Script: Chris Warner, Kelly Puckett, Dan Jolley
Pencils: Tony Akins, Allen Nunis, John Nadeau
Layouts: Paul Guinan
Inks: Paul Guinan, Andre Parks, Terry Pallot, John Dell, Bob Smith, Jim McDermott, Jordi Ensign
Colours: Mat Hollingswoth, Pamela Rambo, Doug Jones
Lettering: Clem Robins
A rag-tag unit of Colonial Marines is dispatched to an Alphatech Corporation waste disposal facility, only to find themselves embroiled in a wider conspiracy involving the Aliens and a sinister scientist who has created an army of Alien/human hybrids.
Anything associated with the title Colonial Marines title seems to be cursed. Both this and the PC game are pretty god-damned awful. Ok I am over-exaggerating slightly, there is no way this series is as bad as the Aliens: Colonial Marines game; it’s pretty hard to think of anything that is that dire, anyway I digress.
Colonial Marines starts off promisingly enough with a remote waste-disposal outpost being overrun by Aliens assisted by Alien-human hybrids.
Then things start to go downhill, rapidly. As we meet the main characters so we tick off the clichés one by one. There are some original characters, such as the ‘hard as nails’ female sergeant, but they are never really developed and quickly become two dimensional, or fade into the background. Another cliché that annoys me in comics are characters who are siblings of film characters, as in this case with Vasquez younger sister, I just find it lazy and pointless writing, do writers believe that it somehow elevates the character/story; I feel it does the opposite. Whilst we are on the subject of characters; for some reason we have a cameo from Mondo Hurk in this series which, I find this really doesn’t sit well with the tone and detracts from the story. I assume some writer thought it would be awesome!!! Its not, it’s like having Duke Nukem suddenly appear in Aliens (1986) for 30 seconds, shoot an Alien, spout a one-liner and disappear.
The storyline quickly goes downhill too, essentially repeating the same theme again and again: the Marines arrive at an outpost, they investigate only to find Aliens, they retrieve something which leads them to another outpost, they escape in the nick of time and rewind to the start of this sentence. The concluding story seems incredibly rushed, as though the writers realised they suddenly only had a few issues to wrap everything up, which leads literally to a race to bring the protagonists together. Apparently the series was reduced from 12 issues to 10 and featured numerous changes in personnel, but this cannot excuse such a mess being produced by a reputable publisher. This is probably the most annoying point about this series because there are a number of good ideas which simply are abandoned or forgotten to make way for a rushed, confused, conclusion. Many of the main plot points and never actually explained: what experiments were being conducted and how did the result in alien human hybrids? Why does the baddie want to take over the universe? Why is the Alphatech Corporation determined to cover it all up? There are more, but I really can’t be arsed to list them all, you get the idea.
The art is good enough but I found the representation of the Aliens was sometimes a bit too cartoonish to be frightening or effective.
Overall the Colonial Marines story can only be described as a mess; its few redeeming features cannot overcome the rest of the bloated, confused story. A real wasted opportunity in my opinion.