H.R. Giger is responsible for the look of the Xenomorph and the franchise’s aesthetic, and he received the perfect tribute in Alien’s latest comic.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Alien #6Fans of Alien are well aware of H.R. Giger’s contribution to the franchise–that being he created the entire aesthetic for the saga including the iconic Xenomorph itself–and now, the world-class artist is being recognized once more in the latest addition to the series he made great, with the introduction of an all-new Alien monster.
H.R. Giger (1940-2014) was a Swiss artist who was best known for creating pieces that featured ‘biomechanical’ subjects, merging the human form with machines. While his established style caught the attention of the filmmakers behind Alien, the movie was far from the only thing that made H.R. Giger famous. Before his involvement in Alien, the artist released a series of books, The Necronomicon I-IV, which were each separate collections of the pieces he created. Inside these books were some of H.R. Giger’s most provocative works, including one piece titled “The Spell”–and it was seemingly this image in particular that received a perfect tribute in the newest Alien comic.
Alien Finally Made H.R. Giger’s Original Vision Canon
In Alien #6 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Julius Ohta, the spec-ops team of highly-trained synthetics known as Steel Team are facing the last hurdles of their mission on Tobler-9. In this storyline, Steel Team was tasked with stealing samples of a new strain of Xenomorph DNA from a planet that had been overrun with Xenomorphs. Now, that mission is at its end, and against all odds, two members of Steel Team make it off the planet with what they were after–but they leave something behind that could change the franchise forever. When Steel Team were in a laboratory in an earlier issue, they released a genetically-altered mosquito that later bit one of the surviving humans left on Tobler-9. That bite mutated the human into a Xenomorph-hybrid, and as the issues continued, her mutation became increasingly more pronounced until the last page of this final issue in the saga, where it seems as though she is regarded by two other Xenomorphs as a queen.
In a number of H.R. Giger’s artwork, there is a woman featured at the center of his swirling biomechanical hellscapes–a woman he had a deep personal connection to, who he honored with nearly every image he created. “The Spell” is a great example of this signature in his work, and that image is seemingly emulated on that final page of Alien #6. Not only that, but if one were to look closely at “The Spell”, they will see two figures above the woman that are reminiscent of Giger’s original Xenomorph design–just like the Xenomorphs on either side of the mutated woman in this comic. Because of how close these two images look (along with the fact that the overall design of this image present in Alien #6 is undeniably reminiscent of Giger’s style), it’s as though this entire comic series was crafted around not just Giger’s vision for Alien, but Giger’s vision for life.
Phillip Kennedy Johnson has created a story that has been teasing this fusion of a woman with a Xenomorph, and it all led to this final page of their story–which was brought to life beautifully by Julius Ohta. Everything that happened, every mission, every horror-fueled adventure, was seemingly for the sole purpose of justifying this image at the very end of it all within Alien canon, and thereby bringing the entire franchise that much closer to the creator of its iconic aesthetic by paying tribute to not just the work H.R. Giger did on the Xenomorph design, but the work he accomplished as an artist.
Alien #6 by Marvel Comics is available now.