Aliens: The Alien is a short comic book story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #56, in November 1991. Originally published in black and white, the story was written by John Arcudi, pencilled by Tony Akins and Paul Guinan, inked by Guinan, lettered by Willie Schubert, and edited by Randy Stradley. The issue of Dark Horse Presents also featured featured a jam cover with an Aliens segment by Guinan.

The comic is one of the few Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic books to serve as a direct sequel to an earlier story. Specifically, it reveals the fate of the Engineer left orbiting Earth at the end of Aliens: Outbreak. The story also serves as a prequel to the four-issue series Aliens: Genocide.

In the Aliens comics line, Aliens: The Alien was preceded by Aliens: Reapers, published concurrently with Aliens: Countdown, and was followed by Aliens: Genocide.

Publisher's Summary[]

A two-part prologue to Aliens: Genocide by writer John Arcudi and artists Tony Akins and Paul Guinan (Terminator)... This is one issue you can't afford to miss.


The President of the United States and his ministers are called to Gateway Station, where they are appointed to meet with the alien "Pilot" who is singlehandedly reshaping Earth with a terraforming device from orbit. The meeting is actually an assassination attempt that helps free humanity from potential subjugation.

Reprint History[]

Dark Horse Comics[]

Aliens: The Alien was first serialized and reprinted in the United Kingdom in 2 parts in Aliens magazine, Vol. 1 #12-13, from January-February 1992.

It was later collected alongside a number of other Aliens stories published in Dark Horse Presents up to that point in the Dark Horse Presents: Aliens trade paperback, released in April 1992. For this release the story was colored by Rachelle Menashe.

The story was was eventually collected again as part of Aliens Omnibus: Volume 1 in July 2007.

The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on February 13, 2013, collected with Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation and reusing John Bolton's cover art from Aliens, Vol. 2: Nightmare Asylum.

Marvel Comics[]

Following Marvel Comics' acquisition of the rights to Alien comic books, the comic was collected as part of Marvel's Aliens: The Original Years Volume 1 collection, alongside many other early Dark Horse stories. The collection was released in May 2021.

Behind the Scenes[]

This long unsung short story serves as an important connecting link between Aliens: Female War and Aliens: Genocide, taking place between the two stories and explaining how the Earth becomes habitable again after the events at the end of Female War, at which point the Earth was apparently left a nuclear irradiated waste with a Space Jockey vessel hovering in orbit and conducting terraforming of the whole planet via an energy beam. The explanation in The Alien allowed for the plausibility of all of the events that followed in Genocide and every other Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator story from Dark Horse that followed.

John Arcudi is a veteran Aliens and Predator writer who has worked on various stories for both series.

Artists Tony Akins and Paul Guinan also worked on the Aliens: Colonial Marines comic that ran from 1993-1994.

United Kingdom-based artist Simon Bisley is world renown for his painted fantasy-style artwork on titles such as Judge Dredd, Lobo, and Heavy Metal magazine.



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