A guide to Alien’s Xenomorph variations
When Ridley Scott and H.R. Giger revealed the Xenomorph to world in 1979’s Alien, they created a pop culture icon that, despite appearing space, would make everyone scream. Since then, the beast has appeared in a number of films, video games, and comic book tie-ins, and undergone quite a transformation throughout its history. With the release of Alien: Covenant this week, and new additions to the long list of aliens, we take a deep dive into the wide world of Xenomorph variations. Check them out in the gallery below!
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with Alien: Covenant, a new chapter in his groundbreaking Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, and James Franco. 20th Century Fox will release the film in theaters on May 19.
The firs encounter with the titular beast in Ridley Scott’s Alien is the egg, one of the most iconic images in film history. Unlike most eggs, however, this one doesn’t break open from hatching, but opens up from the top to let out the…
Inside the egg is the first stage of the Xenomorph’s life, a tiny and wicked fast beast that attaches itself to the face of its victim while suffocating them with its tale and planting the embryo inside the host.
After a gestation period of a few hours, the embryo has grown into its own form. It slides around in the host’s body before doing what its names states and bursts out of the host.
The creature grows from the tiny Chestburster into its full adult stage rather quickly. The beast, however, is the perfect killing machine with a hide as tough as concrete, long claws on its hands, acidic blood, a strong tail, and a retractable tongue with its own set of teeth. The original version of the character was more black in color with a visible skull inside its head.
The version of the creatures seen in James Cameron’s Aliens takes on more of a blue hue and removes the translucent face on the creature. This would go on to become the most widely used version of the creature.
Another addition made to the canon by Cameron is the Queen, who stands about 20 feet tall but in other Alien media has grown as big as 100′. The creature lays the eggs that Facehuggers hatch from and has a build more like a dinosaur than a traditional Xenomorph.
The Dog Alien
Alien 3 saw the first variation of the Xenomorph with a stowaway Facehugger attaching itself to a dog and creating a version with a different color and one that ran on all four legs instead of being bipedal.
Alien: Ressurection saw another variation with a creature that was a perfect blend of Human and Xenomorph DNA. This version has more human-like skin (in both color and sensitivity) and a skull like face on the front.
The Alien versus Predator films did little to make a stamp on the canon of the two franchises at large, but they did create a combo of the two title aliens which has become a bit of a fan favorite.
In Prometheus, the prequel to the original Alien, this proto-Facehugger grows inside of Dr. Shaw though she’s able to remove it before it can rip itself out of her body. Though it is presumed dead in the film, it appears later and impregnates an Engineer with…
A Proto-Xenomorph, the Deacon has similar features to the Xenomorph, though its mouth moves in a way like a Goblin Shark and not like a traditional Xeno.
Seen in Alien: Covenant, the creature has a similar build to the traditional Xenomorph albeit with an albino skin tone and a smaller mouth opening.
Alien: Covenant also reveals an “early” version of the Xenomorph not unlike The Deacon but closer to what we see in the original Alien film.
Alien vs. Predator Arcade Game
Many of the variations on the Xenomorphs come from other media featuring the creatures, such as the first arcade version of Alien vs Predator which includes the Arachnoid and Chrysalis variants.
The PC follow-up, Aliens versus Predator, saw a cybernetically-enhanced version of the Xenomorph.
The oldest known Alien Queen in the canon of Alien stories as she went from being a breeder for Predators to a test subject for Weyland-Yutani. Her appearance is more of a brown, almost fossil-like color compared to traditional queens.
First appearing in the Aliens Vs. Predator game and subsequent sequels, the Praetorian are essentially the royal guard of Alien hives, protecting important parts of the nest and even the queen herself.
Created by a scientist in the game Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction, the K-Series of Xenomorphs are notable for their yellow color.
In the much-maligned Aliens: Colonial Marines, a mutated Alien Queen appeared as a giant and muscular version of the creature.
Mortal Kombat X
The most recent entry in the fighting game reveals a variation on the Xenomorph born from the fighter Baraka and featuring a unique physiology.
The first Batman/Aliens volume saw the Dark Knight in the jungle fighting off Xenomorphs, one of them birthed from a Crocodile and gigantic in size.
The follow-up series saw hybrids of some of Batman’s villains with the Xenomorphs, including Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and The Joker.
The comic series “Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species” introduced a hybrid of Aliens, Predators, and humans, which isn’t much of a looker.
Naturally to birth a Queen Alien, one needs a Queen Facehugger. The beast appears in the “assembly cut” of Alien 3 though not the theatrical version and is bigger than a regular Facehugger. It’s established that this Facehugger plants an embryo for the Queen and regular Xenomorph to act as its guard.
In the original Alien, we meet the Space Jockey, a giant creature that we would later know as an Engineer, and though its chest is already burst open, we don’t see the product of that Xenomorph transformation…until the pages of the comic “Aliens: Apocalypse” finally revealed it.
Kenner Toys started to create all-new Xenomorphs for their Aliens toy line, including comics of the new transformations as well. Among those they created are…
One from a Bull…
and a Praying Mantis.
Some additional Kenner variants include an amphibious Xenomorph…
A winged Xenomorph…
Panther/Night Cougar Alien
Two versions of a big cat Xenomorph…
One from a wild boar…
An insect like variation…
And one based on a snake!
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