Alien: The Original Screenplay is a five-issue comic book adaptation of Dan O'Bannon's original script for Alien that was published by Dark Horse Comics from August-December 2020. It was also published simultaneously in the digital format via Dark Horse Digital. The story is written by Cristiano Seixas, based on the original screenplay by Dan O'Bannon, illustrated by Guilherme Balbi, and colored by Candice Han and David Stewart, with variant cover art by Walter Simonson and Carlos D'Anda.
The comic was originally scheduled for release starting in April 2020, to coincide with Alien Day. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that year, the first issue was subsequently delayed until August.
En route to back to Earth, the crew of the starship Snark intercepts an alien transmission. Their investigation leads them to a desolate planetoid, a crashed alien spacecraft, and a pyramidic structure of unknown origin. Then the terror begins...
#2: The intercepted voice transmission has been interpreted — a dire warning... but is it too late? As the crew continues to survey the massive pyramid structure, they find an entrance. Who goes in, won't come out alone...
#3: The crew makes a shocking discovery about the artifacts found in the pyramid. Unaware of the danger they have brought aboard, the Snark departs the alien planet — and within the secure confines of the ship, a horror unknown to man will be unleashed.
#4: The alien is loose aboard the ship, with every attempt at eradicating it proving more deadly. As the creature reveals its true form, the crew discovers a horrifying new development.
#5: The fight for survival! Sheer terror befalls the remaining crew members as the Alien claims the ship as its feeding ground. With retaliation proving futile, the only way out is to run.
During a voyage back to Earth, the commercial vessel Snark's computer awakens its crew of six - Captain Chaz Standard, First Officer Martine Roby, Navigator Dell Broussard, Engineer Jay Faust, Communications Officer Sandy Melkonis and Mining Engineer Cleave Hunter. The crew are received by a transmission of unknown alien origin from a nearby planetoid. Though Roby is less than convinced of the prospect, Standard ultimately agrees for the crew to investigate the possible S.O.S. The landing on the planetoid causes subsequent damage to the ship, and after the revelation that the transmission is only three-hundred metres away, Standard, Broussard and Melkolis don breathing masks and personally seek out the signal.
The group discover that the origins of the transmission are coming from a bizarre derelict, inside it, a gigantic petrified corpse of an alien, also noticing a hollow leathery object on the ground and an inscription scratched onto the wall.
They return to the Snark, taking a sample of the corpse with them. Broussard manages to scan the planetoid's atmosphere and notices a pyramid like structure in the atmosphere. Though the crew are unanimously unsure of the pyramid's function, Standard, Broussard and Melkolis venture outwards again towards it. Back at the ship, Roby has the computer successfully translate the message. Horrified, she proclaims that it wasn't an S.O.S, but a warning.
The three reach the pyramid, with Broussard grappling to the top of it. There, he finds a single hole at the top small enough to fit a single person, and opts to explore it by tethering downwards, cutting himself off from Standard and Melkolis. After finally reaching the bottom, he is met with a large chamber full of warped bio-organic murals and inscriptions, with grotesque leathery objects surrounding him. He goes to inspect one before it opens and a small squid-like Alien creature leaps out and attaches itself to his face. Standard and Melkolis pull him out of the chamber and return to the Snark.
Standard demands to Roby to let them back in and despite her protests she hesitantly complies. They unsuccessfully attempt to remove the creature from Broussard's face, discovering that its blood is an extremely corrosive molecular acid. The crew conclude that objects in the pyramid were eggs, and that the pilot of the derelict had acquired one and bought it back to the ship, only to have been unwittingly killed. Eventually the creature detaches itself from Broussard, seemingly dead and begins decomposing, with Standard throwing the dead creature out of the ship.
Broussard awakens seemingly unharmed, but during a meal before re-entering stasis he begins convulsing. An alien creature subsequently erupts from his chest, killing him in the process before escaping into the ship interior. Discussing their options, the crew plan to capture the creature using motion detectors, electric prods and nets. They eventually manage to capture it in the food-storage room, only for it to escape through the events. It has supposedly grown much bigger and looks far different than before, with Standard describing it as "a worm with legs...and tentacles".
The group intend to flush the creature from the shafts and into an airlock, and after losing to a selection method, Hunter reluctantly arms himself with a flamethrower and heads into the vents. However, the plan goes awry after the creature, now far larger, emerges from the vents, decapitates Melkolis and swiftly retreats back into the shafts.
After encountering the creature in the main airlock after looking for more flamethrower fuel, Faust contacts Roby to blow the lock, though he is in-avertedly killed after being caught between the airlock doors. Only Standard, Roby and Hunter remain. Though they initially opt to take their chances in the life boat, they realize that they could lure the creature into the ship and blow it up with explosives after launching it. As they need someone to act as bait, they play another selection game.
Roby is chosen and the group split up. However, Standard and Hunter are attacked by the creature, Hunter is killed and Standard is taken. Roby later discovers a half-dead Standard cocooned in a resin, and begs for Roby to kill her, to which she complies. She subsequently sets the Snark to self-destruct and escapes into the safety of the escape-ship. However, she later notices that the Alien had snuck aboard. Roby dons a space suit, shoots the creature with a harpoon-gun and blasts it into space, before incinerating it with the ship's engines. With the creature finally dead, Roby puts herself into stasis for the return journey back to Earth.
- Chaz Standard
- Martine Roby
- Dell Broussard
- Jay Faust
- Sandy Melkonis
- The Alien (Original Screenplay creature)
Behind the Scenes
Among the contributors to the comic, perhaps most notable is Walt Simonson, who provided variant cover art — Simonson previously illustrated Alien: The Illustrated Story, the original comic book adaptation of Alien, published some 40 years prior to The Original Screenplay.
- Alien: The Original Screenplay was the last comic in the Aliens line to be published by Dark Horse Comics.
- Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay — A similar comic based on William Gibson's unproduced script for Alien3.
- Predator: The Original Screenplay — A similar comic based on Jim and John Thomas' original script for Predator.