Aliens: Incubation is a two-part comic book short story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #101-102, from September-October 1995. Originally published in black and white, the story was written by Ron Marz, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, lettered by Sean Konot, and edited by Bob Schreck. The issues of Dark Horse Presents also featured Aliens cover art by Wrightson. The comic serves as a prequel to the two-issue crossover comic book series Batman/Aliens, produced by the same creative team.

In Dark Horse's Aliens comics line, Aliens: Incubation was preceded by Aliens: Frenzy, and was followed by Aliens: Mondo Heat.

Publisher's Summary[]

#101: Editor Bob Schreck continues to mix it up in Dark Horse Presents, the greatest anthology on the market! Where else could you find one of the most talented macabre artists of the century drawing one of the coolest monsters of film and comics? Bernie Wrightson teams up with red-hot Spiderman author Ron Marz for a two-part Aliens story! This is the finest pen-and-ink work you're likely to see this year, and the creepiest interpretation of the big bugs in a long time.

#102: In this conclusion to the "Aliens" story, the extraterrestrial scientists from last issue become fodder for the big bug, and their ship crashes into an earth jungle. Notables Bernie Wrightson and Ron Marz turn in a fast-moving, suspenseful, and beautifully rendered tale of everyone's favorite exoskeletal carnivores.


While performing routine maintenance aboard an intergalactic vessel, one member of an extraterrestrial crew discovered an egg-like object hidden within. In a mesmerizing display, the object peeled open like a flower and quickly released a specimen that attached itself to the space traveler's face, rendering him unconscious. After being brought to the infirmary for medical attention and examination, an alien creature burst from the recently awakened crew members chest and fled for protection within the vessel where it rapidly grew into a giant-sized organism that went on to kill and abduct all remaining crew members to use as breeding stock for the violent propagation of its own species, by cocooning a host into place for the hatching process.

Following the unintended destruction of the ship's navigation system, the vessel crash landed into a jungle on Earth where it was discovered by a geologist collecting soil samples nearby. After a detailed investigation of the ships interior, the geologist was able to deduce and record exactly what had happened to the deceased extraterrestrial crew members. Having seen one of the alien creatures that perpetuated the carnage within, the geologist fled from the downed craft, seeking refuge in an ancient ruin where he was able to record his final thoughts on a digital device before falling victim to an Alien himself.

Reprint History[]

Dark Horse Comics[]

Aliens: Incubation was first collected in the trade paperback release of Batman/Aliens, released in November 1997, for which it was colored by Matt Hollingsworth.

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

The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on June 26, 2013, collected with Aliens: Lucky and Aliens: Taste and reusing Bernie Wrightson's cover art from Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #101.

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 3 collection, alongside many other later Dark Horse stories. The collection was released on November 22, 2022.

Behind the Scenes[]

Incubation 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 alien pilot shown in Aliens: Earth Angel, the hunting village aliens from Aliens: Alien, 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.

Writer Ron Marz also wrote the cross-over miniseries Green Lantern versus Aliens and the short Predator story Predator: Demon's Gold, which also appeared in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. He is most well known in mainstream comics for his work as writer on DC Comics Green Lantern series and in particular the story Emerald Twilight, dealing with the downfall of perennial Green Lantern Hal Jordan in the 1990s.

Issue artist Bernie Wrightson became popular for his successful and groundbreaking horror-style illustration on DC Comics' Swamp Thing, which would eventually help to establish DC's adult-oriented offshoot imprint Vertigo Comics in the 1980s.


  • Incubation is something of an anomaly in the Aliens comics line in that it directly leads into the two-issue crossover comic book series Batman/Aliens. As such, it is the only Aliens story to have a direct link to a crossover comic, which are generally considered non-canon with regard to the Aliens line.


Issue covers[]


External Links[]