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Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual Paperback – April 25, 1996
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Aside from the acknowledgement of getting older, I’ll admit with great delight to having seen both Scott’s terrifying Alien (’79), and Cameron’s raucous Aliens (‘86), at theaters when they first premiered. The first movie, aptly described as a “haunted house in space”, completely blew our minds. Imagine seeing it for the first time with no prior knowledge of what you were walking into … “is that the thing’s tongue?” And how often does a follow–up film equal (or exceed) the original? We went from “this is just an ordinary prod, like a cattle prod” _ to _ “Check it out! Independently targeting particle beam phalanx. Vwap! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart missiles, phased plasma pulse rifles, RPGs, we got sonic electronic ball breakers! We got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks...”
D@mn, I love these flicks.
Recently I started collecting the movie–related NECA action figures, and this 160–page paperback popped up on the radar. It’s a solid blend of prose & pictures, and over the course of seven chapters (see below) you get detailed descriptions nicely complimented with numerous sketches, diagrams, cutaways, artwork, posed pictures & movie stills. The text is spiced with many colorful quotes of operational opinion from “actual” grunts. Additionally, leading up to the last chapter, many of the earlier ones begin with a small section of marine “scuttlebutt” regarding some “new alien species nobody’s ever encountered before”.
Books of this movie tie–in nature can often be shamelessly superfluous. But overall, if you just like these films, or _ like me _ are assembling your own NECA Colonial Marine Corps, this paperback is really a nice compliment. Here is a chapter breakdown;
006 … Unit 1: The United States Marine Corps
012 … Unit 2: Colonial Marine Infantry
040 … Unit 3: Aerospace Operations
068 … Unit 4: Heavy Weapons and Armor
092 … Unit 5: Combat Support
116 … Unit 6: Space Transport
134 … Unit 7: Aliens
PS – An additional resource would be Jonathan Maberry’s 2017 anthology ALIENS: BUG HUNT. One chapter entitled EPISODE 22 details a fictional installment from the televised series “Saga of the Weapon”. In it we learn the background history to the M41A Pulse Rifle.
Sprinkled throughout the technical sections and tables of organization (we learn the Colonial Marines have three operational divisions, for example) are snippets of Colonial Marine radio chatter and a corporate espionage team trying to find out what was the nature of the "thing" found on the planet in Aliens (the second movie). With this technical manual and the excellent Dark Horse crossover, Alien Vs Predator (with Mariko Noguchi and the plight of Prosperity Wells), most people should have a solid grasp of the Weyland-Yutani governed corporate universe. While much of it is pleasant enough, not everything is benevolent.