Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Jonesy the cat might have survived the first movie, but another Nostromo crew member lives on decades later.
Warning: contains spoilers for Alien Annual #1!
Ripley may be one of the most well-known “Final Girls” in horror history, but the Alien comics just admitted that the original movie actually had a secret survivor. Ridley Scott’s Alien is one of the most recognized sci-fi horror films out there. The claustrophobic thriller centering around a ragtag group trying to survive against an almost unkillable creature called the Xenomorph has terrified audiences for generations. It gave horror fans one of the most iconic movie monsters in fiction as well as one of the most likable protagonists in Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver. However, even though it may look like she was the lone survivor and ultimate Xenomorph killer as dictated by her famous ending monologue, there was actually someone else (not including Jonesy the cat) who lived on beyond Nostromo.
Alien Annual #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Salvador Larroca follows a group of soldiers on a mission to test a tactical use of the Xenomorph by unleashing it on a group of anti-Weyland Yutani vigilantes. Led by Chief Gabriel Cruz, the group heads to the hijacked vessel to deliver a host harboring the Alien. After they’re attacked though, the host dies before the Facehugger can implant a Xenomorph. The synthetic on-board, Charlie, doesn’t take failure as an option though and uses the chaos to secretly make one of the crew members the new host, unleashing the Xenomorph on the ship while he monitors it. What’s surprising though is that “Charlie” isn’t who he says he is.
Earlier in the story, one of the board members for the Weyland-Yutani company is asked if he has an operating system for the mission in mind, to which he responds, “I do. One that has history with our bioweapon.” It turns out that this person is none other than Ash, the synthetic originally played by Ian Holm that sabotaged the Nostromo to ensure the survival of the Xenomorph. While his body was certainly put out of commission after being decapitated and left for dead in the ship’s explosion, it takes more than that to keep a program down. Ash’s software is uploaded into Charlie, sending the crew into a new horrific situation as they encounter the same obstacles Ripley did in the original film… just with far better results for Ash as he tries to protect his perfect creature.
It’s clear that Ash is still ‘alive’ almost sixty years after the first movie, and free to pursue the same goals for the same master. In fact, this time he’s successful, as the Xenomorph is still alive by the end of the story. It’s not blasted out into space left to die in the endless void. Instead, it has a new home in the USS Marion as the last survivor escapes. Ash sees this moment as a victory in his final monologue, saying, “The loss of our final human subject is regrettable, and my wounds will make my task here more difficult. But I believe the organism still has a great deal to teach us and is worthy of much further study.” Even though Cruz managed to survive, Ash still won as long as Weyland-Yutani gets the studies it needs from the Xenomorph to weaponize it. He failed the first time when Ripley launched the organism into space, but now the Xenomorph has a home.
These revelations also show that Ash, in a way, will always be a survivor. Given that he’s a program, he’s in no need of a body to continue forward. He can just be downloaded into a new one. It’s a shocking way of showing that Ripley’s success had a downside after all. Ripley may have stopped one Xenomorph, but with Ash seemingly immortal and trying to prevent the destruction of Xenomorphs, this shocking Alien survivor will continue to wreak havoc across the universe long after she’s gone.
Next: Alien Reveals Why the Franchise’s Final Stand Has to Happen on Earth
Alien Annual #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.
90 Day Fiancé: Biggest News Stories From Franchise Cast (Week Of July 4)
About The Author