Script: John Arcudi
Art: Richard Corben
Colours: John Pound
Lettering: Gary Fields
Cover illustration: Richard Corben
A Colony based on the survivors of a crashed ship are ruled by a Theocracy that forbids any technological or scientific progress. Can a local police officer uncover the truth behind the colony’s founding and destroy the creature that is attacking the townsfolk?
Alchemy is another religious themed Aliens comic, this time the plot revolves around religious oppression. A remote colony is dominated by Theocracy intent on suppressing any technological or scientific development and to achieve this goal they unleash the ultimate weapon!
Plot-wise I found alchemy a refreshing change, there is an interesting multi-layered plot with some nice twists in it. What really struck me whilst reading this tale was it was the first in a long while that told a decent, coherent story. Characterisation was sometimes patchy; the evil religious leader came across well, but I found a lot of the other characters including the hero a bit two dimensional. A major plot device I did not understand was the holographic Security System. Why would a spaceship require such a device? It has long been established that spaceships in the Alien universe are controlled by intelligent computers with access to numerous onboard cameras, which should provide ample security.
I am completely split on the artwork in this series; sometimes it seems to slip too much into caricature and characters occasionally appear very awkward, but other times it is simply stunning!
Overall I have to rate this highly for its excellent, intelligible plot, and I really do mean that; this is the first Aliens series in a long while that actually explains the motivations of it characters which improves the story. There may be a few glitches with the art work here and there but these are easily forgotten. This series provides a good example of how you experiment with new ideas in the Aliens universe whilst remaining true to the source material.