PLOT: If you don’t know this story already, shame on ya! Here it goes anyways. Space Miners responding to a distress signal, accidentally bring back a phallic symbol heavy and deadly Xenomorph onto their spaceship, one that goes on to grow and grow while picking them off one by one.
REVIEW: Alien the Illustrated Story was originally put out in 1979 by Heavy Metal, acting as a tie in to the release of the original ALIEN movie. It’s been out of print for a while now (like 32 years), but the release of Ridley Scott's quasi ALIEN prequel PROMETHEUS has given it a new lease on chest-bursting life. Once again the fine folks at TITAN BOOKS have come through as they polished/republished it (like they did with the Book of Alien and the Aliens Tech Manual) for all us ALIEN fans out there.
If you’ve seen ALIEN a bazillion times like I have, then the story here won’t be much of s surprise. With that, it still made for a tight read. Written by Archie Goodwin (who is the creator and owner of Epic Comics and who also adapted Star Wars for Marvel Comics); the chain of events followed the film closely (with some minor changes here and there), the dialogue, although mucho abridged, kept to the intent and flavor of the movie and the whole rolled out at a smooth pace. No filler here! Every line had a purpose! And the fact that Goodwin managed to convey some of the tension that was in its cinematic counterpart via his writing here has to be commended as well. No small feat. At 64 pages long, this was a real page turner!
What about the artwork you may ask? Blew me the f*ck away! I found Walt Simonson’s old school and more crude (compared to today’s standards) drawing style appealing (am a sucker for nostalgia) and the fact that they restored his original artwork resulted in a potent result. Every panel here was a work of art! The lines were heavy, the colors were striking and leaped off the page, especially when the gory goods started getting tossed around. Oh yeah, this book went for the throat when the red stuff had to pour. No pussy-ing about here! And the unique ways it communicated some of the creature attacks, were eye popping to say the least! My sole complaint; it’s not ALIEN without Ripley’s butt-crack saying “hello” out of them overly tight panties at the end. She disrobes in the comic, but the butt-crack was oddly absent. Bummer, I missed it.
All in all Alien the Illustrated Story is a must for any ALIEN fan period! And if you have older kids (am not talking 5 years old over here), it’s a good way to introduce them to the fine world of reading and Xenomorphs!