Book Review: Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual


To coincide with the release of Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS, Titan Books is re-releasing this reference book for the classic second installment in the franchise, ALIENS.

From the back cover: The United States Colonial Marines. Ultimate troubleshooters equipped with state-of-the-art firepower, capable of power projection across the vast expanse of deep space. They can sharpshoot a man at a thousand meters or obliterate an entire world from the safety of orbit. They reckon they are unbeatable.

But on a dirtball colony planet known only as LV-426 the unthinkable happens. 

The Marines lose. 

The Aliens - Colonial Marines Technical Manual is your official guide to the equipment and organisation of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. Packed with diagrams, technical schematics and plans, the manual takes a detailed look at the guns, vehicles and ships of the USCMC, and the men and women who use them. 

A must-have book for any Aliens fan, the Aliens - Colonial Marines Technical Manual examines the technology of the movie's futuristic nightmare in every detail.

The ALIENS Colonial Marines Technical Manual is a fully illustrated handbook that puts you in the role of a marine recruit learning the ins and outs of how to function as a member of the United States' "interstellar force-in-readiness."

Like the similar books released for STAR WARS and STAR TREK, this is an intricate and detailed analysis of the technology that was designed for James Cameron's film. Across all of his films, including the TERMINATOR films and AVATAR, there is a similar asthetic as to how the vehicles and weaponry appear and operate. While the original ALIEN and PROMETHEUS appear to have a more organic design, ALIENS is gritty, sharp, and gray.

While the book has numerous full color images from the movie itself, it is the detailed diagrams and drawings of every item at a Colonial Marine's disposal that makes this book the most interesting.

The breakdown of each item to the most minute detail made me wonder if these were storyboarded and developed prior to the movie being filmed or if it was filled in by the author after the fact. Each page has a quote or historical reference to the fictional ALIEN universe that adds to the realism the book is striving for so you rarely feel that this is not an actual guide that could be found on a real military base.

This book was an obvious resource for the design of the lamented ALIEN VS PREDATOR films.  You could conceivably build your own models using these schematics as a guide. All of this detail should not only be credited to the film designers but also to the author of the book, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, a British board and computer games designer.

Whether you are a technophile or a casual movie fan, the ALIENS Colonial Marines Technical Manual is a very interesting read and makes a handsome coffee table book.  While it may be a bit dry reading for some, it is absolutely well written and nice to casually thumb through.  I look forward to seeing PROMETHEUS and comparing the technological designs in the new film to the book.


Source: Titan Books



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