Book Review: Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual
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Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual
Written by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
Titan Books
Release Date: May 29, 2012

“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.

Titan Books has given Geeks Of Doom the exclusive on several images in the book, so be sure to check that out, too: Exclusive: Designs From ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual’.

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