“All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal’s a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps!” — Sgt. Apone, Aliens
Originally published by HarperPrism in 1996, Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual serves as a guide to the equipment and procedures of the United States Colonial Marine Corps – those bad-ass Space Marines from the Aliens franchise. Written by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, a revised edition of the technical manual has been re-released by Titan Books today as a tie-in to Ridley Scott‘s upcoming science-fiction film, Prometheus.
The book is packed with sketches, diagrams, technical schematics, and plans, taking a detailed look at the weapons, vehicles and ships of the USCMC, and the men and women who use them.
This thing is detailed – frighteningly so. Even as a die-hard fan of the Aliens series, I am overwhelmed by the amount of information in Brimmicombe-Wood’s book. If you’ve ever wanted to cosplay as Hudson, Hicks, or Vasquez, this book would serve as an excellent reference for making custom USMC armor and props.
I mean, if you absolutely must know what kind of ammunition an M41A Pulse Rifle uses (“10 millimeter explosive tip caseless. Standard light armor piercing round, why?”), then Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual is for you. It contains expansive descriptions and blueprints of the UD4L Cheyenne dropship and the ‘Conestoga’-class spaceships (The Sulaco), both featured in James Cameron‘s Aliens.
The manual also includes a series of transcripts between Weyland-Yutani executives as they discuss theories on Xenomorph DNA and how the species could be exploited as a biological weapon. As Ripley would say, “You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.”
Many elements introduced in the book, including weapons like the M83 SADAR (Shoulder-launched Active-homing Disposable Anti-tank Rocket), have since appeared in expanded universe Alien and Aliens vs. Predator comic books, novels, and video games.
I’m sure Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual will make an excellent companion to the Aliens: Colonial Marines video game for PS3 and Xbox 360, which has been described as a true sequel to Aliens and takes place just after the events of the third film, Alien 3.
At $11.49, Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual is an absolute must-have for any Aliens fan – and with all the detailed information Xenomorph biology and Weyland-Yutani operations, it’s perfect for those of us who can’t wait for Ridley Scott’s kinda-sorta Alien prequel, Prometheus, to hit theaters on June 8.