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Aliens: Dead Orbit

(Aliens: Dead Orbit #1-4)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  831 ratings  ·  136 reviews
After a horrific accident strikes a space station, an engineering officer must use all available tools--a timer, utility kit, and his wits--to survive an attack from the deadliest creature known to man.

Collects issues #1-#4 of the thrilling and claustrophobic Aliens story: Dead Orbit, penned by Orc Stain creator James Stokoe!
Paperback, 104 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Dark Horse Books
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  831 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
A crew stumble across a drifting space hulk, find Xenomorphs inside, and get picked off one-by-one. So, Dead Orbit is like every other Aliens story? YUH HUH!

James Stokoe’s stunningly detailed art is matched only by his stunningly unoriginal Aliens story! The visuals are terrific and his Xenomorphs look awesome but, wow, did no-one point out when it was being commissioned how absolutely generic, unimaginative and archetypal Dead Orbit was?! It plays out exactly like every other Aliens story comp
Ben Brown
Proof that a comic with an ‘eh’ story can be salvaged if the art that accompanies it is worthwhile, “Aliens: Dead Orbit” is the type of licensed comic that you don’t see a whole lot of anymore: a totally original story set in the property’s universe that isn’t connected to a specific entry, but stands on its own two legs. Writer and artist James Stokoe-whose “Godzilla: The Half-Century War” was highly acclaimed, and a big reason why I was so psyched to check this out-is a master at wringing tens ...more
Gianfranco Mancini

So much for an original storyline, but it has all the trademark elements that fans of the franchise know and love for good: claustrophobic dark spaceship, a doomed crew and... first couple of twin xenomorphs ever instead of the usual lonely killer or horde against marines.

A nice twist and Stokoe's dirty indie artworks were just perfect for this space-horror tale.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, edelweiss
This could almost be a lost Japanese Manga version of the original Alien movie. The story is so similar but the art is fantastic. It's Geof Darrow if he drew Akira while channelling H.R. Giger. It's a quick read and a natural for an oversized hardcover edition.

Received an advance copy from Dark Horse and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
James DeSantis
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Well this was one of the fastest reads I've ever read.

Basically, it's a generic alien story. A crew finds three people frozen in their tubes. They try to release them. They do, but they're burned really bad. Get them to a medical bay and, yep, you guessed it. BOOM! Out of the chest comes the little aliens we all love. Then the crew goes around trying to survive while the aliens roam the ship killing and kidnapping them to harvest.

Good: The art. Well it's damn good. It's grimy, almost 80's or 9
JL Shioshita
This is a book small on plot but big on atmosphere, and to be honest, I'd rather read this than watch Prometheus or Prometheus 2 aka Alien Covenant. There's not a lot to it, not even a lot of dialogue or captions. It's just images, and though we essentially have seen this all before in various contexts spanning across the Alien franchise, it's still very entertaining going on the ride, even one we're quite familiar with.
Rod Brown
Perfectly fine for what it is, but this book suffers from what I call wouldn't-it-be-cool writing, wherein visuals and little scenes are included not so much because they serve the overall story, but because mostly because the creator thought to himself something like, wouldn't it be cool if the people in the cryogenic tubes had no skin?

I did like the oversized presentation: not too large, but draws attention to the detail of the art.
Rory Wilding
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Dark Orbit, Dark Horse’s four-issue miniseries from cartoonist James Stokoe, contains none of that Prometheus baggage and is more in line with the claustrophobic horror of the 1979 classic. When a Weyland-Yutani crew investigates an unmarked vessel in a team in cryogenic sleep, this crew of six become prey to the Xenomorph as they try to escape an ordeal where no one can hear you scream.

Please click here for my full review.
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
An okay read. So the story is a pretty standard 'Alien' plot; crew investigates an abandoned ship, that ship has Aliens on it etc... You already know the plot by the first issue. One thing the writer, James Stokoe is good at though, is creating a foreboding and claustrophobic atmosphere with his artwork. Its dark, creepy and really gives you the sense that this is a horror comic. The artwork really gives this gritty vibe and with some gruesome death scenes, its definitely a visual treat for any ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was another wonderful offering from the author and artist of Orc Stain. This short graphic novel collects the four issues of the series. A Weyland-Yutani group on a bulk freighter encounters a derelict spacecraft , exploring it to find a trio of cryogenically sustained humans. They barely get the people back to their ship, managing to kill two of them on short order by accident. The third causes problems and then the true foe appears. Xenomorphs attack the crew and kill most of them until t ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-this, comics
James Stokoe belongs to a school of comic art similar to Geof Darrow that I've heard referred to as precision art. Stokoe infuses a more Japanese manga style into his work. This book is all about the artwork. The story doesn't add anything to the Aliens mythos but is a really good riff on the classic haunted spaceship style story of the original. I would argue that Stokoe doesn't need to change the story beats. He's another in a line of great artists to pay tribute to the work of Giger and Ridle ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

There’s something utterly suffocating in stories derived from screenplay writer Dan O’Bannon’s Alien (1979). From the claustrophobic setting to the stressful anticipation of events, horror takes on the form of a sinister and deadly extraterrestrial species that revels in the blood of its prey. Launched as part of Alien Day—an event held every year on the 26th of April since 2016 (in reference to the moon LV-426 in Alien (1979)—James Stokoe, writ
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-indies
Ok, I'll admit it. Didn't go in for the story. I've seen the movie, it left me uninterested. Not a fan of sci-fi in general, appreciated the film for it's legacy in cinema and it's claustrophobic feel. This i like about movies/books/comics completely taking place in secluded areas of space, preferably in spaceships with no communication whatsoever with the outside world.

"Dead Orbit" offers this feeling in abundance so that was a plus. Xenomorphs are interesting adversaries when it comes to spac
Paul Swanson
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredible art. Plot is fairly standard Alien franchise fare but uses non-linear story telling to make it a little more interesting. What do people expect from an Alien story? Something unique? Alien has elements that must be used. As if the Ghost in the Darkness is going to riff on Pride and Prejudice so it can be unique. As if, I say. As if.
Michael Hicks
Given all the buzz that had surrounded its initial release, I was pretty jazzed to read Aliens: Dead Orbit, written and illustrated by James Stokoe. Unfortunately, this is a pretty disappointing exercise all around, and one that's utterly derivative of the source material it's licensed from.

Stokoe doesn't try to reinvent the wheel here, but nor does he try to do anything original or fresh. Dead Orbit is an utterly by-the-book Alien story that often times feels more like a game of swapsies. Trade
yes it’s done been said - the artwork is ace. i love anything Alien, so no complaints.
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Great art, but kind of a dull story...
Meh. Nothing new to the Alien universe. The artwork was awesome though.
Nicole Loop
It took me a reread in the book to figure out that most of the story is in the past being remembered not in the present. So I got a bit confused for a good while but that's just me. It's more of a horror, defeated and lonely feeling story. Which I think fits the alien franchise a lot more. Again another enjoyable read even if i got confused of the order in which things happened for a while.
Alex Sarll
James Stokoe does Aliens - though unlike his initial pitch, some of which is included as backmatter, this is really more Alien than the sequel. And unlike my occasional laziness with credits, this really is just James Stokoe - art, words, colours, letters, the lot. All of which have the perfect intricacy and shabbiness for these weary spacers, their run-down station, and the intricate, organic horrorshow coming their way. It doesn't have a great deal of nuance, or even much plot, but was that ev ...more
Quentin Wallace
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not the most original Aliens tale ever, but as an homage to the original Alien movie its great.

Basic premise of a dead space ship found in space with Aliens and/or infected humans on board, leading to big problems for the crew of the space station that finds the ship. The art has a manga feel to it, but also reminded me of a story you'd find in Heavy Metal magazine, which is probably another reason I really liked this one.

If you're looking for innovation, this isn't the book. If you loved the f
Jon Kevin Melhus
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This is one of the coolest funnybooks i have read. Fantastic stuff by Mr. Stokoe!
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant artwork, which makes the book, because the story is fairly conventional.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels

This is my first Alien storyline outside the film franchise, and it was quite interesting. James Stokoe has a distinct style and ownership of this book. My only real complaint is the rushed storyline, and it's way to short. Dark Horse have a structure for presenting their issues, and I must say it can work against the arc. Dead Orbit is interesting and warrants readers, but it's not the greatest storyline and is one-off read.

Why the 3.5?

I just felt short changed here. James Stokoe has such a
Orrin Grey
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I had previously read some of James Stokoe's work on Godzilla because I was waiting to get my hands on this, and I wasn't disappointed. His work is almost perfectly suited for this tale, with beautifully rendered xenomorphs, tarman-like burn victims, and a dissolving space station setting that more than makes up for anything the story might lack in novelty.

(Prior to reading I hadn't heard anything but good buzz, but glancing over Goodreads reviews I see a lot of folks knocking this for a dearth
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Now this is how you write an Alien story. Just retell the first movie in a slightly different setting with slightly different characters. Throw in a little bit of weird storytelling and you've got it made. Short and sweet. The manga vibes of this comic are off the charts, and that far from a bad thing
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5. The art is fantastic, the story not so much, could have been so much more. For Alien fans it might be worth checking.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A very quick read as theres limited dialgoue. The art is great, has an old school vibe. The plot isnt overly original. Pretty much very similar to the 1st film.
Dimitris Papastergiou
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Was going to rate this 3 stars, but goddammit that ARTWORK of his..... SO damn good.

Also, it reads like it's nothing. I was reading and it was suddenly ending without me realising I've read 170 pages. THIS WAS FUN PEOPLE.

Amazing artwork by Stokoe. SO DAMN GOOD. The main reason why I purchased this.

And also, good story. Nothing that's something shockingly good, but solid storytelling with some nice stuff happening in it. Also the artwork has you double checking panels and pages.

If you're a fan o
This is a fun miniseries. It has all the stuff you would want from an Aliens book. It reads pretty quickly because there isn't a lot of dialogue or exposition. I found myself slowing down to take in the art though. The art helps create tension at some key moments and ties things together at the end. I had been interested in reading this for a while. Glad I had the opportunity to check it out.
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James Stokoe (born September 4, 1985) is a Canadian comic book artist who is known for his work on such titles as Wonton Soup, Orc Stain and Godzilla: The Half-Century War.
Along with Corey Lewis, Brandon Graham and Marley Zarcone, he's a part of a studio/collective called "Yosh Comics".

Other books in the series

Aliens: Dead Orbit (4 books)
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit #1
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit #2
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit #3
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit #4

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