Graphic Novel Review: Alien: The Illustrated Story

(Titan Books)

PERHAPS one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, the original Alien can also claim to have spawned one of the few really great comics adaptations of a movie, with probably only the first two films in the first Star Wars trilogy to also pass muster.

The reason behind this success is undoubtedly down to the talent behind the project, the writing skills of the late Archie Goodwin working alongside the legendary artist that is Walter Simonson, who presented their vision of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece through the American Heavy Metal magazine because its adult content prevented Marvel Comics from publishing it themselves.

However, the real reason this book works is that it doesn’t just offer a straight adaptation of the film, but takes the events of the movie and works with them within the confines and freedoms of the comics media, allowing for the creative team to almost produce their own “director’s cut” of Alien which is ultimately unlike anything seen on screen.

It is also based on a longer script than the final movie version, with additional scenes revealing exactly what happened to characters Parker and Lambert, and some changes in dialogue which may or may not have been down to the creative team.

Out of print for more than 30 years, with the original fetching massive prices on eBay, this brand new edition has been meticulously restored using Simonson’s original artwork, and takes advantage of advances in technology over the decades to make improvements in presentation, ensuring possibly the best reading experience this acclaimed adaptation has ever enjoyed.

Undoubtedly its re-release is down to the success of Prometheus, but never look a gift horse in the mouth, as this remarkable volume is totally worthy of a place on the bookshelves of any fan of comics fiction and/or sci-fi. What are you waiting for? Order it today!

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