemies haven't been predators or Danny Glover. They've been strong women, and you don't get much stronger than Vampirella. While the humans will most likely serve as cannon fodder, I'm looking forward to seeing Vampirella tear into some of these aliens. This might start out with some predictability, but I'm intrigued as to how it will all pan out.