There are times when being a fan of pack-in promo minicomics is a pain. I learned about a set of minicomics made for Kenner’s failed Aliens based toyline but searching for them has been a chore. Finding minicomic archives is already a crapshoot thanks in part to so many indie creators making minicomics (I blame you for this, Drozd!) so I can’t even find the archive sites I used to know of. I got lucky with most of the series I’ve gone over that I don’t own myself thanks to finding the right fansite, and the actual comics from this series went for $30 on eBay. Thirty dollars. For a minicomic with if you’re lucky two panels a page and 90 artwork. In fact this thing screams the 90s. Even if I had money coming in I wouldn’t pay that much if I WAS a fan of the franchise.
I could not find these minicomics properly archived, and I found the minicomic that came with the F.E.A.R. game! I found one that had everything but the first and last issue. I tried one site that came up with some HTML error message they didn’t teach me in the outdated web design classes I took at the local college (one of those adult ed courses). I even tried one of those websites that uploads every comic it can whether it’s legal or not but because they messed something up in the certificates the browser didn’t want me to use it. I couldn’t even do this “illegally”. It’s like someone doesn’t want me to review these comics. So you know how I’m bringing this three-part story to you? Videos. Not even kidding. I found videos that you’re going to have to pause to read each panel for. This is going to be different.
I supposed I should talk about the actual toyline and tie-in promo minicomic before we start. After the second Alien movie, with the imaginative title of Aliens (so clever), Kenner decided that a story about space marines fighting aliens would make for a great toyline and cartoon for kids. Oh yeah, if you thought the Rambo cartoon was a bad idea (no it wasn’t shut up it was awesome–and for that matter look at all the kids stuff you insist needs to be made into grown-up stuff so it suits only you, and consider it payback from the younger set) a PG version of marines fighting aliens…has actually a lot of proof it could work. From the Men In Black and Ghostbusters cartoons to Monster Force there is evidence a toned-down version of this series, especially in the EXTREEEEMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE world of the 1990s media landscape, could have worked. We’ll never know because it never happened.
Kenner also produced a series of minicomics for their Space Marines toyline. 13 comics in all were put together by Dark Horse, who had the license to the comics at the time. They’re the ones who made Aliens Vs. Predator look like a good idea with some great comics featuring the pairing (or so I’ve heard…I saw a preview once and that was it), which led to the movies that from what I hear wasn’t such a good idea. Tonight I’m looking at the first three minicomics, which form a coherent storyline. That is if you forget how the movie ended because the android is now a buffed alien-smasher, people are less dead (although one guy does have a cybernetic arm), and Ripley doesn’t show up to be awesome until the third comic, since this being a boys’ toyline meant they shifted the hero role to Hicks. Don’t yell at me, ladies and male fans. I just comment on this stuff, I don’t control it. Courtesy of “Random Vids Guy” let’s take a look at the first story arc of this minicomic…in video form. With no acting or music, which you will have to pause in order to actually read. I do what I can, folks. Watch them while they’re still online.