On Europa, Jupiter's largest moon, something has gone wrong with an orbital science station and its aging space elevator, and the crew has gone missing. Another team of scientists, along with their soldier chaperone, visit the station in the hopes they can find the missing crew and repair the issues with the station.
As you would expect, the reason the crew is missing is that an Alien has taken up residency, brought to the station by a freighter. The Alien attacks the new team and a quest to survive ensues. Standard Aliens fare is what you expect and what you get. Fans of Aliens who are looking for what amounts to a very short story will find twenty minutes of enjoyment here. But for the rest of us, not so much.
Sharpe does a serviceable job with his drawings and there is something to be said for a writer who can also illustrate. But the story is where this graphic novel fails - the story just doesn't work for readers who have now lived with this universe and the survival-horror genre for decades. We are more sophisticated than the shallow and unremarkable story here and expect better.
For instance, let's ignore the shallowness of the story where once again a crew is sent to a station/ ship/ planet where danger looms, and also ignore that the crew going to this station is not military or ready for that danger, rather scientific, with no explanation of why they would go there since they would be looking for other scientists that they presume to be alive so their talents would simply duplicate talents already aboard the station... let's ignore all that. Let's just focus on discrepancies, like, when some start to die, as we would expect coming against a creature better suited for killing than they, yet then inexplicably the surviving human(s) figure out how to kill the creature on the very last page at the very last second but without expressing the plan to the reader. One page they are about to die and the next they somehow kill the creature. What? Everything seems under-developed. Consider throw-away attempts by the author to add depth by alluding to some kind of conspiracy by an interstellar corporation but never gives any kind of detail about the corporation or why there should be any conspiracy at all. Was the corporation aware of the Alien and testing it by throwing scientists to run away from it? What would be the point of the conspiracy? Another issue: at one point there are three scientists alive and then in the next section there are four. I went back and re-read that section several times and it just looks like a mistake in the artwork or a change of mind in the story.
As far as a quick (40 page) story goes with Aliens, fans of the series and of the survival-horror genre may find something worth reading. But Dark Horse and other graphic novel publishers have done so much better in recent years utilizing the graphic novel to tell stories that are worthy of adding "novel" to graphic. Shallow fodder like this set's the industry back and gives evidence to those who (wrongly) say that graphic novels are long form kiddie books.
I cannot recommend it on its merits and also because of what it represents: a quick hit dash for cash.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.