Aliens: Hive

Aliens: Hive
Aliens Harvest review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Titan Books - 1-85286-469-9
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Dark Horse - 1-87857-447-7
  • Volume No.: 5
  • Release date: 1993
  • UPC: 9781878574473
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Horror, Science-Fiction

Hive has a big advantage over other Aliens graphic novels and that’s the art of Kelley Jones. Heavily influenced by the work of Bernie Wrightson, Jones generates a cloying atmosphere of perpetual tension, heavy on the use of black ink and shadow. His aliens are great, his humans not quite as accomplished, but by the conclusion Jones is alone in providing anything of interest.

The assorted properties of an alien queen’s royal jelly have become widely known and Doctor Mayokovsky has conceived a method of acquiring some. He’s been spurred into this by Julian, a career criminal with whom he’s become obsessed. Theirs is not an equal relationship, though, and even the lonely reclusive and infatuated scientist has some understanding that he’s being used by a woman who will never be his.

To begin with Jerry Prosser’s plot hinges on a very good idea. Mayokovsky has created an android in the form of an alien, and with certain protections he believes it will be able to fool the real creatures in order to procure the royal jelly. Not so impressive is the incorporation of chunks of narrative from Mayokovsky’s Cyberantics, his study of ants, to which he likens the hive like behaviour of the Xenomorph communities.

Any Aliens plot hinges on something going wrong, which duly occurs here. Mayorkovsky is a planner, not a man of action or protector, but that’s what he needs to be in order to survive. By this stage we still have Jones’ evocative art, but the plot has jettisoned almost all the previously interesting elements, and what we’re left with is dull and over-extended.

Hive is also available along with Genocide and the previously uncollected Colonial Marines in the second Aliens Omnibus, where it’s retitled Harvest.