Back in 1979, Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson adapted one of the most groundbreaking sci-fi/horror films onto the pages of comics. Now, after being out of print for decades, Titan has released “Alien: The Illustrated Story” for our enjoyment all over again. The team of Goodwin and Simonson definitely put together one of the better movie to comic adaptations in comics, and just like the movie, it really stands up to this day.
Goodwin does excellent work here condensing the almost two hour movie into 64 pages of suspense and horror. Even if you’ve seen the film dozens of times, there will still be several things here that will be pretty new. From the slight changes in the script to a bit more expansion of some events that we weren’t privy to in the film. However, all of the important elements that made the film as exciting as it is are all here. A testament to how good Archie Goodwin was at adapting various movie scripts to comics.
Walter Simonson’s artwork is just another high point in this book. Having never seen the original from 1979, it’s safe to assume that some of this is due to the restoration process. The rest is just a credit to Simonson’s skill as an artist. His presentation of some of the scenes from the film are actually much better than what we were shown on screen. One scene in particular is probably one of the most memorable in cinema, which is the chestbuster scene. Simonson gives us one huge and bloody page that jumps in your face. In the film there were quite a few moments of suspense built up by nothing but the silence and sounds of the ship. Simonson uses this pretty effectively in some of the panels, and it was that attention to the story that helped make this a very strong movie adaptation.
Those who have enjoyed this franchise since seeing Alien, its sequels, Prometheus, and the expanded stories in various comics should make sure “Alien: The Illustrated Story” is added to their collection!