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ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT #1 from Dark Horse Comics, written and drawn by James Stokoe


Xenomorphs. C’mon.


If you’re not super into comic books, you might not be familiar with James Stokoe or his work, so I will attempt a bit of context. When Stokoe wrote and drew a Godzilla mini-series called GODZILLA: THE HALF-CENTURY WAR, there were many people obsessively collecting every issue who had otherwise never read a Godzilla comic book in their lives. When James Stokoe draws a Marvel variant cover, the varant is nearly as popular as the regular cover and gives new (often humorous) context to the characters and their dilemmas. When James Stokoe draws, everyone pays attention.

Stokoe began his career with ORC STAIN, a bizarre and micro-detailed fantasy book that gave new meaning to the word “violent” and was just niche enough to only make a splash with certain (that is, a little messed in the head) readers. His takes on popular science fiction properties are just as insane but more accessible due to the familiar subject matter. And the visuals always make for a kind of panoramic brutality, lending themselves to a “Where’s Waldo”-style search for every personality and activity you can find on the page (because there is always more than one).

The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a way to get excited about ALIEN: COVENANT (aside from the really cool VR stuff that Ridley Scott is doing), ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT is the perfect solution. And I bet you’ll be crawling back to your shop to pick up ORC STAIN when you’re done.


WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 at your nearest comic shop — which is Alien Day, natch.

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