Last month I took a look at the first issue of Alien: The Original Screenplay. It was the first in a new series by Dark Horse Comics. It aims to re-adapt the original screenplay of the Alien movie before Ridley Scott joined the project. I gave that issue the thumbs up, despite the fact we had not gotten to the gory part yet. Viewers of Alien will find this graphic novel adaptation very recognizable. So far, after two issues that maybe its biggest flaw. Besides altering some names of the crew and renaming the ship from Nostromo to Snark little is inherently different. However, chances are you will read this comic if you are a fan of Alien. So comparison is unavoidable. If you take that into account you may just end being surprised by the influence the original screenplay on later movies. If you are still interested, read on.
Enter the facehugger, again!
I don’t want to spoil what happens in this issue too much, so I will just give the general beats. The crew of the Nostromo (Snark, sorry) decide to investigate a pyramid structure that they located near the derelict ship. Captain Standard joins this team while XO Martine stays behind attempting to translate the alien message they intercepted at the beginning of issue #1. Broussard decides to climb the pyramid just as the weather turns for the worst. At that moment Martine completes the translation and discovers it is a warning and that nobody should land on the planet. In true horror movie fashion the message never reaches the away team. The reader is then forced to relive their childhood traumas when Broussard disturbs an alien sack inside the pyramid and gets a facehugger planted on him. The other crew members then drag Broussard’s person back to the Snark.
Personal friendship quickly turns to rivalry as Martine initially refuses to allow the team back on the ship, citing quarantine regulation. In the movie it is Sigourney Weaver‘s character Ripley that initially blocks the crew. Just as in the movie Martine receives a slap even as she obeys protocol. It remains an electrifying moment, though Martine admits to the crew she made a mistake. The rest of the issue plays out much in the same as the movie does. Broussard is taken to the medical bay where attempts are made to extract the facehugger from his face. The crew fails, and the alien warning message is completely ignored. Cutting into the facehugger reveals its acid for blood which not only cuts through deck plating but also causes toxic fumes. Those familiar with the franchise will know what the next stage is, but that occurs in the next issue.
Alien The Original Screenplay is an effective re-adaptation
So far this Alien re-adaptation is very effective. All the suspense and scares are as good as the movie it ultimately spawned. What is more pronounced is the emphasize on the two alien civilizations the crew have found: from the derelict ship and from the pyramid. The original movie put that more on the background to concentrate on the facehugging alien. In many ways this comic resembles the 2012 movie Prometheus more. It is obvious director Ridley Scott choose to revisit these topics with his sequel movie. That difference creates an additional layer of mystery on top of the suspense the reader already feels.
It is difficult to find fault with this re-adaptation, so I don’t think I will even try. The team header by Christiano Seixas and Guilherme Balbi have done excellent work. Now I know why the movie Alien is such a classic. It came from excellent stock by the hand of author Dan O’Bannon. Issue #3 is set for early October. If you enjoyed this review please fill out the subscription widget on the right. That way you will never miss an article on SciFiEmpire.net.