Marvel comics have made it possible to admit that there’s something worse out there than xenomorphs. For a very long time, these creatures have dominated the science fiction scene. The xenomorph, introduced in Alien, is one of the most terrifying creations of all time.
They have acid for blood, they grow quickly after bursting from a host’s chest, and they can wipe out entire civilizations in record time. Not only that, but these creatures take on the characteristics of their host. This means that if they’re implanted in a strong host, the xenomorph will take on those qualities. In a way, the xenomorphs were engineered as the perfect killing machine.
It doesn’t help that they can survive and even thrive in many different environments. So long as there’s a food source, hosts, and solid ground somewhere, they can survive. That kind of adaptability is unheard of in many species. It’s also why they’ve been absolutely lethal in every movie they’ve appeared in.
But Marvel comics decided to make something worse than the creatures and something that is likely just as dangerous, if not more so. That takes work to accomplish.
The two new threats create a greater danger within this franchise
For many years it feels as though the Alien franchise didn’t change as much as it needed to. At this time, the development of two new villains, or ‘monsters’, feels as though it might revive the franchise. It leaves the playing field wide open in a couple of ways.
Alien still stands out as a scary franchise but has been shackled over the years by poor writing and bad ideas. The attempt to keep Sigourney Weaver, aka Ellen Ripley, as a part of the franchise became another issue at one point. But the general idea of this franchise is still useful and still has promise.
The villains in this franchise have often displayed a very devious nature, as the xenomorphs care more about survival and fulfilling their purpose. Those who seek to use the xenomorphs are often the most devious villains. The desire to use these creatures as weapons or for medical purposes is the typical benefit that is desired.
The idea that created Lee has been tried before
The books might not be canon, it is a big universe after all, but seeking to control the xenomorphs with a non-xenomorph source has been attempted. In this case, Lee starts out as a human but is bitten by a mutated insect and changes as a result. The xenomorphs are creatures that fans have likened to insects, it’s not tough to think that Lee would be able to link with them. This in turn creates a very dangerous creature that is uncontrollable and follows her own directives.
What usually happens is that the outside force seeking to control the xenomorphs either adapts and becomes a part of the group, or they’re outed as an imposter. This never ends well for the imposter. Since Lee has no competition (the synths killed the queen remember) she has no trouble taking control of the group.
Androids, synths, have been typical villains in the Alien franchise
Eli is not the first synthetic person to turn against humanity. He is one of the few that has a good reason to do so. When the Steel team is sent to retrieve the package, the remaining humans that didn’t consider themselves expendable decide to attack. When Lee attacks with the rest of the xenomorphs, Eli does something that’s even worse; he backs off and lets it happen.
Androids in this franchise tend to be iffy when it comes to their loyalties. Quite often, they’re programmed to follow directives from whatever ruling group that they work for, meaning everyone else is seen as collateral. Humans don’t often appreciate this designation and will often stand against the corporations that have made such directives.
So in truth, Eli is not the typical villain, but he is a bit more devious than a couple of androids that were used in the movies and the books over the years. His decision to let Lee and the xenomorphs slaughter the remaining humans does make him a villain. But it doesn’t make him one of the worst.
Seeing this story as a series would take the franchise in a new direction
Many fans worry that bringing an Alien series to Disney, or any affiliated streaming platform, would ruin the franchise in one way or another. If the idea found its way to Disney+, it would need to be altered in a profound manner. This idea in particular would certainly not cater to a family-friendly audience. But as a series, it could still work as it drives the story in a different direction. There are many new ways to explore this franchise. What remains to see is how fans would react.
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