Xenomorphs and the Evolution of Evil
Since Alien debuted nearly 38 years ago, fans of the frightening sci-fi franchise have been chest-bursting with excitement over new updates to the story universe through films, comics, toys, and more. This year, 20th Century Fox is celebrating the second annual Alien Day on April 26th, a date chosen based on planet LV-426 from the first film. The day will honor all things Alien to bring fans together for trivia, screenings, and more while building excitement for the May release of the newest film in the franchise, Alien: Covenant.
This film is the latest in a long evolution of these movies which blend horror and sci-fi, a combination embodied perfectly by the terrifying figure of the Xenomorph. Like the franchise, these aliens have mutated and evolved over the years into terrifying new versions of the classic creature. In anticipation of Alien Day, let’s take a look at some of the strangest strains and meanest mutations of Xenomorphs seen throughout the years!
This varied strain of Xenomorph is born from hosts like bulls or cows. They first appeared in the Aliens: Space Marines mini-comic Stampede, which accompanied the Kenner toy release of the Bull alien character. These Xenomorphs have large black horns, and their bodies are red and black. As the comic name suggests, they often stampede, and are very dangerous for the human colony of TerraForm 3, and are considered similar to dog aliens, or Runners.
The Predalien is the result of breeding between a Xenomorph facehugger and a Yautja, or Predator alien. While they are physically more similar to a Xenomorph, the Predaliens do have the recognizable head crest and tentacle appendages of the Predator species. This species first appeared in the film Aliens vs. Predator 2: Requiem, and the original Predalien was referred to as “Chet” in the script to keep the secrecy of the character in case of script leaks.
Bodybursters are a mutated variant of Xenomorphs that are unable to mature past the larval stage of their lifecycle. Rather, they deepen in hue, appearing to be slightly larger, black chestbursters capable of moving at incredible speeds. This mutation originally appeared in the comic Aliens: Kidnapped. Despite not maturing into their full form, bodybursters have dangerous bile inside that cause their bite victims to explode.
Xenoborgs are a genetically-engineered strain of alien cyborg creatures featured in the Aliens vs. Predator games. Created in a cybernetics factory on Planet Blior, these Xenomorph variants have armor enhancements on their bodies and are capable of holding weapons. The Xenoborgs were controlled via radio, but eventually their creator lost control as the Xenomorph instincts overpowered his programming, and the creatures ran wild.
Swimmer Xenomorphs are the result of a facehugger breeding with a whale or other large aquatic mammal. Found on an aquatic colony planet in the comic series Aliens: Colonial Marines, these aliens live in the oceans thick with kelp. Their top halves resemble the traditional Xenomorph queen, but below the waist they have large tails, fins, and even tentacles. While incredibly fast and deadly in the water, these Xenomorphs have not been seen staying on land.
The Crusher mutated after a nuclear explosion on planet LV-426 in the comic Aliens: Colonial Marines. Brown in color, the Crusher walks on all fours and has a massive bulletproof head shield which it uses like a ram. It is large and fast, but despite the power of its head shield, the rest of its body is susceptible to damage like any other Xenomorph.
The Alien films first introduced the frightening Xenomorphs as the brood of their Queen, who lays eggs that hatch into facehuggers. Since that debut, the Queen has met her King. On Alien Day in 2016, the Alien King was unveiled, a fully terrifying vision of the Internecivus Raptus Rex. A part of H.R. Giger’s legacy, the Alien King leads the smaller drone Xenomorphs with his intimidating size and multi-layered head crest, which makes him appear overwhelmingly regal and powerful. Sideshow even revealed its own Maquette statue to honor the king and join in the Alien celebration.
These mutations and deviant Xenomorphs are just a few of the strains that await unsuspecting colonists in the dark reaches of space in the Alien universe. Over the last 38 years, the franchise has grown strong and taken many different forms from Dark Horse’s comic universe, which began in 1988, to a new series of film prequels, beginning with Prometheus in 2012 and introducing Alien: Covenant this spring. With Alien Day fast approaching, there are always more awesome reasons for Alien fans to shout with joy and terror (even though in space, no one can hear you scream).