Aliens: Salvation (Dark Horse)

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CREDIT: Dark Horse

Rating: 5/5 – Re-Releasing This Gibbons/Mignola/Nowlan Classic After Twenty Years!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I may have missed Aliens: Salvation the first time around, but I can’t remember for sure. This one-shot was originally released back in 1993 and since I can’t remember everything I read since there’s just so much to read, it felt as though this was the first time I’ve ever seen it! Written by Dave Gibbons with art and inks by Mike Mignola and Kevin Nowlan, Salvation boasts some of the industries best talent working on a franchise that’s beloved by so many, and they absolutely deliver in all categories.

The Space Freighter Nova Maru is on a mission to deliver it’s payload to a planet that’s completely covered by water, except for one lone, large island. After an emergency on the ship that occurs within the story’s first few pages, the deranged Captain Foss and main character/cook Selkirk abandon the ship, crashing into the sea close to the planet’s land mass. The rest of the story is told through the perspective of Selkirk, who’s a deeply religious character who thanks and prays to God after every life saving event or dangerous situation, which there are many. How the Aliens show up is something we’ve seen before, but considering that this was written over twenty years ago it was most likely a bit more fresh at the time. Dave Gibbons makes Selkirk believable, and puts him through a series of events that would question anyone’s faith. This story reads so well and although this is a hardcover, it’s easily read in one sitting since you won’t be able to put it down.

Mike Mignola’s art is of course beautiful. I was surprised to see his pencils in a science fiction setting at first, but that quickly changes when the Captain and Selkirk arrive on the jungle infested island. Mignola’s rendering of the Aliens is frightening and because of his style, he’s able to limit the amount of lines in order to bring out all the details of the Alien’s distinct features. Their ridged skin, muscular frames and black shiny skin are all perfectly portrayed with Mignola’s pencils, and Kevin Nowlan’s inks never overshadow the work.

Although rarely celebrated, the lettering by Clem Robins was also something that I noticed in a good way. He uses all sorts of techniques to differentiate the dialogue and tones. Light and dark bolds, slight differences in the heights of the letters and just the right size of sound effects made this a pleasure to read not only for its story, but also for my eyes. Alien: Salvation delivers in every category and should be something that appeals to Alien and non-Alien fans alike. These are some of comic’s best creators producing work during their creative peaks. Don’t wait another twenty years before reading this for the first time!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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