From the House of Ideas: Synths Abound in ‘Alien #1’, ‘All-Out Avengers #1’ Hits Hard

This past week saw two solid #1s from the House of Ideas arrive, and both are worth calling attention to, though they’re drastically different books.

First up is a new Alien #1, which is following the stellar comic canon universe that Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been crafting for more than a year now. This new series, written by Kennedy and featuring art by Julius Ohta details the lives of a group of synthetics who have been tasked by solidiers to complete an unthinkable task that, should they complete it, will allow freedom for synthetics going forward. Of course, the hiccup is the task will bring the synths in direct contact with the Xenomorphs.

Here’s the full logline: A small colony of synths have settled in secret on a backwater moon. When a company of United System soldiers come to them for help retrieving biotechnology on a hostile planet that could be the key to saving humanity, the synths must decide whether the prospect of peace between man and machine is worth the risk of betrayal.

I’m a huge fan of what Phillip Kennedy Johnson is doing with the Alien franchise. While each mini-series he’s written so far have separate characters and tones, he’s weaving all of these stories into a larger whole, and one that feels unique but still grounded with an “Alien” vibe. Credit goes to the folks at Marvel for letting this franchise be an R-rated comic, with bad language and a hell of a lot of violence. And for those who wonder if there’s any connection between the worlds of Alien and another classic sci-fi property in Blade Runner, well, I think a storyline about synths can’t help but recall a world of replicants, can it?

All-Out Avengers is the other #1 that grabbed me this past week, and it’s mainly because it was just so easy to pick up and read. Rather than weighed down in continuity, the book, written by Derek Landy and illustrated by Greg Land is essentially balls-to-the-wall action featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The logline reads: Introducing: the all-new Avengers series that starts in the middle of the explosive action and races to a shocking climax! An alien attack. A missing piece of wormhole tech. A city warped, its citizens transformed into hideous creatures loyal to an Empress from the far side of the universe. And a certain Captain Marvel, looking to her fellow Avengers with murderous intent…Plunge into the action and take a deep breath because you will not be allowed up for air as a thrilling new series kicks off in the strongest, strangest way possible.

The current Avengers run being written by Jason Aaron hasn’t really been my cup of tea, as it were, so being able to jump into an Avengers title like this and have fun reading it makes it a recommendation in my book. At the conclusion of the issue, editor Tom Brevoort shares the story as to the impetus for a title like All-Out Avengers, a throwback to a time when back issues and continuity wasn’t easily accessible to a new audience, and it actually adds a lot to the reading experience. If you haven’t picked up or loved an Avengers book for a while, I’m confident you’ll find All-Out Avengers #1 a fun, refreshing and still somewhat familiar tale.

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