William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson is a graphic novel based on screenplay version of Aliens 3 that did not get made that William Gibson did back in the early 90’s. It is not a wonder it didn’t get made since it barely has the character of Ellen Ripley, but that was his only note, Weaver did not like the idea of Aliens Vs. Predator and did not want to commit to another one for that matter; funnily enough when she did agree she asked that her character be killed for fear of using her for Aliens Vs, Predator. This story takes the supporting characters of Corporal Hicks and the Android Bishop and makes them co-leads. Newt is in this story as well, but still as supporting cast. I think Gibson nailed the voice of Hicks and Bishop really well. Gibson admitted he was a huge fan of the previous films and it shows. The story is good about an arms race between two companies fighting to make the aliens into a weapon, with Hicks set to stop them but he doesn’t know if Bishop is with him or helping the enemy. Gibson adds one idea that is pretty gross but would have made the effect wizards of the time very happy. So we all know aliens hatch by bursting through the chest of the host, the scientist in wanting to turn them into weapons manipulate the genetic make up, and the cloned versions pop out of the head of the host for maximum gore and shock. This is a book I have been wanting read badly, this book was also made as audio drama featuring two of the actors that originally played Hicks- Michael Biehn and Bishop – Lance Hendrickson
The Plot: 3 Years after the events that happened in Aliens, the four survivors Ellen Ripley, Corporal Hicks with on side of his face burned by acid, Newt a small child, and Bishop an android that was torn in half, are all alive and sleeping in hypersleep, but they were not alone. A scavenger ship docks and breaks in they don’t last long as an alien and a pod attack, the scavengers sacrifice there over to steal Bishop. The Weyland corporation that tried to implant Ellen and Newt want to use the aliens as weapons in a civil war, that just happens to be with the group that stole Bishop. The arms race is on. Hicks is playing the good soldier while making plans to take over and destroy the Aliens, Ellen is placed in a drug induced coma as she violently attacked the Weyland Corps workers, Newt is still living in a nightmare scenario her dreams won’t let her escape, and Bishop is seeming to help the other company as tells what the aliens can do.
What I Liked: The gore is great, ore than a few memorable deaths and the alien popping out of the head when you were inspecting the chest, then the Alien kind of wearing the human skull was terrifying. For the parameters set that Ellen Ripley still has to be the hero but only giving her four scenes to work with, then I feel this story delivered that. Hicks gets a lot to do which I was glad to see since i was most disappointed that his character didn’t make it to the original Alien 3. Aliens is my favorite of the series and I felt this story still kept the space marine action adventure, more so than the slow build tension of the original Alien. The Art was really good on the aliens and Bishop especially. The cover art is horrifically beautiful.
What I Disliked: The majority of new characters remained really flat, I cared about only one of the new characters, that’s all. The exposition dialogue didn’t work for me, thank goodness I had excellent visuals, but dialogue alone didn’t always work. The story definitely improved when the mass killing started.
Recommendations: I think this is fun for both a casual fan and an Alien obsessed fan. Comic book lovers will get great visuals and a good story with lots of good action. Fans of William Gibson work get a good story that almost did not come to light. A big thanks to Dark Horse Comics who also did the original Star Wars script where Han Solo was a lizard creature. I just found out they are releasing the comic version of the original Alien screenplay as well when it was titled Starbeast. I rated William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson 4 out of 5 stars.