Review: A Full-Grown Xenomorph Hunts Down Survivors In ‘Alien: The Original Screenplay’ #5

‘The fight for survival! Sheer terror befalls the remaining crew members as the Alien claims the ship as its feeding ground. With retaliation proving futile, the only way out is to run.’

Alien: The Original Screenplay #5 is the final chapter. This is it. The blowoff. It’s pretty much identical to the last act of the film. Standard, Roby, and Hunter are the last three humans standing, and they come up with a plan to lure the Xenomorph onto one of the lifeboats to blast it into space. 

The characters don’t really do anything to separate themselves from the dwindling pack. These all still feel very much like placeholders, which they really are in a movie script, until talented live actors come on board and imbue the names on a page with quirks, tics, and character.

I feel like Cristiano Seixas was handcuffed to the original pages, and wasn’t really allowed to pull out the tricks that comic book writers regularly use to bring dimension to their characters. 

At least, that’s how I hope it went down.

The art really breaks down into two categories: Xenomorphs and the rest. The ‘rest’ was actually pretty good. The characters had very unique looks. The sets were detailed and interesting, if not a bit too spacious. Those Xenomorphs, though. I’ve stated from the beginning, I came here to see original concept Xenomorphs. The Xenos weren’t really that impressive, but that isn’t really the fault of anyone on this team. There is a reason why the film ultimately landed on the Giger interpretation, though. 

Guilherme Balbi and Candice Han really had no say in the actual design of the beast. What I wish was done a little differently was controlling the environment when they couldn’t control the players. They definitely could have played with angles and lighting to make the reveal in chapter four more of a tease. Instead, we got a full body shot, stood right there in the middle of a brightly lit room, which left very little to the imagination for this final installment. 

I really wanted to like this series. I know it was made with the right sentiment and intention. It just doesn’t translate very well as a shot for shot interpretation of the script. It probably would have paced better as a trade paperback, which is the format I’d recommend when it’s collected in a couple months. For what it is, though, it could have reasonably been done as a nice hardcover collection of storyboards with original Xenomorph concept art.

Alien: The Original Screenplay #5, Dark Horse Comics, 02 December 2020. Story by Dan O’Bannon, script by Cristiano Seixas, art by Guilherme Balbi, color by Candice Han, letters by Michael Heisler.

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