Category Archives: Steven Spielberg

5 “Alien” Crossovers That Need to Happen

Back in 1989, Dark Horse Comics published a story that had the antagonists of Alien meet the titular antagonists of Predator. From then on, the beasts battled bloodily in 36 more titles. Bet you didn’t know, that some of those crossovers included meetings with other characters like Batman (Batman/Aliens), Superman (Superman and Batman Versus Aliens and Predator Superman/Aliens), The Terminator (Aliens Versus Predator Versus The Terminator), Judge Dredd (Predators vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens) and Green Lantern (Green Lantern Versus Aliens). It doesn’t seem like there’ll be anymore crossovers in the near future (though the Predator was “lucky” enough to make an appearance in an Archie comic) which sucks because there’s so many juicy stories just waiting to burst out of the minds of writers involving the xenomorphs we all know and fear. So in honor of Alien Day, let’s look at some possible storylines for future Alien comics.

Alien vs. Jurassic Park

A Nightmare 65 Million Years In the Making. 

Back in 2012 there was a comic called Dinosaurs vs Aliens which depicted an extraterrestrial invasion in the Cretaceous Period (no affliation with Jurassic Park or the Alien franchise). Guess who won? So it only makes sense to have xenomorphs facing off (and bursting out of) against one of Earth’s most alien creatures. Are xenomorphs and velociraptors that different? It takes a lot of stealth to stay one step ahead of both species – who hunt in groups and answer to a matriarch. Or picture coming face to face with a xenomorph T. rex. Uh-oh.

Taking place after the events of Jurassic Park, the corporation that bribed Dennis Nedry still wants to cash in on John Hammond’s idea of a dinosaur park. They send in a team of wranglers, scientists and an agent to investigate Isla Nublar and possibly secure the island for themselves. During the investigation they come across a nest of suspicious looking eggs and the corpse of a T. rex with a gaping hole in its side…Will life find a way out of this one?

Star Wars/Aliens

Somewhere, in space, screaming could be happening right now.

I can picture this one written by Joe Schreiber thanks to his SW novels Death Troopers, Red Harvest and Darth Maul: Lockdown. However, I would prefer the story to take place during the Old Republic era because the thought of sith (before the Rule of Two) fighting xenomorphs – who are impervious to the Force – sounds dark, scary and exciting. Also it’s a good excuse to give Star Wars back into the hands (hooves?) of Dark Horse – for awhile.

Archie vs. Alien

There are some places in Riverdale you don’t go alone.

Look, Archie has to meet the Predator’s greatest rival sooner or later: somehow some xenomorph eggs end up in the school’s science lab. When a curious Dilton Doily or Moose Mason investigates he gets attacked by a face hugger, then during lunch students watch in horror as a chestburster eats its way out of Moose or Dilton and runs off. Because no one knows where it went all of Riverdale High is on lockdown until animal control finds the creature. By the time 6th period rolls around, more than half the faculty and a majority of the student body are dead. Is Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Betty and Veronica among the victims?

Aliens/War of the Worlds

They’re Already Here.

This version is the 2005 film directed by Steven Spielberg. Say whatever you want about the movie, you can’t deny that it captured the horror and suspense of Wells’ immortal novel. What happens when one of the “Martians” harvesting human victims accidentally pick up some xeno eggs and takes them aboard its tripod?

Jonah Hex vs. Aliens

Who says xenos can’t show up in the past and who better to come face to face with in the Old West than DC’s greatest gunslinger Jonah Hex? How will a man with less developed technology stand against these formidable “demons” in the desert wilderness? Can you imagine scenes where Hex has to hide out in a cave only to find one hanging above him? Or a panel where he sees some rock paintings bearing an eerie resemblance to the xenos? We may even get a glimpse of a xenomorph horse or, even better, a xenomorph alligator!

This is the Lady From Planet X, signing off. Happy Alien Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Alien, Dark Horse Comics, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Steven Spielberg

Of Dinosaurs and Dames: A Feminist’s Take on the Jurassic Park Franchise – Part 1

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On Tuesday June 23, I finally went to see Jurassic World, bracing myself to see if all the sexist accusations I’ve been hearing non-stop were true.

And all I have to say is: it could’ve been worse.

The arguments are that this current installment “ruins” the “progressiveness” of the series. Especially when it comes to the characterization of the most important female character in comparison to the character of paleobotanist Ellie Satler from the first film.

I think either some of these people have been wearing the nostalgia googles for too long or they haven’t paid much attention to the series .

Is the Jurassic Park franchise really that “progressive”? I’ve always had issues with the way women are portrayed in Steven Spielberg’s movies. They’re either forgettable, non-existent, or just plain problematic (why no one else notices this is a mystery to me). And Jurassic Park is no exception. Sure Dr. Satler (Laura Dern) was an expert in prehistoric plants, she examined triceratops poop, she made quips about “sexism in survival situations” and “dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth”, faces off against the first velociraptor seen in the film and lectures Hammond about the futility of the park.

Buuuutttt, there’s that one scene that’s always irked me. The one where she wants Ian Malcolm to explain his “chaos theory”:

How could she not tell that Malcolm was flirting with her? Heck, he flirts with her the minute he meets her and he only stops after he learns that she’s romantically interested in Dr. Grant (back off she’s taken!). If I were in that situation, I’d have given Malcolm a roundhouse kick to the groin.

I once read in The Making of Jurassic Park that the writers did not want to make her “a Sigourney Weaver type”. I kind of wish they did. I like Ellie but I wish she had been a bit more rough around the edges and more professional-minded. She doesn’t have to be an Ellen Ripley clone but she could come close… she does share the same name after all… (I will also take this moment to say that she’s never been the star of any JP sequels and her story ends up with her becoming a wife and mother with no clue given about whether she’s still working as a paleobotanist.) Another question I’d like to ask is if she’s a paleobotanist, what’s she doing at a dinosaur excavation? Why was she invited to give her expert opinion on Jurassic Park when the film never confirms whether she’s a dinosaur expert or not? Because she’s Dr. Grant’s girlfriend? Couldn’t the screenwriters make her the paleontologist and Allen Grant (Sam Neill) the paleobotanist? Just saying.

Then there’s that other problem with the second most important female character in the movie:

Lex, Lex, Lex. Why did you turn the damn light on? And why did it take you forever to turn it off! You should’ve listened to your little brother. He’s the dino expert, remember? Your stupidity nearly got you and Tim killed, you put Dr. Grant and Ian in danger and had to get lost in the woods with said doctor and brother. You made a bad situation worse.

Now let’s look at JP Problem No. 3 in the hotly contested sequel, The Lost World. Raise your hand if you remember Dr. Sarah Harding. Anyone? Anybody? I didn’t think so. All I remember about her is that she was played by Julianne Moore. Why is she such a forgettable character? I’m not going to list her faults. Tv Tropes will do the honors. And let’s not forget that she never even bothered to remove her bloodstained shirt knowing that mama and papa T. rex will recognize the smell of their baby’s blood!

Moving on to JP Problem No. 4. Two Words: Kelly Malcolm.

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My problem with this character has more to do with her ethnicity than her gender. Are we supposed to believe that Malcolm, played by the Jewish Jeff Goldblum, could have a daughter with skin that dark? Yes, I know what you’re going to say: “maybe he married a black woman”. Yes, I get it. I’m the daughter of a white man and a black woman myself but there’s no way any child of an interracial union would come out looking like that. She would’ve looked more like Zoe Kravitz or Rashida Jones or Maya Rudolph, not Vanessa Lee Chester.

I also know what some of you might be thinking: “maybe she was adopted, maybe she’s his stepdaughter”. If she was the film would’ve said so.

JP problem no. 5 (note: I like this film more than The Lost World but it does suffer from the Smurfette Principle):

Miss Amanda Kirby (Tea Leoni)? I know you want to rescue your son, but tricking a respected paleontologist and his protégé into joining you on an expedition to an island ruled by deadly reptilian giants and then not listening to his expertise is not cool. You also come across as a selfish jerk in your behavior. You can’t even drive a car without crashing it! You’re only awesome moment was when you handed those stolen eggs back to the main mama raptor.

So how does Claire Dearing of Jurassic World measure up to the aforementioned women? Find out in part two!

 

 

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Filed under dinosaurs, female characters, feminism, Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg