Hey there. Big fan of everything Alien, and I try to check in as much as possible. I largely focus on the expanded media of the franchise, mostly involving character profiles and plot sections for the comics.
Top 12 movies
If I had to list all of the movies where either a Xeno or a Predator appears in, it would be this:
1. Alien (The best.)
2. Aliens (The most risky sequel ever made but man did it pay off. Though I love the Aliens movie, I do feel as if it has slightly hurt the Xeno's reputation a little; being demoted to bugs than that of an actual extra-terrestrial entity to fear. Don't get me wrong, I just feel the Alien being an unstoppable force of nature is better portrayed in the first movie as well as the video game Alien: Isolation, though Aliens still exceeds with what it sets out to do. Both Alien and Aliens have their own merits, but I think Alien takes gold by a miniscule amount.)
3. Predator (A very smart movie under the guise of an incredibly unintelligent one and yet it just works perfectly...One of the best action films out there, possibly even better than Aliens when I'm in a good mood.)
4. Prometheus (A great return to the Alien universe and a unique departure from the typical Xenomorph infestation formula the franchise is accustomed to. I feel as if some criticisms are just as overblown and nitpicky as others are justified. Sets up something great which unfortunately Alien Covenant botched. There was real potential following this film but unfortunately it just got burnt out very quickly.)
5. Alien 3 (Some think it's worse than Resurrection...WHAT? I for one liked it. The Assembly Cut at least, though reading William Gibson's Alien 3 I would have preferred that to have been made, heck, Nightmare Asylum more so. This is the movie where the original franchise for me should have stopped at.)
6. Alien: Covenant (An okay movie, as it didn't follow up from Prometheus enough for it to surpass it. Upped David's character by 100 but unfortunately it was in sacrifice of any development of Shaw or the Engineers. It wasn't an awful film for me. It had some amazing scenes, but also very concerning ones too, like why the Engineers in the film look like low-budget fan film versions, or the implied revelation that DAVID is the creator of the Xenomorphs. That better for all intense and purposes be retconned ASAP (it has been). Unlike Prometheus, where I enjoy it the more I watch it, I seem to be liking Alien: Covenant less and less. Scott clearly strayed too far away from his original idea for a sequel after too many complaints following Prometheus' release, and he clearly caved in. He should've just stuck to his guns and made what he originally envisioned. The result as seen in Covenant is a frankenstein's monster of a film that doesn't truly satisfy Prometheus fans OR Alien fans. Btw I personally hope the sequel Alien: Awakening does not get made. I feel as if Scott's prequels are beyond repair and the franchise should just move on. Personally, I think David reappearing in a subsequent Aliens or AVP game as the main antagonist would tie a nice little bow over Covenant's cliffhanger.)
7. Predators (A pretty good reboot/sequel-thingy to the original film. Diverse characters each with their own background and action that pays a good homage to Predator. Not exactly ground-breaking in its premise but a strong follow-up. The concept of a 'Super-Predator' was a pointless addition (I would've preferred Bad Bloods), and perhaps it did derive from the original film a little too much, but overall it was a good film that I wished was given a sequel, not including the weird comic or that GOD-awful Shane Black movie. The Topher Grace twist actually caught me by surprise too! The only reason this isn't above Covenant is that I just naturally prefer the Aliens universe more, so I am a little biased.)
8. Alien vs Predator (Though the movie was critically panned and hated by most, I found it to be relatively enjoyable and quite the easy watch. Just a guilty pleasure, in that it was one of the earliest Aliens or Predator movies I had ever watched. That being said, the movie definitely isn't GOOD good. Probably the main problem for me was that it wasn't set in the future and all the issues that came with it. Xenomorph infestations on modern-day earth is a concept I have NEVER liked and never will. In all honesty, a film adaptation of the original comic series was the sure-fire way to go.)
9. Predator 2 (Another risky sequel and ohhh no did it not pay off. It did introduce some neat weapons though that the Predators now traditionally use as well as hinting towards the shared universe of the Alien franchise and delving into the history of the creatures a bit. It has been a long while since I've given this film a watch, perhaps my opinion on it will be a little higher if I give it another shot.)
10. Alien Resurrection (The worst of the bunch. Dumb, strange, overly-acted and less serious than it's three predecessors. If this movie was never made then nobody would have cared since its timeline takes place so far from any events that we actually care about. Just pretend it never happened.)
11. The Predator (You would have thought after AVP Requiem that terrible movies with Predators in them were behind us, but no. Completely soulless movie made by people who clearly don't care for the longevity of the franchise whatsoever, which is ironic considering Shane Black was the one directing it. To be honest, this film I did not watch for the longest while, since I had heard ALL the awful plot details about this film. What I had watched was Black's previous film 'The Nice Guys' and I feel like I must be the only human on Earth who didn't like that film. This film is literally just Nice Guys with Predators in it. Not only is the film itself bad but it tries to ruin the entire franchise, expanded media and all, by retconning EVERYTHING fans know of the Yautja species. Turns out Predators aren't honourable hunters, they just want your DNA. Why bother following up from the cliffhanger of Predators, which was a pretty decent film, when you can make a psuedo-comedy that butchers the franchises lore? The Predator franchise is NOT a place for comedy. It just isn't. At least Covenant didn't have characters cracking bad jokes all the time or the Xenomorphs holding decapitated arms with a thumbs up. This film just sucks and has little to no redeeming qualities. There are TWO good things in this entire film - The costume design for the first Predator, and the lab escape sequence. That's it. Don't even get me started on the "Weaponize Autism" thing or the deleted Ripley/Newt cameo. What were they thinking? What a mess. No wonder Arnold wanted nothing to do with the movie...I guess I can say if you're wanting a basic popcorn flick then sure, but if you're a FAN of the Predator franchise this is definitely not your movie.)
12.Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (A bad film. Never once feels like an Aliens or Predator movie. Just a typical monster mayhem movie with two icons shoehorned in that feels nothing like the movies that spawned them. The only good thing about the film is that it gave us a glimpse of Yautja Prime and that was for like five seconds. James Cameron could have written a better story with his ass cheeks. This and The Predator are the only two films here that I'd consider objectively terrible movies.)
Top Alien comics
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- Aliens: Labyrinth
- Aliens: Stronghold
- Aliens: Sacrifice
- Aliens: Music of the Spears
- Aliens: Defiance
- Alien: Bloodlines
So far I think these comic series are my personal favourites. Nightmare Asylum and Labyrinth are DEFINETELY must-reads for Aliens fans. Nightmare Asylum feels like a TRUE Aliens sequel, imagine it being made instead of Alien 3? It would have been incredible... Labyrinth is perhaps most memorable for making people want to take a shower after reading. Aliens: Stronghold I refused to read for the longest time because of that cigar munching Xeno Jeri on the front cover, and I ultimately dismissed it as campy trash. Ironically enough I will happily eat my words as Stronghold is actually one of the best Aliens comics I've read. Weirdly enough Jeri is a great character, and his relation with the other characters, including murdermachine Dean is great. It also delves kind of deeply into the whole asimov's law aspect of the franchise, that Scott (kind of?) touched on in Alien: Covenant.
Aliens: Sacrifice is a a weird story with a rather unconventional premise, which definitely works in its favour. It has this trippy, Lynchian, fever-dream esque vibe to it that fits right in with the cosmic horror aspect of a Xenomorph creature. Pretty brutal twist too! On the topic, Aliens: Salvation is also a really great read as well that also touches on religious themes.
Music of the Spears concept is so unique and ridiculous that I absolutely love it. Despite its incredibly...'odd' premise, I never felt like it jumped the shark and still felt relevant to the Alien universe (okay maybe not the ninjas but whatever). Usually I hate it when the Alien franchise devolves into stupidity, but I dunno. Music of the Spears just clicks.
Aliens: Defiance is a series that feels like it was a cancelled screenplay, its probably the most faithful Aliens comic that exists so far, and Zula Hendricks is by far the greatest Aliens comics character ever written (though she was given 12 issues to be fleshed out), just behind Machiko Noguchi if we're talking about either franchises.
Alien: Bloodlines is a fantastic introduction by Marvel, and one of the better series in recent years. It features interesting and well-fleshed out characters, introduces new twists and actually feels like a faithful continuation of the first two films. Though, Salvador Larrocas artwork is an uncanny valley nightmare, luckily, the writing totally out shadows the questionable quality of the imagery itself.
Honourable mentions should go to Aliens: Dead Orbit and Aliens: Dust to Dust for capturing the aesthetic of the universe perfectly. Dead Orbit specifically has incredible artwork from James Stokoe and his attention to background detail is jaw-dropping, though I feel as if the story itself is a little too close to the 1979 film for it to stand on its own merit. William Gibson's Alien 3 is also a treat to read. I adore the Cold War undertones to this comic between Weyu and the UPP, which makes perfect sense in the Aliens universe considering the design behind USCM equipment and vehicles were all inspired by the conflict in Vietnam. The writing really shines here, and it shocks me that this wasn't the movie that was made in place of what we got (though I must admit the new 'spore' life-cycle introduced is a little weird, and the singling out of Ripley in favour of Hicks and Bishop is a little bit of a controversial choice to make. The final issue is also severely rushed).
Top Predator comics
- Predator: Life and Death
- Predator: Hunters II
- Predator: Hell Come a Walkin'
- Predator: The Pride at Nghasa
- Batman versus Predator
Predator: Life and Death, though technically an AVP comic is a pretty awesome read. It introduces us to one of if not the greatest Yautja character out there, Ahab, nails the concept of humans and Predators working together and tops it all off with an awesome showdown between Ahab and an Engineer. Really entertaining!
I put off Hunters II for the longest time ever, since I didn't really care for the first series, but after FINALLY reading it, its pretty fantastic. The setting of Afghanistan seemed like an initial eye-roller to me but after rolling with it its kind of genius. We also get a redemption arc for Tyler Swain, previously a mouthy idiot from Hunters I. THIS comic however totally ups his character and gives him enough development for you to actually care about him. Give it a read, its in my opinion far better than the first series.
Hell Come a Walkin' is just plain awesome and probably the best historically-based Predator story out there, though the inclusion of Jesse James as the main character is a little weird. That being said, this was before I read Pride at Nghasa which might be even BETTER. The story is simple, yet super effective, and the Predator in the story itself holds a presence to it that I can't describe being in any other Pred comic. I've also never seen terror illustrated in a Predator comic as well as in Nghasa. Its great and it does the 'horror' aspect of the Predator franchise great justice.
Honourable mentions would go to Predator: Big Game and Predator: Nemesis. Rite of Passage and God's Truth are just simple, uncomplicated little side-stories that I also have to give a shout out too as well.
|The Toy Barnstar|
|For excellent work on Kenner and NECA figure pages.-- LEIGH BURNE(Talk) 09:30, February 18, 2016 (UTC)|
|The Original Barnstar|
|For ongoing dedication to improving the Wiki.-- LEIGH BURNE(Talk) 11:44, June 1, 2016 (UTC)|
|The Literature Barnstar|
|For work expanding and improving comic book pages, especially the Fire and Stone and Life and Death series.-- LEIGH BURNE(Talk) 16:35, March 1, 2019 (UTC)|