blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

William Gibson’s Alien 3 (2018) #3


It’s old home week this issue; not only do Newt and Hicks have (relatively) big scenes this issue, but Bishop is also back in one piece. All of a sudden, it feels more like a sequel to Aliens, but only slightly. This Alien 3 hasn’t got any time for a kid, so Newt’s got to get gone. Adapter Johnnie Christmas has a wonderful sense of how to handle the scenes he can’t actually convey—in a movie, Carrie Henn and Michael Biehn saying farewell would have some timing, some just right music cues to refer back to their adventures in the previous film.

Christmas barely has time for them in the adaptation, and he can’t do music cues. So instead, he just plays it like an old comic book movie adaptation. He’s got the moment, but the filmic context is gone, and it’s just awkward but earnest. He gets credit for the trying, not the succeeding.

Both the Company and the future Soviets are experimenting on the alien eggs they’ve got. The future Soviets—the U.P.P., yeah, you know me—are working on an alien embryo; the Company scientists are just growing tiny versions of the alien eggs. When there’s the inevitable containment problem, it’s entirely unclear what happens. Christmas’s art has a lot more personality than it needs for a traditional comic adaptation. It’s pretty good art.

But Christmas isn’t good at the action layouts. They’re confusing. With personality.

The issue ends with the station staff getting together and telling Hicks about the bad Company weapons division people. Next issue it’ll be important. This issue was about getting the supporting cast arranged and bringing an alien into Alien 3.

I’m not sure how Christmas will wrap this one up in time. He’s only got two more issues, and he’s barely into the second act. More movie adaptation tricks, no doubt, but it’s still bizarre to have Sigourney Weaver sleep through Alien 3. Even if it’s on purpose, it seems like it’s not.

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