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Aliens: What If...? #1 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 5 critic ratings.


For years, fans of James Cameron’s legendary Aliens questioned whether Carter Burke, a company man more hateable than the Xenos themselves, had actually survived the traumatic events on the terraforming colony Hadley’s Hope.

Now the actor behind the beloved villain, Paul Reiser, joins his son Leon and the star-studded team of writers and producers Adam F. Goldberg, Brian Volk-Weiss and Hans Rodionoff for a journey back to Hadley’s Hope and the twisted escape of a man who should have died.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
33 pages
Amazon ASIN

5 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 86

    Comic Watch

    This comic defies expectations. Though the idea of Burke surviving was already an intriguing one, grounding it in events that did happen in the movie rather than changing them significantly made it more compelling from the jump. It reads less like a What If? and more like a spin-off which is to its credit. In the pantheon of Marvel’s Alien titles, What It? Aliens #1 might be the most promising first issue they’ve released yet.

  • 84

    The Fandom Post

    Reading this as the new 4K UHD release of the film is arriving is definitely amusing because it is the perfect kind of what if storyline. Burke’s survival here is an easy retcon that allows for some creative storytelling to take place but I absolutely love that they’ve crafted it not to follow the younger Burke and what happens to him immediately afterward but to lean into where Paul Reiser is now in his life and approach it from that perspective. There are a lot of ways that this can go with what he’s acquired at the end of the issue and how it factors into his intentions. With what we see from his daughter, I’m hoping for more illumination on his past so that it’s given some good due to increase the weight of what he’s attempting, but I’m just damn curious overall. The book leans into the look of the characters from the film really well and while it may not be everyone’s style it’s a great look to me and definitely has a lot of impact in capturing that feeling of the original work. I’m excited to see where it goes since it has space to tell the tale instead of just a standalone book.

  • 82

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: The writers create an interesting story for Burke in this first issue. It’s an interesting look at the dark side of corporate loyalty and a character who has always been morally questionable. It would be easy to create a circumstance in which the alternate history of this character was darker, but this issue shows the banality of his loyalty to the company and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

    The Art: Vilanova delivers fantastic action throughout the issue. I love the visual style of this issue and how it transitions from the huge action of Burke’s escape to the dark reality of this life.

  • 80


    Overall, I liked Aliens: What If…? #1, as it shows the potential to tell more stories with side characters you’d never conceive of getting the focus. This issue also establishes some interesting avenues for the story, which could easily fill out its five-issue run. With Paul Reiser at the helm, Aliens: What If…? will please fans of the franchise and sci-fi fanatics alike.

  • 80

    While many other of Marvel’s What If…? properties spend a single issue exploring more bombastic avenues that could have been explored, this Aliens: What If…? series will be a multi-part event, and while we’re only a single issue into the adventure, it already feels more entertaining than a number of other Alien comics we’ve been given in recent years. The main reason for its success is how Carter Burke from Aliens is one of the most delightfully detestable characters in the whole franchise, with this book effectively capturing and recreating his specific brand of worminess. While he largely called the shots in the feature film, he ultimately collided with the unfriendly end of a xenomorph, yet this series explores what would happen if things panned out a bit differently. Whereas other Alien books have fallen short due to delivering underwhelming characters, Burke feels like the same character we spent time with in the 1986 movie. What the future holds for the character is yet to be seen, but we’re thrilled to see him back for this adventure not only for a narrative that is tonally reminiscent of the movie, but also offers up a compelling aesthetic that feels both fresh and familiar.

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