Aliens: More Than Human, originally titled Aliens, is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from May-December 2009. It was written by John Arcudi, illustrated by Zach Howard and Gabriel Andrade, inked by Howard, Mark Irwin and Marcelo Mueller, colored by Wes Dzioba, lettered by Nate Piekos and edited by Chris Warner and Samantha Robertson, with cover art by Howard, Brad Anderson and Raymond Swanland. Howard and Dzioba also provided a variant cover for the first issue. The comic follows a remote human colony that comes under the influence of Aliens. The series was preceded by the short-story prequel Aliens (2009 short story), produced by the same creative team, and did itself serve as a prequel to the six-issue series Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the film Alien, and released in anticipation of the 2010 film Predators, Aliens: More Than Human was the first original Aliens comic to be released since Aliens: Xenogenesis a decade earlier.
#1: A group of wildcat planetary prospectors plant their flag on a distant new world, rich in land, resources... and mystery. Within this seemingly uninhabited planet lies the greatest archaeological discovery in history, an ancient, abandoned complex of impossible proportions carved deep within the living rock, a mind-numbing labyrinth of passages, ramps, bridges, and galleries that seems to extend limitlessly. But as the exploration of the leviathan dead city proceeds deeper and deeper, the members of the team slowly begin to lose their grip on reality. But madness gives way to fear as the explorers begin to disappear one by one. Something else lives within the necropolis, a faceless horror as deadly and merciless as space itself, a lethal terror that has waited centuries to awake... and destroy.
#2: A strange, abandoned city of impossible scale lies ready to give up its secrets, but at what cost? Jealously guarded by a half-mad group of planetary prospectors, the labyrinthine necropolis may be a treasure trove of incomparable wealth, or a funeral complex with no exit, as an archaeological team from Earth discovers too late. But these off-planet interlopers soon become the least of the prospectors' worries, as their priceless possession offers up a monstrous surprise of murderous beasts from the darkest abyssal nightmare... and the prospectors only hope may lie in the unmarked graves of those they themselves betrayed.
#3: Untold trillions of miles from Earth, the planet Chione holds limitless treasures, ancient mysteries... and horrors beyond imagination. In the presence of the greatest archaeological discovery in human history, biologist David Sereda's journey of discovery becomes a desperate rescue mission as he plunges alone into a vast, maze-like necropolis to save the life of a woman trapped amidst an infestation of deadly Xenomorphs. But when Sereda comes face to face with the madmen who murdered his crew — and buried him alive — he begins to doubt his quest as he realizes that for any hope of success in the midst of monsters, Sereda may need to make a deal with devils.
#4: Can an android dream? After waking from what appears to be just that, the android Sereda struggles with the idea that he may be more damaged than he originally thought. Still, whether it's simply his programming or a newly found free will, Sereda is hell bent on effecting the rescue of the woman whose voice brought him down into the bewildering maze of a seemingly endless necropolis. Most of the surviving planetary prospectors are willing to follow him into the labyrinth, but there are two major obstacles to the rescue mission: a horde of marauding Xenomorphs, and the man who shot Sereda, who isn't about to let a damaged synthetic lead the other survivors anywhere.
After its initial publication under the original title Aliens, the series received its current title, Aliens: More Than Human, when it was collected as a trade paperback released in April 2010. This edition included the prologue story and reused the Swanland cover artwork from issue 4.
Behind the Scenes
John Arcudi is a veteran writer of Aliens and Predator comics, having also worked on Predator: God's Truth, Predator: Big Game, Aliens: Reapers, Aliens: Genocide, Aliens: Alien, Aliens: Stronghold and Aliens: Alchemy. He was also the original writer on Dark Horse Comics' The Mask, which was turned into a theatrical film of the same name starring Jim Carrey.
In 2008, Arcudi was tapped by editor Chris Warner to be lead writer for the series that would relaunch the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic book lines for Dark Horse Comics. Though Arcudi did write the resultant Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens miniseries in 2009, he was unable to write the follow-on Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War and was replaced by the writer of the original Aliens vs. Predator series, Dark Horse vice-president Randy Stradley.
Editor Chris Warner was actually the first person to come up with the idea of the Aliens vs. Predator crossover at Dark Horse during story meetings in the late 1980s. He was also the artist on Predator: Concrete Jungle, the first Predator miniseries, and one of the artists on the first Aliens vs. Predator series in 1990.
There was an effort made with the relaunch of the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics to strongly establish a joint continuity between the lines and between the new series and all previous Dark Horse releases from the franchises — with the possible exception of the previous Predator comics, to which minimal referencing was made. To that extent, a prequel to the 2009 Aliens miniseries was featured in Free Comic Book Day: Aliens/Predator, while the series itself served as a build-up to Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, which again features protagonist David Sereda from the 2009 Aliens series as a main character. The lead character from Dark Horse's 2009 Predator miniseries also appeared in Three World War, thus firmly establishing the connection between all three franchises, at least in comic book form.
The prequel short story Aliens establishes that the events of the series take place during or after 1991's Aliens: Genocide, which illustrates Earth's recovery from the Xenomorph infestation seen in Aliens: Outbreak, while the events of Three World War also connect the story to the continuity of the existing Aliens vs. Predator comics from the 1990s.
The series is notable as being the first official appearance of a Tusked Xenomorph.
The following features for each issue of Aliens (2009) are available at the Dark Horse Comics website, including a behind the scenes making of featurette for issue #1, a preview of the first three pages of each issue, and downloadable desktop images for each cover: