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Core points of Gamers

The Synthetics Learn More about Humans and Xenomorphs on Tobler-9 in Marvel’s Alien #3


The synthetic team’s mission on Tobler-9 is thrown off course when an underground society of humans makes its presence known alongside the xenomorphs.


  • Alien #3

    Alien #3

    Writer:
    phillip kennedy johnson

    Artist:
    july ohta

    Letterer:
    V.C.’s Clayton Cowles

    Cover artist:
    Björn Barends

    Editor:
    Wonderful

    Price:
    $3.99

    Release date:
    2022-11-23

    Colorist:
    yen nitro

Marvel’s acquisition of the Alien franchise resulted in last year’s exciting series. Now, the current series puts a team of hardened synthetics, called Steel Team, at the forefront. They’ve run United Systems’ dirty business in the past. If they succeed in their mission, the Synths of the galaxy may have the opportunity to become full citizens of the planetary systems. But only if the predominant Tobler-9 species don’t separate them first. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with illustrations by Julius Ohta, colors by Yen Nitro, and lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles, Alien #3 puts more obstacles in the way for synths.


Set in the year 2217, Alien #3 opens on Tobler-9, a radioactive planet overrun by xenomorphs. Guided by their human saviors, the Synth brave the radioactive fallout to reach their settlement. Their leader, Melody, gives Frejya and his team a chance to recuperate and attend to their mechanical emergencies. Humans have made the main maintenance complex their home, setting up shops and schools in and around the facility. While touring the site, Melody and Freyja discuss the probable location of the biological that United Systems is so urgently seeking. Two days later, under the cover of the black rain, Melody leads the Steel Team to a hive presided over by a Xenomorph Queen.

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Alien #3 Humans killing xenomorphs

Over the past two issues, writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been busy reshaping the perception of androids in the Alien universe and its strained relationship with humans. With Alien #3, he pushes the highly-skilled group of Synths into an awkward situation that calls for a truce as they confront the animalistic nature of their enemies. Johnson takes up almost the entire book to explain the crisis facing the dystopian settlement, leaving just a few pages to move the story along. But in those final few pages, the action picks up speed and keeps readers guessing.

Julius Ohta’s artwork emphasizes the characters’ faces, from suspicious looks to expressions of sheer terror. Using sharp contour lines, Ohta creates a sprawling underground society as the book’s backdrop while he keeps Freyja and Melody at the center of the action. The external art is twisted, thanks to a plethora of inkings that make the surrounding atmosphere dark and mysterious. Despite that, colorist Yen Nitro keeps the book awash in bright lights, with lens flare and shimmering reflections on the water. He uses a vivid variety of alternating colors and tones to add depth to Ohta’s art. At times, he feels almost too bright, considering the cloudy nature of the landscape.

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Alien #3 Eli

Alien #3 focuses more on drama and exposition than the xenomorphs. The narrative moves slowly but steadily, building the hostile world of Tobler-9 around the remnants of a fallen civilization and broken dreams. Like humans, the Xenomorphs have also adapted to their new environment, creating a new conundrum for synths and leaving them with fewer options than they originally had. But for readers, tension is certainly an attractive prospect. Alien #3 ends with an explosive twist that some may call cliché, but it definitely picks up the pace and raises the stakes.



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