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Xenopedia

Aliens: Earth Angel is a 13-part comic book story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors in Diamond's Previews, Vol. 3 #1-Vol. 4 #1, from January 1993-January 1994. It was written and illustrated by John Byrne, colored by Matt Webb, lettered by Byrne, and edited by Ronnie Noize. Set in the 1950s, Earth Angel chronicles a Xenomorph outbreak in a suburban American town.

In Dark Horse's Aliens comics line, Aliens: Earth Angel was preceded by Aliens: Horror Show. In the midst of what was undoubtedly Dark Horse's most active year of Aliens output, it was published concurrently with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Aliens: Rogue, Aliens: Sacrifice, Alien3: Terminal Addiction, Aliens: Taste, Aliens: Crusade, Aliens: Backsplash, Aliens: Labyrinth, Aliens: Salvation, Aliens: Cargo, Aliens: Alien, Aliens: Music of the Spears and Operation: Aliens. After its conclusion, Aliens: Earth Angel was followed by Aliens: Stronghold.

Publisher's Summary

One-shot

Into the age of diners, black leather jackets, and Buddy Holly comes a monster worse than any that ever made popcorn fly in front of a drive-in screen — the Alien. Legend creator John Byrne has long been a fan of the Aliens films and he jumped at the opportunity to tell his story of the first Alien invasion, the one that took place in 1950's suburban America! When you Byrne an Alien, you gotta figure it's gonna give off some heat!

Plot

When an extraterrestrial spacecraft crash-landed on Earth in an American suburb sometime in the 1950s, Matthew Webber and Lou Ann are the first to discovered the ship on fire and went inside to investigate and rescued the ship's pilot, an extraterrestrial with a Royal Facehugger attached to its face. After Webber and Ann carried the life form out of the ship and brought him to Dr. Daniel Ripley, Ripley removed the creature from his face, finding it to be dead. The life form awoke shortly afterwards panicking, when a Chestburster immediately erupted from within.

The Chestburster escaped into the forest near the suburb, grew into a Queen and began creating a Hive, laying numerous Ovomorphs. After attacking outlaw motorcycle club member Mickey in the woods, 3 more came looking for him. The Xenomorph attacked Angie and his scream attracted the others, who were quickly killed with the Queen's claws. At least a few more bikers were subdued by Facehuggers and brought to the Hive.

After Ripley returned home to his wife and his daughter, Alicia Ripley, the family got in their car and attempted to escape the suburb and go to the house of his wife's mother. However, as they were passing by the forest where the Queen's Hive was located, they crashed into the Xenomorph with the car.

As the Queen broke through the windshield, attempting to get to the family, the lighter, which Daniel had dropped, started a fire within the car, causing the Xenomorph to screech in pain. The Queen attempted to attack Alicia, but Daniel pulled her from the car and the family fled the scene. Soon, the entire car was aflame. The Queen was either killed by the fire or when the the flames reached the fuel tank, causing the entire car to explode.

The family were soon surrounded by an outlaw biker gang and, together, they managed to destroy the Hive. Afterwards, the Ripleys went to the house of the mother of Daniel's wife.

Reprint History

Dark Horse Comics

Cover to Aliens: Earth Angel one-shot by John Byrne.

Following the comic's original serialization in Previews, it was collected and released as a one-shot by Dark Horse Comics in August 1994, with cover art by John Byrne.

In the United Kingdom, Aliens: Earth Angel was serialized and reprinted in 2 parts in the 1997 Aliens magazine #1-2, from December 1997-January 1998.

The comic was collected again as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 5 in October 2008.

The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on June 26, 2013, reusing John Byrne's cover art from the one-shot.

Marvel Comics

Following Marvel Comics' acquisition of the rights to Alien comic books, the comic was collected as part of Marvel's Aliens: The Original Years Volume 2 collection, alongside many other early Dark Horse stories. The collection was released in January 2022.

Behind the Scenes

Earth Angel is notable as one of the few Aliens stories from Dark Horse Comics to depict an alien species other than the Xenomorphs. Other notable non-Xenomorph aliens featured in the franchise include the lizard-like space travelers in Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation, the Reapers from Aliens: Reapers, the reptilian Xenomorph-eating alien from Aliens: Taste, the hunting village aliens from Aliens: Alien, the extraterrestrial scientists in Aliens: Incubation, the alien monkeys in Aliens: Fire and Stone and, of course, the Predators and Engineers. Such species were for many years limited to Aliens comics from Dark Horse, although several recent Alien novels have also introduced non-Xenomorph species, such as Alien: Out of the Shadows and Aliens: Bug Hunt.

Canadian comics creator John Byrne is a very well-known figure in the comics field, having worked as artist and co-plotter on the eminently popular Dark Phoenix Saga during his tenure on the Uncanny X-men for Marvel Comics in the 1980s. He was also the writer on DC Comics reboot of Superman in 1986 and wrote the initial issues of Hellboy for Dark Horse Comics. However, Earth Angel remains his only foray into the Aliens universe.

Trivia

  • Earth Angel is one of two Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator comics to originally appear in Diamond Comic Distributors' Previews catalogue; the other is Aliens vs. Predator: Booty. Both were released as one-shots by Dark Horse shortly after their original run concluded.
  • One of the main characters in the story is revealed to be an ancestor of Alien film series heroine Ellen Ripley.
  • Aliens: Earth Angel is a rarity in that it is one of the few Aliens comics set in an era of the Earth's past instead of the future. Past and present stories have usually tended to be the territory of Dark Horse's Predator comics.
  • The title Earth Angel is obviously a reference to the popular doo-wop song "Earth Angel" by the Penguins, released in 1954. This could be used as a way to date the exact year of the story, though no reference to the song is actually made in the story.

Gallery

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