Corporal Dwayne Hicks was a member of the military branch USCM (United States Colonial Marines) that was deployed to the moon LV-426 aboard the Sulaco to investigate the sudden loss of contact with the colonists.
Mission to LV-426
Cpl. Hicks and the rest of his squad was sent in-response to the loss of contact with the colony Hadley's Hope on LV-426 in 2179. Under the command of Lieutenant Gorman, the squad also brought along two civilian advisors: Weyland-Yutani rep Carter J. Burke and Lt. Ellen Ripley. Hicks also made time during the last part of the journey bantering with several of his squad mates. The general feeling from Hicks and the rest of the squad was that they were going to find a bunch of colonists that just had communication failures. During the drop planetside, Hicks took a nap with all the turbulence.
Arrival on Hadley's Hope
After landing, Hicks and the squad made their way to the administrative building in the complex. After the building was clear and Gorman and the advisors joined the squad in the colony, Frost picked up a signal on the motion tracker. The signal was soon discovered to be a young girl hiding. Hicks then reached out to get the girl and was bit on the hand by her, Ripley then caught and calmed the girl down, the squad investigated further to find the whereabouts of the missing colonists, founding them in the Atmospheric Processor.
When they reached the atmospheric processor and proceeded to the sub levels, the station changed from machinery to being covered in a secreted resin which Hicks asked what it came from. Hicks and the rest of the squad then received an order to sling the Pulse Rifles and Smartguns so a stray shot doesn't overload the reactor. Hicks complied and pulled out his antique shotgun to compensate.
After a live colonist was discovered, and very soon died from the emergence of an Alien Chestburster, both the creature and the body were torched by Sgt. Apone. This action antagonized the hive and the creatures struck, taking two Marines and attacking the rest. In the chaos, Hicks rescued Wierzbowski from an explosion and would later call out to him when he was killed. Shouting what happened to Apone and being told by Hudson he's dead; Hicks ordered the survivors to pull back. By the time they made it back to the APC and just about had the door closed, one of the creatures, got its hands in the door forcing it open. Hicks the stuck his shotgun in the creatures mouth shouting "Eat This!" as blew the back of its away, but the acidic blood destroyed his shotgun and injured Hudson.
During the escape from the processor, Lieutenant Gorman was knocked unconscious by loose items in the APC, making Hicks the acting commander of the mission. Ripley, points this out when she came head-to-head with Burke over the next course of action after the danger of the Xenomorph became apparent. Hicks, as acting commanding officer, declared that they would leave immediately and use a thermonuclear warhead to destroy the colony. Hicks then radioed Ferro for an immediate evac to and would meet her at a designated landing spot.
Due to some interference with the creatures, the dropship lost control and crashed, stranding Hicks and the others planet side with the xenomorphs. Hicks then ordered Vasquez and Hudson to salvage what gear they could from the APC and dropship wreckages and meet back up at the administrative building. Once there, Bishop pointed out that the processor was using it's emergency venting stating it was about four hours before it went critical.
During this time Hicks and the others formulated a plan to get the space dropship down and to hold out in the meantime. As Bishop left to go link up to the main dish outside, Hicks and the others fortified their position by welding shut the doors and reinforcing the colonist's blockades on the doors and deploying sentry guns in the main corridor. Hicks also instructed Ripley how to use the M41A Pulse Rifle for self defense. It wasn't too long until the creatures attacked the main corridor but were gunned down by the sentries' fire and exhausted their ammo completely. So Hicks and the others waited for Bishop to get the dropship down and anticipated the creatures to make another push at them.
Sometime later Hicks heard the alarm go off in the med lab portion of the station where Ripley and the girl where resting. When Hicks and others got there the door's lock was sabotaged and the two were stuck in the room with several of the specimens from the med lab running loose. Hicks shot out the glass and helped Ripley get the one that was strangling her off and killing it while Hudson dealt with the other one. Ripley managed to let the Marines know who set her up : Burke.
Ripley explained to Hicks and the others that Burke was the one who originally gave the orders to the colonists to check out the derelict and caused the infestation. Ripley also revealed that Burke wanted to get a live specimen back to Earth in herself and Newt, Hicks interrupted her saying that he and the others would know. Ripley said he could sabotage certain cryotubes, namely Hicks' and the others. Hicks was all for killing Burke right there but was interrupted when the creatures cut the power and Burke escaped.
As they escape, Hudson, Vasquez, and Gorman are killed in the ensuing fight. After Gorman and Vasquez commit suicide with a grenade, the force of the blast knocked Newt down into the sewers. Ripley; unable to leave the girl, talked Hicks into cutting out the flooring to reach her before the creatures came. Regardless of how fast Hicks moved the young girl was taken by one of the creatures. Unable to do anything for her, Hicks and Ripley had to escape before the creatures took them as well.
As they made it to the elevator one of the creatures got into the door and pried it open. The creature was cut down by gunfire and the blowback from the blood spray got on Hicks. He was injured when acidic alien blood hit his chest and the left side of his face even with Ripley frantically pulling off his armor. Ripley still managed to get him to the dropship, and he was stabilized by Bishop. Right before Ripley leaves to rescue Newt, they reveal to each other their first names. He was then passed out from the meds to stabilize him and relieve the pain of the burns. Dwayne Hicks was one of only four survivors who made it off Acheron alive. Newt, Ripley and Hicks all went into hypersleep for the journey back to Earth.
Aliens Colonial Marines
In Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hicks was awoken by Turk and Stone to help them combat the Weyland Yutani PMCs boading the ship, in the ensuing fight the PMCs firing their weapons caused a fire and Turk was thrown into Hicks' cryotube. Hicks' and Stone attempted to free Turk and wake Ripley but the fire caused Ripley, Newt, Bishop and Turk to be loaded into the EEV which crashed landed on Fury 161 where Turk was impaled by the safety support, Ripley no longer had a reason to examine his body for a chestbuster. before he was captured, Hicks sent out a distress call to the USCM and reported the other Marines of the Sulaco were KIA. As his interrogation by Micheal Weyland began, the PMCs retrived the flight recorder data and took him to LV-426. As the PMCs began to experiment with the collected eggs over Fury 161 facehuggers broke out and attacked the PMCs breeding Xenomorphs. A few weeks later, a small batallion of Colonial Marines discovered the Sulaco. Once they boarded, they were attacked by the Xenomorphs. During the battle, a PMC operative, which had taken control of the bridge, programmed the Sulaco to autopilot back to the LV-426, in hopes to regroup with the Weyland Yutani science base, Project Origin. Hick's transmission was received by Captain Cruz, who was ordered to investigate. Seventeen weeks after the Hadley's Hope incident, Corporal Christopher Winters boards the Sulaco to search for O'Neal, Keyes, and Bella. After finding Keyes and cutting him loose from the Alien Hive, Winters and Keyes ignore Cruz's orders return to retreat and instead continue Rhino 2-3's previous mission to retrieve the Sulaco flight recorder which proves successful at first until they attempt to return to the Sephora through the unstable umbilical. Keyes then begins to experience immediate chest pains, orders for the others to get back as he pulls out a grenade and procedes to blow himself up as a chestburster explodes from his chest, subsequently destroying the umbilical and costing the life of another marine along with his own. After managing to make it back inside the Sulaco, Winters and O'Neal procede to regroup with Bella and attempt to shut down the weapons system too late as the Sephora's reactors hit critical and cause the ultimate destruction of the ship and soon enough the Sulaco, the three marines forces to battle their way to a Hangar Bay and escape into the Atmosphere of LV-426. The small squad lands on LV-426, Cruz dispatches Winters, Bella, and O'Neal to find a personnel manifest, and to locate a scientist to remove the chestbuster from an impregnated Bella. Unsucessful with their second objective, the chestbuster tears our of Bella's chest. Winters and O'Neal pass through the derelict spacecraft to retrieve a mysterious Marine, captured by Weyland-Yutani's PMCs. Later, they recover the marine reavealing that Hicks is indeed alive, who proceeds to explain how he survived the attack on the Sulaco, and he was awaken because he was the ranking marine on board. After relentless days of torture he stated revealing only minor information that Wey-Yu was bound to discover later, saying as little as possible in order to keep himself alive. Afer being freed he joined Reid as they left for the Drop Pad. After they escaped the area to Hadley's Hope he told of the last FTL that was coming by on the next day to rap the science labs on the colony up and leave. After the battle with the queen they went to Micheal Weyland to interogate him, as O'Neal threatened to shoot him Bishop managed to talk him out of it. But as O'Neal lowered his pistol, Hicks grabbed O'Neals hand and fired at Micheal Bishop in the head killing him. However upon a further look it revealed Micheal Weyland was actually an special imposter android that was sent to act as the real Micheal Weyland, Hicks commented saying, "But when there's only two of you in the room you notice when the other guy ain't breathin'," His fate is left unknown.
Personality & Traits
Corporal Hicks was a soft spoken and level-headed heroic leader, providing contrast to other members of the team, including the hot-tempered Private Vasquez, the emotionally unstable Private Hudson, the inexperienced Lt. Gorman and the greedy Carter J. Burke. Hicks is mostly calm, although he does attempt to attack Burke after learning of his betrayal. Hicks was shown to be able to sleep during a turbulent planet side drop, showing he was almost always calm, even in troublesome situations.
Hicks is also skilled in the use and understanding of most weapons as shown when he instructs Ripley in the use of the M41A Pulse Rifle and the fact he had an old pump-action shotgun as a backup weapon so as not to damage processors.
Hicks, as a Colonial Marine, was outfitted with fairly standard issue M10 Pattern Ballistic Armour with a Shoulder lamp attatchment for illumination. He also carried a Tracer Bracelet with him that eventually ended up with Newt. The Corporal also carried a handheld welding torch which came in handy for fortifying barricades and cutting through obstacles like doors. Hicks was also proficient with several types of firearms including the standard issued M41A Pulse Rifle and his Ithaca M37 "Stakeout" shotgun that he kept as a back up.
The following information follows the continuity from Dark Horse Comics' Aliens comics and all related media, therefore unrelated to the primary continuity.
After returning from the mission on Acheron, Hicks and Newt were put in quarantine to insure they didn't have any alien bacteria or virus. Hicks declined getting his scars removed from the mission caliming women liked men with scars. Cpl. Hicks was eventually reassigned after being released from quarantine during which Hicks turned to alcohol and chems to cope with what happened on Acheron. During his binges, Hicks would brawl with Marines and civilians alike and would be repeatedly arrested and detained. During this period Wilks was eventually removed from active duty in the Corps, and imprisoned for having encountered the creatures, as well as his disruptive behavior.
13 years later, still in prison and suffering from recurring nightmares, Hicks received a visit from a government agent named Orona, who requested the Marine to lead a Colonial Marine squad on a mission to capture a live Xenomorph specimen due to his experience on Acheron. Before leaving for the mission, Hicks visited Newt in the hospital. After seeing him, Newt discovered that the nightmares she suffered were real and asked Hicks to save her from the hospital but the visit was interrupted and Billie was dragged away. Some days later, Hicks returned to the hospital and helped Newt escape and brought her along on the mission by hiding her inside a hypersleep chamber. During the loading, Hicks (now a sergeant) ordered plasma weapons but Colonel H.S. Stephens declined the idea. After the loading they departed in the transport ship The Benedict without knowing that they were being followed by another ship full of altered androids led by a man named Patrick Massey.
After the platoon of Marines was awoken from hypersleep, Colonel Stephens noticed the plus one on the roster and confronted Wilks on it. The Sergent was amused that he was right on Stephens' incompetence and not being familiar with his troops to pick Newt out. After convincing the Colonel to take Newt along as a "civillian advisor" on the mission and since there were no pit stops to drop Newt off he had no choice to take her along. Stephens was furious, telling Hicks he'll let Hicks twist in the wind when they get back to Earth.
After some time out of hypersleep, Wilks noticed one of his Marines, Butler was attracted to Newt. Determined to give Newt a heads up on Butler's "secret" and spare the young woman the heartache from it, He told Butler to take a hike and made it an order. With Butler storming off, Wilks tried to give Newt the heads up on Butler but instead he was rebuked by the furious woman.
Sometime after that, Hicks was in the ship's gym exercising, when he felt the ship jolt like it hit something. Wilks, suspicious of the jolt hit the general alarm to alert the crew to the trouble they were in. Hicks then ran into Colonel Stephens, telling him about his suspicions only to have Stephens pull a pistol on the Sergent. As Stephens lead Hicks to the boarding hatch that the pirate forces Hicks met the man behind the attack, Massey. Stephens then said he held up his end of the deal and demanded his payment, Massey then asked Hicks to move to the side, complying Hicks watched Massey shoot Stephens in the chest killing him.
Now at the "mercy" of Massey, Hicks was led at gunpoint to the communications room. Already figuring he was a dead man Hicks tried to assault Massey only to be beaten by the seasoned assassin. After sometime, Hicks noticed that Newt had gotten away from the patrols on the ship and managed to arm herself. Confronting the pirate, Newt asked the man to surrender and drop his weapons. Hicks shouted at Newt to shoot the man dead, distracting her and giving Massey an opportunity to attack her. Hicks joined the fray to take the assassin out. Newt managed to wound the man as he was attacking Hicks. Defeated, Massey had no intention to go out alone and was arming a grenade as Newt fatally shot the man.
After Massey was dealt with, Hicks and Newt took down for more of the combat androids patrolling the ship allow themselves to work at rescuing the stranded Marines and crew. Hicks then made contact with Squad One and told them that he was coming down with the spare dropship to rescue the stranded people. As Hicks was talking to Butler of Squad One, one of the crewmen, was screaming over the com that the creatures were almost at him. Hicks then yelled to Walters to activate his tracking signal so the survivors could be extracted. Squad One then said that they were near the crewman's tracker and decided to head out to get them out much to Newt's protests.
Before Hicks and Newt departed he set a little going away "present" for the planet, a nuclear payload he managed to smuggle on as "miscellaneous parts" behind Stephens' back. He set the timer to six hours so regardless if anyone would survive, the planet's Xenomorphs would be dealt with. Hicks and Newt then set out to the planet's surface.
When Hicks landed the dropship near the Hive he spotted three survivors: Butler, Blake and one of the crew. telling the three to move it with since he had the timer going down. Butler was momentaralily distracted when a xenomorph then ambushed and bisected him. He ordered Blake to hurry up so he could provide cover fire for the three. Hicks had to slap some sense into Newt who didn't know about Bueller's secret, yelling at her that he warned her that it would be nothing but trouble for her to pursue him.
As the three made it to the dropship, the transport was swarmed by Xenomorphs punding and scratching at the hull to get at the five in the ship. Hicks then asked Blake to help him clear off the ship by going outside to deal with the swarm. Hicks asked Blake that should he be hived that she put him out of his misery. Due to her programming Blake responded that she couldn't. Then suddenly the scratching and pounding from outside stopped.
Hicks, Newt, and Blake then opened the hatch to see what was going on outside only to find all the creatures dead and flattened. The three then saw a creature in a spacesuit with a device standing there. Newt then broke down as the creature projected its hatred of Xenomorphs on to her reminding her of the time her father was attacked in another one of these creatures ships back on Acheron.
With only three hours left, repairs still needed to be done on the dropship to get it working again. They spent the next hour getting the repairs done, much to the discomfort of the amonia filled atmosphere had on the humans. After getting the dropship going the five made it back to The Benedict for the planet to be bombed back into a primotial stage. Before disembarking off the dropship, Hicks ran the decontamination lasers to make sure they didn't pick up any unwanted guests planetside. The five then went back into hypersleep for the nine month journy back to Earth.
Return to Earth
After waking from the nine month sleep, Hicks and the survivors started receiving transmissions regarding the infestation that gripped Earth. One transmission was from Orona, who realized his folly in trying to acquire the creatures as a weapons system and killed himself before the creatures could take him alive. The Benedict then received orders to land the craft at a specified stronghold and was told specifically to not damage the ship upon reentry since ships where now very valuable.
When The Benedict landed, Hicks and the others were greeted by a squad of Marines with their weapons leveled at them. A General stepped forward ordering his men to inspect the ship, while his men filed on to The Benedict, the General filled the five in on the state of the planet as well as that the base had anywhere from a few hours to a day before the Xenomorphs overrun it. Parks, the surviving crewmember, asked the general what would happen to the survivors. The General apologized stating he had his "orders". Irritated at being left for dead, the survivors protested the General, who responded by drawing his sidearm. Blake, who was programmed to not allow any harm come to humans, stood between the General and the humans. Being warned that he had no qualms about killing a few more people Blake was shot twice in the chest and died when one of the shots richochetted into her main pump. Hicks struck the General in the temple with enough force to kill the man as he fired a third round.
With Parks running off on his own, it was now Hicks, Newt and Butler scrambling for a ship to escape the compromised base. The trio came across a battered the freighter that was typically unmanned. The three got on board as the sounds from the conflict between the Marines and Xenomorphs grew closer. The ship took off in time before any creatures could make their way to the ship and before the stockpile of nukes could be detonated.
To be continued
Behind the scenes
Corporal Dwayne Hicks first appeared in the 1987 film Aliens. He is portrayed by American actor Michael Biehn, who had previously appeared in director James Cameron's previous film, The Terminator as Sergeant Kyle Reese. For his portrayal as Hicks, Biehn received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actor.
Hicks was originally portrayed by actor James Remar, having undergone training with the other Colonial Marines actors under Al Matthews's supervision. After a couple of weeks of working on the film, Remar was ultimately fired after he was caught in the possession of illegal drugs and the role of Hicks was subsequently given to Biehn.
Dark Horse Comics' Aliens comics were originally intended as a direct sequel and continuation to Aliens. After the release of Alien³, which featured the deaths of Newt, Hicks and Ripley, in order to keep these stories relevant to the Alien film's continuity, Dark Horse retconned the names and therefore identities of the characters for future printings and novel adaptations. In these reissues and adaptations--and in all other following Aliens stories which referenced Book One and Book Two, Hicks' name was changed to Wilks and the events on Acheron took place in Rim.
David "Davey" Wilks was born on Earth in the United States to Ben Wilks and an unknown woman. David's early childhood was marked with tragedy with his father walking out on him at age four and losing his mother at age five. He was put in the care of his aunt Carrie Greene after his mother died. About six years later, soon after his eleventh birthday, there was a knock at the door from a disheveled man asking for David. The man introduced himself as a friend of his mother's named Ben. Ben gave David a birthday present and turned and walked away leaving a stunned David at the doorway. Some years later, Wilks entered in the USCMC eventually reaching the rank of Corporal.
- In the original writing of the script in Alien 3, Hicks was the main character as he and another team of US Colonial Marines travel to another surveyed planet where colonists use the Xenomorphs as some kind of bio-weapon. But because of so many re-writes of the script, Michael Biehn (along with director James Cameron) dropped out of the movie entirely, causing Hicks to be removed from the movie.
- Michael Biehn cites he wasn't asked to reprise Hicks in Alien 3, but in early script Hick's body was shown to Ripley, but Michael Biehn threaten to sue if they use his likeness.
- Hicks' shotgun from the film Aliens is available in game play in Aliens: Colonial Marines after being collected aboard the Sulaco in single player (it has additional marking not featuring in the film Aliens).