James Stokoe helming Aliens: Dead Orbit mini-series for Dark Horse
Holy fucking shit. James Stokoe is bringing his own insane, beautiful, insane, kinetic, insane talents to a fucking Aliens mini-series? We are not worthy, but we will be lavished all the same.
James Stokoe, the creator of Orc Stain, knows a few things about monsters, so it’s apt that he’s taking on the Aliens franchise as writer and artist on Dead Orbit, a four-issue miniseries from Dark Horse that launches April 26, 2017.
As reported on Comic Book Resources, the comic focuses on an engineer named Wascylewsk who must deal with an invasion of Xenomorphs on an empty space station in a forgotten sector of the galaxy.
Stokoe spoke to CBR about his concerns regarding an aspect of the movie that would be impossible to translate to comics:
When I was starting on the plot idea, I rewatched the first two films and wrote down a bunch of notes to try and figure out what I really loved about the series and how to expand and explore those ideas in comic book form. The one note I kept coming back to was, “Comics have no sound — this really could suck,” because those films have such an iconic sound design and there’s really no decent way to match that feeling in comic form without it being a little hokey.
Like, that cold tone of MOTHER counting down to self destruct, the weird ‘braaap’ of a pulse rifle… there’s no good comic equivalent to that, and it’s such a huge, and often overlooked, part of the series.
In the absence of sound, Stokoe focuses that much more on hyper-detailed artwork, something he’s already known for. In fact, Stokoe’s style is recognizably inspired by Moebius, who was a production artist on the original Alien film.
Of course, the most famous bit of design from Alien is H.R. Giger‘s Xenomorph, which the monster-loving Stokoe is also a fan of:
It’s a Giger painting that moves. The lack of eyes as well is my favorite. Imagine how different the series would feel if they gave the Alien googly movie monster eyes? It’d look like a deranged hotdog!
Stokoe makes clear in the interview that he’s more interested in atmosphere than plot, which does sound like the best way to approach an Alien story. It’s also clear that he’s drawing on the horror of the first movie as much as the action sci-fi of the rest of the series, which is promising.