Get Started In ALIEN FRANCHISE

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Jun 2019

The ALIEN FRANCHISE is a multi-media franchise based on the initial 1979 science fiction horror movie, ALIEN, which chronicles Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley's harrowing struggle with a dangerous xenomorph alien aboard her interstellar cargo ship, the NOSTROMO. The alien was an unprecendented nightmare of teeth and claws with an even more frightenting method of gestating its young inside live, unknowing human beings. In film, the franchise spawned three sequels and two prequels. But there have also been countless spin-off video games, comics, novels, and other films--most notably the cross-overs with the Predator Franchise. For its day, the original film broke ground in the big budget science fiction horror genre through a combination of direction by Ridley Scott, designs by H.R. Giger and Moebius, and a strong female lead character. In great company, the film typically tops the list of notable science fiction films of its era alongside STAR WARS and TERMINATOR.

The initial film was adapted by Heavy Metal in 1979 in the classic graphic novel format. But, in 1988, Dark Horse began a long-running line of comic books based on the Alien Franchise. The first of these comics were intended to be a continuation of the first two films of the film series, but the third film introduced contradictions with the comics, and as such Dark Horse Aliens comics are generally considered non-canonical to the film series (even though DH changed Hicks and Newt's names in subsequent trade paperback printings to keep the story relevant), but they are generally consistent with themselves continuity-wise. Although Dark Horse Comics launched in 1986 with creator-owned stuff, Aliens was one of the first licensed properties that helped vault the publisher to premiere status and the leader in licensed comics. Over the years, Dark Horse has been pretty prolific with the Alien license. Although the line's main continuity was on hiatus from 1999-2008, they have come back with series that arguably tie-into the film franchise stronger. In 2018, Dark Horse published William Gibson's unproduced screenplay for ALIEN 3, in which the beloved characters from the second film are not summarily killed off before the opening credits.

For intentional purposes, Aliens have never had an ongoing comic book series. Dark Horse has preferred to publish mini-series (although some are 12-issue maxi-series), one-shots, and serialized stories to presumably allow its creators more creative freedom. Given its serialized publishing history, there are some stories that can only be found in more obscure publications. The first three mini-series form a rough trilogy detailing the infestation of Earth and humanity relcaiming it. These mini-series have been renamed a couple times in compilation form to strengthen connections to the film franchise. Although Dark Horse's Aliens comics continuity is not bulletproof, this infestation of Earth and some of its lasting effects have been referenced in subsequent mini-series. At the end of 1989, Dark Horse laid the foundation for the shared Aliens/Predator universe in DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #34-36. This took fans by pleasant surprise, and the Aliens vs. Predator (AVP) line of comics has been as robust as either of the two component lines themselves. Also in continuities all their own are fairly successful Aliens mini-series crossovers with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, WildC.A.T.s, Witchblade, Terminator, Vampirella and Judge Dredd. Released in 2012, the film PROMETHEUS was the first prequel film to the original 1979 film. It and it's successor, ALIEN: COVENANT (2017), explore some of the history and motivations of the Engineers as well as the initial development of the alien xenomorph. Dark Horse has begun exploring this era in their comic books as well. The Alien Franchise--as a whole--shows no sign of fading away, as long as consumers are at least partially interested in science fiction horror.

Related GSIs: AVENGERSSPIDER-MAN (PETER PARKER)STAR WARS

Related Tags: ALIEN FRANCHISEART ADAMS (CA)BATMANBATMAN FAMILY TITLESBRIAN WOOD (W)BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYERBUFFYVERSECHRIS CLAREMONT (W)CROSS-PROPERTY CROSSOVERSDARK HORSE INTERNATIONALDARKNESSDAVE DORMAN (CA)EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS CHARACTERSERIC POWELL (W)FIRE AND STONE [2014]FRANK MILLER (A)FRANK MILLER (W)FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (FCBD)GODZILLAGREEN LANTERN FAMILY TITLESHELLBOYHELLBOY UNIVERSEINDIANA JONESJAMES BONDJOHN BYRNE (W)JUDGE DREDDLIFE AND DEATH [2016]MIKE MIGNOLA (W)PREDATOR FRANCHISEROBOCOPSERENITY (FIREFLY)STAR WARSSTAR WARS (LEGENDS)STARSHIP TROOPERSSUPERMANSUPERMAN FAMILY TITLESTARZANTERMINATORUSAGI YOJIMBOVAMPIRELLAVIDEO GAME TIE-INWARREN ELLIS (W)WILDC.A.T.SWITCHBLADEXENA: WARRIOR PRINCESSXENOGENESIS [1999]

Current Series

This is a curated list of the most current series to help you get started with Alien Franchise comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

Limited series are the dominant format in Alien comics' publication history, making it pretty easy to get started anywhere.

PublisherFrequencySeries 
DARK HORSEOngoingALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019](video game tie-in)
DARK HORSELimited (5)ALIEN 3 [2018](adapts William Gibson's unproduced screenplay for ALIEN 3)
DARK HORSELimited (4)ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019](sequel to the Aliens: Isolation video game featuring Ripley's daughter, Amanda Ripley)
DARK HORSELimited (4)ALIENS: RESCUE [2019](sequel mini-series to ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019])
DARK HORSELimited (4)ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THICKER THAN BLOOD [2019]

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Aliens Franchise. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Aliens Franchise.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
ALIEN 3 #5
Quick View
Mar 2019ALIEN 3 [2018] #5 CHRISTMAS CVR A  (Part 5 of 5 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
ALIENS: RESISTANCE #2
Quick View
Feb 2019ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019] #2 LA TORRE CVR A  (Part 2 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: RESISTANCE #3
Quick View
Mar 2019ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019] #3 JONES CVR A  (Part 3 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: RESISTANCE #4
Quick View
Apr 2019ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019] #4 DE LA TORRE CVR A  (Part 4 of 4 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
ALIENS: RESCUE #1
Quick View
May 2019ALIENS: RESCUE [2019] #1 DE LA TORRE CVR A  (Part 1 of 4 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: RESCUE #2
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Jun 2019ALIENS: RESCUE [2019] #2 DE LA TORRE CVR A  (Part 2 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: RESCUE #3
Quick View
Jul 2019ALIENS: RESCUE [2019] #3 DE LA TORRE CVR A  (Part 3 of 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: RESCUE #4
Quick View
Oct 2019ALIENS: RESCUE [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 4 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THICKER THAN BLOOD #1
Quick View
Dec 2019ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THICKER THAN BLOOD [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 4 (mini-series beginning))PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT #1
Quick View
Sep 2019ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019] #1 JONES/GOUGH CVR A  (series beginning)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT #2
Quick View
Oct 2019ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019] #2   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT #3
Quick View
Nov 2019ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019] #3 JONES/GOUGH CVR A  UNAVAILABLE$2.59
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT #4
Quick View
Dec 2019ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019] #4 JONES/GOUGH CVR A  PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Aliens Franchise comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Aliens Franchise. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

Fair warning, only a portion of the Aliens' long comic book publishing history is in print as compilations at any one time, so the following list may seem a little like Swiss cheese compared to the Main Publication History further down in this guide. Dark Horse's long-in-print ALIENS OMNIBUS [2007-TPB] volumes--which collected many of the early and follow-on series--are now out-of-print...but are presumably being replaced with a roll-out of a new ALIENS: THE ESSENTIAL COMICS [2018-TPB] series with the same material. Only one volume has been published so far. If you simply must collect all the Aliens comics in compilation form, you'll need to search out the many out-of-print volumes on the secondary market.

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
ALIENS: THE ESSENTIAL COMICS VOL 01Quick ViewOct 2018ALIENS: THE ESSENTIAL COMICS [2018-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: THE ESSENTIAL COMICS VOL 01Quick ViewAug 2019ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: THE ESSENTIAL COMICS [2019-TPB] VOL 01
  
UNAVAILABLE$21.24
      
DC COMICS/DARK HORSE COMICS: ALIENS Quick ViewApr 2016DC COMICS/DARK HORSE COMICS: ALIENS [2016-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS PREDATOR PROMETHEUS AVP: FIRE AND STONE Quick ViewApr 2018ALIENS PREDATOR PROMETHEUS AVP: FIRE AND STONE [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA Quick ViewJul 2016ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA [2015-HC]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS: DEFIANCE VOL 01Quick ViewJan 2017ALIENS: DEFIANCE [2016-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ALIENS: DEFIANCE VOL 02Quick ViewSep 2017ALIENS: DEFIANCE [2016-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS PREDATOR PROMETHEUS AVP--THE COMPLETE LIFE AND DEATH Quick ViewSep 2018ALIENS PREDATOR PROMETHEUS AVP--THE COMPLETE LIFE AND DEATH [2018-HC]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT Quick ViewMar 2018ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT [2017-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIENS: DUST TO DUST Quick ViewFeb 2019ALIENS: DUST TO DUST [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
ALIEN 3 Quick ViewMay 2019ALIEN 3 [2018-HC]
  
UNAVAILABLE$16.99
      
ALIENS: RESISTANCE Quick ViewJun 2019ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019-TPB]
  
UNAVAILABLE$15.29
      
ALIENS: RESCUE Quick ViewNov 2019ALIENS: RESCUE [2019-TPB]
  
UNAVAILABLE$16.99
      
ALIENS: THE ORIGINAL COMICS SERIES [VOL 01] 30TH ANNIVERSARYQuick ViewApr 2016ALIENS: THE ORIGINAL COMICS SERIES [2016-HC] [VOL 01] 30TH ANNIVERSARY
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
ALIENS: THE ORIGINAL COMICS SERIES VOL 02Quick ViewApr 2017ALIENS: THE ORIGINAL COMICS SERIES [2016-HC] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in the Alien Franchise, if it's within your budget. The initial film was adapted by Heavy Metal in 1979 in the classic graphic novel format. This is technically the first appearance. But, in 1988, Dark Horse began a long-running line of comic books based on the Alien Franchise, and the first of these is perhaps better known. Both are contained in the list below with qualifiers.

  • ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY [1979-GN]   (1st appearance of Aliens (in comics))
  • ALIENS [1988] #1  (1st appearance of Aliens (in Dark Horse comics))

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. The 'origin' of a superhero is typically the event or circumstances surrounding how they gained their powers and/or began fighting crime. As such, the Alien Franchise does not have a typical superhero origin story. The sequel film, ALIEN: COVENANT, gives huge clues pesumably on how the xenomorphs came about, but this story has not been adapted in comics.

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Alien Franchise comic books. For intentional purposes, Aliens have never had an ongoing comic book series. Dark Horse has preferred to publish mini-series (although some are 12-issue maxi-series), one-shots, and serialized stories to presumably allow its creators more creative freedom. Given its serialized publishing history, there are some stories that can only be found in more obscure publications. At the end of 1989, Dark Horse laid the foundation for the shared Aliens/Predator universe in DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #34-36. This took fans by pleasant surprise, and the Aliens vs. Predator (AVP) line of comics has been as robust as either of the two component lines themselves. The list below contains both Aliens and AVP comics. Series notes have been added to many entries in the list, as mini-series jump all over the timeline and Dark Horse has had a habit of renaming some of its early material for compilations in an attempt to massage their connections to the burgeoning film franchise.

  • ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY [1979-GN]    (graphic novel adaptation of ALIEN from Heavy Metal predates Dark Horse...as a company)
  • ALIENS [1988] #1-6   (first Dark Horse mini-series; subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: BOOK ONE then again as ALIENS: OUTBREAK)
  • DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #24, 34-36, 42-43, 56, 101-102, 117, 121, 140, 146   (issues with Aliens or AVP short story arcs in Dark Horse's long-running anthology series)
  • ALIENS [1989] #1-4   (second mini-series; subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: BOOK TWO then again as ALIENS: NIGHTMARE ASYLUM)
  • ALIENS: EARTH WAR [1990] #1-4   (third mini-series; subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: FEMALE WAR)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR [1990] #1, 0, 2-4   (issue #0 reprints innaugural AVP story from DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #34-36)
  • DARK HORSE INSIDER [1989] #14-28   (contains the 14-part serialized story ALIENS: COUNTDOWN in #14-27; story only ever reprinted in two magazine-size issues include as a premium with the UK Aliens magazines ALIENS [1992-MAG] #9-10; #28 contains an ALIENS VS. PREDATOR 2 preview)
  • DARK HORSE PRESENTS FIFTH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL [1991-SC]    (contains the original, 8-page story ALIENS: REAPERS)
  • ALIENS: GENOCIDE [1991] #1-4   (introduces 'red' aliens; Vol 04 in DH's Aliens Library Edition compilation series)
  • DARK HORSE INSIDER [1992] #1-14   (contains the 14-part serialized story ALIENS VS. PREDATOR II)
  • ALIENS: HIVE [1992] #1-4   (subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: HARVEST; Vol 05 in DH's Aliens Library Edition compilation series)
  • DARK HORSE PRESENTS: ALIENS [1992]    (reprints colorized versions of the DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] Aliens stories to date)
  • ALIENS: TRIBES [1992-HC]    (text story augmented by graphic illustrations by Dave Dorman; later published in softcover)
  • ALIEN 3 [1992] #1-3   (official movie adaptation)
  • ALIENS: NEWT'S TALE [1992] #1-2   (belated adaptation of the movie ALIENS with several scenes not seen in the theatrical release)
  • DARK HORSE COMICS [1992] #3-5, 11-13, 15-19, 22-25   (issues with Aliens or AVP short stories in another of Dark Horse's anthology series)
  • ALIENS [1992-MAG] V1/#1-17, V2/#1-22   (UK magazine with serialized reprints of US stories and some original content)
  • PREVIEWS [1988] V3/#1-12, V4/#1   (contains the 13-part serialized original story ALIENS: EARTH ANGEL written and illustrated by John Byrne; reprinted as a one-shot in Aug 1994)
  • ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES [1993] #1-10   (12-issue series cut short at ten issues introduces Vasquez's younger sister, Private Carmen Vasquez, in #2)
  • ALIENS: TRIBES [1993-SC]    (softcover edition of an earlier original hardcover text story augmented by graphic illustrations by Dave Dorman)
  • ALIENS: COUNTDOWN [1993-MAG] #1-2   (reprints the serialized story from DARK HORSE INSIDER [1989] #14-27; issue #1 is a magazine-sized 7-page comic distributed with the UK magazine ALIENS [1992-MAG] #9; issue #2 is a magazine-sized 10-page comic bound into ALIENS [1992-MAG] #10)
  • ALIENS: ROGUE [1993] #1-4   (Vol 06 in DH's Aliens Library Edition compilation series)
  • ALIENS: SACRIFICE [1993] #1   (reprints the original serialized story from the UK magazine, ALIENS [1992-MAG] V2/#9-12)
  • ALIENS/PREDATOR: THE DEADLIEST OF THE SPECIES [1993] #1-12   
  • ALIENS: LABYRINTH [1993] #1-4   (Vol 07 in DH's Aliens Library Edition compilation series)
  • COMPLEAT ALIENS [1993-SLIP]    (limited (500) slipcased trade paperback compiles the early Aliens comics)
  • ALIENS: SALVATION [1993] #1   
  • ALIENS: SPACE MARINES [1993-MINI] #1-12   (out-of-continuity mini-comics included exclusively with Kenner's Alien and AVP toys)
  • ALIENS: MUSIC OF THE SPEARS [1994] #1-4   
  • ALIENS: STRONGHOLD [1994] #1-4   (Vol 08 in DH's Aliens Library Edition compilation series)
  • ALIENS: EARTH ANGEL [1994] #1   (contains the 13-part serialized original story ALIENS: EARTH ANGEL from PREVIEWS [1988] V3/#1-12, V4/#1)
  • ALIENS: BERSERKER [1995] #1-4   (subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: FRENZY)
  • PREVIEWS [1988] V5/#2-12, V6/#1   (contains the 12-part serialized original story ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: BOOTY; reprinted as a one-shot in Jan 1996)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: DUEL [1995] #1-2   
  • ALIENS: MONDO PEST [1995]    (reprints the Aliens story from DARK HORSE COMICS [1992] #22-24)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: WAR [1995] #0-4   
  • SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS [1995] #1-3   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: BOOTY [1996] #1   (reprints the 12-part serialized story ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: BOOTY from PREVIEWS [1988] V5/#2-12, V6/#1)
  • ALIENS: MONDO HEAT [1996]    
  • DARK HORSE CLASSICS: ALIENS VERSUS PREDATOR [1997] #1-6   (reprints DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #34-36, ALIENS VS. PREDATOR [1990] #1-4, and the 8-page AVP story from DARK HORSE PRESENTS FIFTH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL [1991-SC])
  • ALIENS: PIG [1997]    
  • BATMAN/ALIENS [1997] #1-2   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIENS SPECIAL [1997] #1   (one-shot with 2 original stories)
  • ALIENS: HAVOC [1997] #1-2   (artist 'jam' mini-series)
  • ALIENS: PURGE [1997]    
  • ALIEN RESURRECTION [1997] #1-2   (official comic book adaptation)
  • ALIENS: ALCHEMY [1997] #1-3   
  • ALIENS: KIDNAPPED [1997] #1-3   
  • ALIENS: SURVIVAL [1998] #1-3   
  • ALIENS: GLASS CORRIDOR [1998]    
  • ALIENS: STALKER [1998]    
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: ETERNAL [1998] #1-4   
  • ALIENS: WRAITH [1998]    
  • WILDC.A.T.S/ALIENS [1998] #1   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIENS: APOCALYPSE--THE DESTROYING ANGELS [1999] #1-4   (appearance of the 'engineers' in comics pre-dates the PROMETHEUS film portrayal; subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: APOCALYPSE)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR ANNUAL [1999] #1   
  • ALIENS: XENOGENESIS [1999] #1-4   (XENOGENESIS [1999] crossover event storyline begins)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: XENOGENESIS [1999] #1-4   (primary Aliens comics line goes on hiatus after the Xenogenesis crossover event storyline)

  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR VS. THE TERMINATOR [2000] #1-4   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • GREEN LANTERN VS. ALIENS [2000] #1-4   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • WITCHBLADE/ALIENS/THE DARKNESS/PREDATOR: MINDHUNTER [2000] #1-3   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • SUPERMAN/ALIENS 2: GOD WAR [2002] #1-4   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • BATMAN/ALIENS II [2003] #1-3   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • JUDGE DREDD VS. ALIENS: INCUBUS [2003] #1-4   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: THRILL OF THE HUNT [2004-DIG]    
  • ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: WHOEVER WINS...WE LOSE [2005]    
  • SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VS. ALIENS AND PREDATOR [2007] #1-2   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: SAND TRAP [2007]    
  • ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: CIVILIZED BEASTS [2008-DIG]    

  • ALIENS [2009] #1-4   (primary Aliens comics come off hiatus; subsequently renamed in compilations as ALIENS: MORE THAN HUMAN)
  • FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: ALIENS/PREDATOR [2009]    
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THREE WORLD WAR [2010] #1-6   
  • ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY [2012-GN]    (Titan reprints the 1979 graphic novel movie adaptation from Heavy Metal; published also in a limited, signed hardcover edition)
  • ALIENS: FIRE AND STONE [2014] #1-4   (FIRE AND STONE [2014] crossover event storyline begins)
  • PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE [2014] #1-4   
  • ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: FIRE AND STONE [2014] #1-4   
  • PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE, OMEGA [2015]    
  • ALIENS/VAMPIRELLA [2015] #1-6   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIENS: DEFIANCE [2016] #1-12   (set between the first two Alien movies)
  • FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016: GENERAL [SERENITY / HELLBOY / ALIENS] [2016]    
  • PROMETHEUS: LIFE AND DEATH [2016] #1-4   (LIFE AND DEATH [2016] crossover event storyline begins)
  • PREDATOR VS. JUDGE DREDD VS. ALIENS [2016] #1-4   (out-of-continuity cross-property cross-over)
  • ALIENS: LIFE AND DEATH [2016] #1-4   
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: LIFE AND DEATH [2016] #1-4   
  • ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT [2017] #1-4   (an engineering officer is trapped on a space station...with an alien)
  • ALIENS: DUST TO DUST [2018] #1-4   (mother and son battle aliens to escape an infestation of their colony world)
  • ALIEN 3 [2018] #1-5   (adapts William Gibson's unproduced screenplay for ALIEN 3)
  • ALIENS: RESISTANCE [2019] #1-4   (sequel to the Aliens: Isolation video game featuring Ripley's daughter, Amanda Ripley)
  • ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: RISING THREAT [2019] #1-   (video game tie-in)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: THICKER THAN BLOOD [2019] #1-4   

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Alien Franchise, any one of which can be a good place to get started. The Aliens comic book publishing history is very episodic (i.e. doesn't rely on an ongoing, required continuity), which makes starting almost anywhere easy.

Key Storyline cover 1 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Storyline cover 2 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Storyline cover 3 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Storyline cover 4 for ALIEN FRANCHISE
1979ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY [1979-GN]    (the original film adaptation from industry legends, Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson)
1988ALIENS [1988] #1-6   (aka BOOK ONE aka OUTBREAK; Dark Horse's initial story arc of three arc is foundational and required reading for serious Aliens enthusiasts, as is the two follow-on arcs; recommend reading the original versions before the names were changed)
1989ALIENS [1989] #1-4   (aka BOOK TWO aka NIGHTMARE ASYLUM; second arc of three in Dark Horse's foundational stories from Verheiden)
1990ALIENS: EARTH WAR [1990] #1-4   (EARTH WAR aka FEMALE WAR; third of three arcs in Dark Horse's foundtional trilogy)
1990ALIENS VS. PREDATOR [1990] #1, 0, 2-4   (kickoff of one of the coolest, enduring crossovers ever conceived)
1992ALIENS: NEWT'S TALE [1992] #1-2   (belated adaptation of the movie ALIENS with several scenes not seen in the theatrical release)
1993ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES [1993] #1-10   (if you loved ALIENS for the colonial marines, good bet you like this little series; introduces Vasquez's younger sister, Private Carmen Vasquez, in #2)
1993ALIENS: SALVATION [1993] #1   (stand-out one-shot from Mike Mignola and Dave Gibbons)
1994ALIENS: MUSIC OF THE SPEARS [1994] #1-4   (one of the most unique and bizarre stories ever conceived, and it works, crazy and all)
1997BATMAN/ALIENS [1997] #1-2   (Batman battles an Alien infestation among Mayan ruins)
2000GREEN LANTERN VS. ALIENS [2000] #1-4   (Hal Jordan chose not to exterminate the Aliens years earlier, and now his ring inheritor Kyle Rayner faces the same tough challenges--physcially and ethically)
2003BATMAN/ALIENS II [2003] #1-3   (this off-the-chart insane, can't-look-away-trainwreck story is not so much a follow-up to the first crossover)
2014ALIENS: FIRE AND STONE [2014] #1-4   (part of a crossover story event among Aliens, Predator, AVP and Prometheus that adds constructively to the story bridge between the PROMETHEUS and ALIEN films, as in...what the heck was with that black ooze?)
2017ALIENS: DEAD ORBIT [2017] #1-4   (classic setup: an engineering officer is trapped on a space station...with an alien)
2018ALIENS: DUST TO DUST [2018] #1-4   (mother and son battle aliens to escape an infestation of their colony with a nostalgic feel that harkens back to the early days of the franchise; as far as I can tell, the number #1 danger of colonization is an Alien infestation...seems legit)

Media Source Material

Media source material cover for ALIEN FRANCHISE

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Alien Franchise, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. But, with the Alien Franchise, movies and other media are typically not produced from comic source material. Comic book adaptations and comic book spin-offs are produced from movies and other media.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Alien franchise comic books, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Issue cover 2 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Issue cover 3 for ALIEN FRANCHISEKey Issue cover 4 for ALIEN FRANCHISE
  • ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY [1979-GN]    (1st appearance of Aliens (in comics))
  • ALIENS [1988] #1   (1st appearance of Aliens (in Dark Horse comics))
  • ALIENS [1988] #2   (2nd appearance of Aliens (in Dark Horse comics))
  • ALIENS [1988] #3   (3rd appearance of Aliens (in Dark Horse comics))
  • ALIENS [1989] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR [1990] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • ALIENS VS. PREDATOR [1990] #0   (reprints story from DARK HORSE PRESENTS [1986] #34-36)
  • ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES [1993] #2   (1st appearance of Private Carmen Vasquez)
  • ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES [1993] #6   (1st appearance of Herk Mondo)
  • ALIENS: DEFIANCE [2016] #1   (1st issue of this series)