Alas, Poor Yorick! – Reviewing ‘Alien: The Original Screenplay’ #2
by Brendan M. Allen
The intercepted voice transmission has been interpreted — a dire warning . . . but is it too late? As the crew continues to survey the massive pyramid structure, they find an entrance. Who goes in, won’t come out alone… Adapted from the original 1976 screenplay by Dan O’Bannon.I stated in my review of Alien: TOS #1 that the only major differences between the story at that point and this series were creature designs and pacing. The Pilot looks much different than the Giger designed creature we saw in the film. It was apparently this sort of massive Groot looking thing in the original script. That’s his skull, looking like a giant goathead thorn, sitting on the table in the opening scenes of Alien: The Original Screenplay #2. Now that the story is starting to open up a little in this second chapter, there are a few other small differences in the timeline and plot. Looks like they compressed a few on-planet events for the film that were originally conceptualized as several separate events.
I’ve already said I’m not going to even attempt to separate O’Bannon and Cristiano Seixas as far as who contributed exactly what to this new interpretation of the 40 year old script. At this point in the story, we start to see evidence of some of the relationships between the crew, but it’s still a little muddy. The crew’s identities, duties, and backgrounds aren’t really clear in their individual actions or voices.
There’s one point that almost lines up with the film, where Chaz (Lambert) slaps the bejeezus out of Martine (Ripley) for refusing to open the airlock she was locked in with the compromised Broussard (Kane). Is that because she’s concerned for Broussard? Do they have a little side thing going on on the ship, or is she still running off fear and adrenaline from the previous scene? Seems like the film did a slightly better job expressing that the anger stemmed from a breach of a sort of code. A brotherhood. No man left behind and whatnot.
On the art side, we get the first big payoff in this chapter. The Pilot was interesting and all, but we paid the price of admission to see Guilherme Balbi draw the original concepts for Facehuggers and Xenomorphs, yeah? Facehuggers, we get. Xenomorphs, probably in the next chapter.
Again, this is a really fun series for diehard fans of the original film. It’s interesting to see what the original characters were supposed to look and sound like before the 200th script rewrite and with the actors adding their own interpretations and voices. This is pure novelty for the fandom. Being that, I’m still into it. Bring on the Xenomorphs.
Alien: The Original Screenplay #2, Dark Horse Comics, 02 Sep 2020. Story by Dan O’Bannon, adaptation script by Cristiano Seixas, art by Guilherme Balbi, colors by Candice Han, letters by Micheal Heisler.
Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.