I wasn’t expecting to say that Gabriel Hardman, who helped give us the underwhelming “Star Wars: Legacy” sequel series, would give us a better “Aliens” series than James Stokoe, but here we are. “Dust to Dust” is a kid’s-eye view of a Xenomorph outbreak on a far-off colony planet. Young Maxon wakes up to chaos in the streets, a facehugger attached to his mother, and things only get worse for him from there.
Though the back of this volume says that this story mixes the horror of “Alien” with the action of “Aliens,” it really hews much closer to the latter than the former. “Dust to Dust” starts off as a horrific thrill ride and it doesn’t slow down until around two-thirds of the way in. That kind of relentless pacing does grow wearing after a bit, as does the fact that the series feels like an exercise in tormenting a little kid for most of its length. If that kind of stuff bothers you, then consider yourself warned.
None of this detracts from the fact that the action is skillfully executed by Hardmann who also delivers the straightforward story with a minimum of stupidity. Maxon winds up being an inherently sympathetic protagonist due to his age, and you wind up rooting for him to make it out alive after everything he winds up going through. Hardman, however, is smart enough to realize that even if the kid does make it out alive he’ll be living with this trauma for the rest of his life. This is solid work all around and a persuasive argument for me to give the creator another shot on his next project.