Review: The Crew Discovers A Horrifying New Development In ‘Alien: The Original Screenplay’ #4

by Brendan M. Allen

The alien is loose aboard the ship, with every attempt at eradicating it proving more deadly. As the creature reveals its true form, the crew discovers a horrifying new development.

Walter Simonson and Dave Stewart variant cover

In Alien: The Original Screenplay #4, we’re at the part of the story where the facehugger has fallen away from Broussard’s face and everyone falls into a false sense of security, thinking this trial’s over. It isn’t. Preparing for hypersleep, the crew gathers for one last meal, where the parasite no one realized was still incubating inside Broussard’s chest bursts out through his ribcage and takes off. 

The crew formulates a plan to locate and trap the thing, but when they find it, it’s not quite what they expected.

And then they show the monster. But if you saw that Walter Simonson variant cover or the preview pages, you’d have seen it already. With the story being so similar to the film, this was the hole card. The only thing this series really had for die hard fans was going to be the big reveal.  

I really liked the way they played it up until this point, letting the line out slowly, giving just the one reveal per chapter. I think they actually could have pulled this installment off without ever having given us a good look at a full grown xenomorph. The initial confrontation, Melkonis’ beheading, and the escape could have used a lot more shadow and different angles to keep the mystery for the reader until at least the next chapter.

This chapter is also sort of lacking the tightness, the claustrophobia that is a hallmark of the entire franchise. The spaces are way too wide open, too well lit, too comfortable. One of the things that has always worked in the favor of this kind of sci-fi horror in space is that there really is no place to run.

I want those cramped spaces, deep shadows, and everything lit in egress lighting. This feels like a misstep.

This interpretation of the original screenplay lands in a weird place for me. It’s not quite different enough or similar enough to be really interesting for me at this point, and all the reveals I was excited about have already happened. I don’t hate it, but I’m also not super excited about the next chapter.

Alien: The Original Screenplay #4, Dark Horse Comics, 04 November 2020. Story by Dan O’Bannon, adaptation script by Cristiano Seixas, art by Guilherme Balbi, color by Candice Han, letters  by Michael Heisler, variant cover by Walter Simonson with Dave Stewart.

Summary

The alien is loose aboard the ship, with every attempt at eradicating it proving more deadly. As the creature reveals its true form, the crew discovers a horrifying new development.

Overall
6.5/10
6.5/10

Brendan M. Allen

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.

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