Aliens: Defiance #3 continues to be an interesting and well-told improvement for the franchise in comic form, but there’s not a whole lot in the third issue that really serves to elevate it above the previous two. Hendricks and the Davis One android continue to make a great team and that’s what’s really keeping the comic interesting at this point. They have a fascinating and complicated relationship. It’s not overtly stated and pummeled into our heads, but the basic crux of their characters is that she often seems to be afraid that she’s losing her humanity, while humanity is something Davis One strives to achieve but can never have.
There are no aliens in this issue, but it’s interesting despite that, as they face what might be a larger threat. As has always been the case in the Aliens franchise, when it comes to villains, the xenomorphs always play second fiddle to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. So it comes as no surprise when the rest of the Davis androids seem intent to act on a company order to bring the ship home and unleash, as Hendricks puts it, “alien hell on earth.”
I would forgive that a little more if the rest of the story fired on all cylinders, but while it comes close to that, there’s a weird divide where the issue is split almost perfectly into exposition in the first half and action in the second.
It’s also a little jarring to change artists in the middle of a story, particularly a singular story like a miniseries. Brian Wood brought in frequent collaborator Riccardo Burchielli for this issue, but his style is so different from Tristan Jones’s that it’s honestly jarring. Art is cinematography when it comes to the comic book medium and any time there’s an artist change-up in a miniseries it feels like changing the DP halfway through the movie. I understand that schedules have to be accommodated, but it definitely took me out of it.
Even still, the larger developing story is interesting and the characters are engaging. It’s the characters and that relationship that elevate this story into something that’s emotionally powerful. That’s what saves this issue and what will keep me coming back as the story continues to unfold.
WICKED RATING: 7/10