Advance Review – William Gibson’s ALIEN 3

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Dark Horse brings fans of the Alien franchise a unique experience. 20th Century Fox Uncovered presents the unproduced screenplay of Alien 3 in comic book form. William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain bring us the Aliens sequel we deserved.

Alien 3 cvr

The Aliens 3 film that we got is a well documented mess, but we’re not here to dive into that again. With this series we get to take a look at what could have been with Gibson’s unused 1987 screenplay.

Our story picks up right from Aliens and does so without killing all of the surviving character besides Ripley. We go in a totally different direction, leaving heavily into the “Marxist space empire” politics that exist.

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This first issue sets up our new cast and setting, just barely giving us any of Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, or Newt. Right away there’s a familiar tone and atmosphere from Aliens that we didn’t get in 1992’s Alien 3.

Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain do a wonderful job thrusting readers into a familiar landscape. William Gibson’s different direction for the sequel mixed with pleasing and nostalgic visuals makes for a satisfying reader experience.

While there isn’t a lot of emotion or acting on display with these characters, one major success the art achieves is in it’s texture. There are so many different surfaces throughout that all come across so real you can easily imagine what they would feel like on your hand. Johnnie Christmas does a stupendous job connecting the reader to how this world feels and looks.

For a screenplay from 1987 being adapted by artists in 2018, this is no disjointed effort. This feels like a comic book adaptation of the Alien 3 movie we never got, which is exactly what readers will be coming here for. This is only the tip of the iceberg, the screenplay itself was always lauded as being action-packed, there’s much more in store for readers the deeper we get into this story.

Whether you’re a fan or not of the final Alien 3 released in 1992, this will be an interesting experience. It’s a unique opportunity for fans of the franchise regardless of how they feel about David Fincher’s directorial debut.

The first issue of Alien 3 is a quiet setup more than anything, but one that perfectly establishes the tone and atmosphere fans want from the follow-up to Aliens. This is a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone with a love for xenomorphs.



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Brandon J. Griffin - Comic Book Critic
New Jersey scum who worships comic books like religious literature. Yell at me on Twitter @griffunk