A Science Fictional Year: The Alien Anthology

Alien (1979) • Aliens (1986) • Alien³ (1992) • Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Out of the gate, I’ve never seen Alien. Don’t let that fool you: I love Alien in its various comic book forms. I have two or three graphic novels, as well as both of the Alien Vs. Predator omnibuses published by Dark Horse Comics on my shelf. I love the designs, the brutality, its fearlessness in being ghoulish, but somehow they still say things about the nature of being human, of being a woman, of the absolutely terrifying possibilities hidden within the feminine. Yet, it never wanders into sexism or misogyny (a word I do my hardest to spell correctly the first time, every time, but have to right-click that red squiggly) as far as I can tell. Alien is one of those iconic movies that gets so parodied and commented upon that, at a certain point, you’re not sure if it’s worth carving out the two hours  to see (though I’m sure I’ve ingested more Alien stuff than the average fan of the movies): you’ve heard so much about it that you can relate the movie’s every plot point, and is there anything that can be added to the experience? The few times someone brings the movie up in conversation and someone asks, “Have you seen it?” I feel like Homer from The Simpsons defending the symbolism in his offensive float in “Faith Off,” in that no amount of explaining won’t fix it because the problem isn’t the explanation.

 

From Giphy, from The Simpsons. The internet refuses to acknowledge the scene I’m talking about. This is the closest I could get to his float.

 

But Alien was something special, and I regret not having seen it earlier. The thing that struck me most was how the film nearly perfectly mimics the arc of an anxiety attack. I’m curious if anyone else who has anxiety has experienced this while watching the movie. As far as I’m concerned, you can learn something of what it’s like to have an anxiety attack just by watching this movie. Even in the opening shots of the movie, there’s the implication of unease coming.

Be sure to click page 2 to read more…

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jh montgomery

I'm a guy with opinions. Some of those are about science fiction. Like a voice shouting into a hurricane of voices, I write about science fiction for Hush Comics. I grew up watching the original Star Trek with my mom in our basement. I have shockingly few memories of it, apart from the silver and gray grid covered VHS boxes old Star Trek tapes came in, but it left it's mark forever. My first memory of being in a movie theater was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A group entered dressed as the crew of Star Trek, acting the part (the man dressed in Vulcan robes addressing the man with a middle-aged lesbian perm as captain). I nearly lost my mind with the excitement of sharing a theater with Leonard Nimoy. No no, my mom would tell me: that's someone dressing up. Impossible. Later, I would walk in on my parents watching the wrong movie at the wrong moment and be mortally terrified of alien abductions from the age of eight to thirteen. This fear was so strong, I couldn't watch the X-Files until it came to Netflix. As a teenager, hearing the theme song coming from another room in the house would give me anxiety. Science fiction, at its best is the pursuit, and evolution, toward transcendance: cultural, technological, spiritual. Transcendance marked me early, and forever.

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