Happy Halloween, my friends! Many things are soaring with the starry skies, whether they can be seen from Earth or within the vastness of outer space. Either way, there’s a chill in the air as the climax is upon us. As such, I welcome you to the final part of this special review series called…
In a quick recap of our past four parts, Hicks has arrived at Anchorpoint alongside Ellen Ripley and Newt. Over the course of their stay, both ladies have been able to get evacuated from the station as it’s been slowly revealed that a business scheme was brewing as they’ve recovered some alien material from said spaceship in order to clone it and create their own weaponized aliens. However, a new kind of Xenomorph has been formed and has taken a few lives with its new form of hatching. Not only that, but a far-more familiar being has attacked another nearby space station as a lone woman managed to escape that. As for our main group, they look to escape while also setting Anchorpoint to blow up and ensure that the alien menace is no more.
Released in March 2019, this final chapter would go on to sell 12,695 copies upon its initial release. So, how does William Gibson close out what could’ve been his take upon this chapter upon the famed franchise? Let’s run for our lives and find out.
Issue 5 opens with Hicks & Spence retreating before they meet up with Jackson, Tatsumi and Walker. Spence tells them that Halliday got caught by the new alien while Hicks managed to shoot it. However, he says that he actually missed and that it got away. Either way, Jackson says that they must leave. From there, Walker comes across some resin as Dwayne tells him that it’s created a nest within the station. Spence then asks how they can get out, to which Jackson says that they can use the service tunnels in order to get to the docking bay. Meanwhile, Bishop reaches the fusion control room and disables the overload fail safes. Afterwards, he begins to climb up through a shaft. Suddenly, his right leg falls apart as he falls down and realizes that it was made out of an unstable material called poly-carbon.
Back with the group, they proceed to navigate through the ventilation system. While Jackson leads the way via a digital map, Spence recalls to Tatsumi as to how she wound up here in the first place. Essentially, she won a series of science contests in order to ultimately earn the scientific position that she held down. However, he says that she ultimately got here via proper funding. Suddenly, he gets attacked by the humanoid Xenomorph as it bites his leg. Hicks manages to use the metallic arm to hit the creature into letting his comrade go. As it makes its way through an adjacent shaft, Dwayne tries to fire back at it to no avail. From there, the group proceed to help Tatsumi towards the docks while Bishop climbs up despite his busted right leg. Back with the group, they reach the space suits as they put them on while also gathering the six available oxygen tubes. As Hicks notices that there’s just barely over 20 minutes to go before the reactor overloads, he decides to check up on one last thing before he depart. He then reaches the Weyland-Utani spacecraft and heads inside to discover the alien nest that’s been built within in. Not only that, but he finds Fox barely alive and embedded within it. From there, Dwayne tosses a pair of live grenades into the doomed spaceship.
Back with the group, Tatsumi ends up getting consumed by the alien infection where so much blood pours out of his eyes that it manages to fill up the entire helmet. Just as a new humanoid Xenomorph is about to emerge, Hicks returns and guns him down. Unfortunately, he’s run out of bullets. Just as the grenades blow up the Weyland-Utani-owned spacecraft, Dwayne discards his gun-wielded arm before he tells Walker to open up their spaceship. From there, the humanoid Xenomorph shows up as Walker opens up the hanger door, unaware that a genuine Xenomorph is waiting on the other side. Sadly, Jackson gets tackled by the humanoid Xenomorph and knocks over their oxygen tanks before he gets impaled by its tail. Suddenly, the real Xenomorph notices the creature before it heads over and brutally defeats the false figure. As the group rushes to reach the spacecraft, Walker tells Spence to start it up. Sadly, he’s not able to join them as the Xenomorph uses its tail to decapitate him.
Despite the fact that the surviving members of the group managed to get on board, the lock that’s holding the spaceship in place hasn’t been deactivated. With the Xenomorph looking to get inside, Bishop thankfully manages to reach the controls and finally open the hangar door as the decompression drags him towards the exit. Thankfully, he manages to grab onto the spacecraft and hangs on for dear life. With the group struggling to properly operation their vehicle, the Xenomorph is able to withstand its ground before it looks to finally do some harm to them. Suddenly, Chang flies in within her spacecraft and uses its onboard guns to eradiate the alien once and for all. Soon enough, the group manages to get inside her vehicle and retreat towards a safe distance from Anchorpoint. Thankfully, Bishop was able to give them enough evacuation time as they get far-enough away before the space station blows up.
Later, Hicks asks Bishop if he and Spence are infected. Thankfully, he tell Dwayne that he did his research on that species’ incubation period and thankfully, neither of them are carrying an alien within them, nor is Chang. However, she is slowly dying of radiation poisoning and there’s nothing they can do about it at this moment. Bishop then tells him that he can united several humans against those Xenomorphs and hunt them down at their procreational source. From there, the united humans can exterminate those creatures for good. Hicks says that he’s been at war for all of his life and that’s how he wound up here, to which Bishop tells him that he’s seen the true enemy and it isn’t him. And so, the series ends with the spaceship getting brought onto the Kansas City before it blasts off.
Overall, this was a thrilling conclusion to this overall tale. There were a few more supporting characters that were axed off, but at least it wasn’t in any cheap way and that each of them had plenty of things to do up to that point. As for the newfound form of Xenomorph that this narrative would’ve introduced had this script had been chosen to go to film, it would’ve been interesting to see how it could’ve seen further development of its abilities. After all, it’s vicious just like the original alien, yet it seems to create another version of itself in a way that’s different from the traditional Facehugger. As seen when it ultimately went up against a regular Xenomorph, it seems to be physically weaker that it and possibly due to the initial batch growing itself through human genes. Finally, Chang showing up in the nick of time to save the day did feel a bit convenient, even though the last issue showed here initial escape from the Xenomorph that stalked the prior space station. Yes, she was initially shown returning Bishop to Anchorpoint, but she would go through a long stretch before she became significant within the narrative again. Despite a few faults, the finale still leaves the viewer on a good note and does leave the door open for a follow-up that could’ve happened, yet feels as complete to the saga as it can be. As for our main characters, there doesn’t seem to be any major arcs that any single person goes on as the whole story seems to be something of a major ensemble with Hicks getting promoted to central protagonist. However, he does seem like he’s in the background for a good chunk of the narrative while the rest of the cast and the premise gets fleshed out. Maybe if Dwayne received more of the focus and we learned about what’s going on through him, then maybe it could’ve left a noticeable change amongst him that we got to see. As of this article, I do admit that it’s been a long time since I last saw “Aliens”, so maybe he did go through some significant change since the end of that masterful movie and I’m not remembering the exact details. Either way, making him the centerpiece of this narrative could’ve worked. As for the supporting players, Bishop was just as effective as ever while some of the exclusive players had their effective moments to shine. Spence felt very noble-minded while she’s within her work, while Jackson and Rosetti each helped with their own informative chats. As far as the big business side of the narrative is concerned, it does continue to build on Weyland-Utani’s growing interest in using the aliens for their own weaponized and profiting means. Our group mainly face Fox & Welles, mainly due to them being positioned upon the same space station as our main characters and they’re antagonistic enough towards them. There’s also the small group of executives positioned on another nearby station who seem to mainly represent the Union of Progressive Peoples and also seem to want to accomplish a similar objective. I couldn’t make out if those people were part of Weyland-Utanirate or if they were completely separate and wanted to complete their goal under their own terms. Either way, their interactions with some of our main group is limited. In conclusion, all five parts would’ve make the third chapter in the Alien saga a smaller scale struggle between the noble people that Hicks meets up with and the business executives who desire to harness the vicious Xenomorphs in some war bound compacity. Even though (at the time of this article) I never saw the version of Alien 3 that ultimately wound up on the big screen, it feels like the tale that William Gibson came up with felt more hopeful, far-less bleak and doesn’t sees its central protagonist getting axed off in some way. It could’ve been a nice cap-off to the trilogy while a potential follow-up could’ve seen Dwayne reunite with Ellen Ripley as they gather a massive army of colonial marines in order to storm the Xenomorph’s home planet and wipe them all out. Ultimately, I can see why this unofficial chapter has been welcomed by fans of the franchise and has even seen some life in other media, such as an audio drama and well as Gibson’s first draft getting a novelization. There were some neat chills to be had, some good art work, a smooth pace, likable characters, solid story progression and a passion towards bringing this narrative to life in this form. By the end, this was a top-notch read that should make Alien fans happy, entertain those who’re casually familiar with the series and can be make for a good time for science-fiction fans. Ultimately, the positive noise that came from this endeavor can be heard from anywhere and everywhere.
Alien (created by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett) is owned by the Walt Disney Company.