Review – Resident Alien Vol 1
Writer: Peter Hogan
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release date: May 2012
Resident Alien Volume 1, Welcome to Earth, is the first in a successful series of comics that has been a huge hit. So much so, Syfy have picked it up and turned it into a TV show. The second season is confirmed and due out in 2022 on Sky for U.K. viewers.
The comics were the brain child of Artist, Steve Parkhouse and Writer, Peter Hogan. Parkhouse wanted to create an Alien comic. Having collaborated with Hogan on the likes of The Dreaming, wanted his involvement. Hogan went away and thought up the twist to the “traditional” Alien narrative. As a result, the Alien in this comic is not the usual bad guy, nor is he a predator. He is the hero of the story, with yet another twist; he also likes to dabble in a little murder mystery.
The Resident Alien
Meet Dr Harry Vanderspeigle, resident of Patience, a small town in Colorado where nothing bad ever happens… Or does it? Our Doc is dragged out of “retirement” to replace the local doctor. The original doctor’s murder is being investigated! Of course he isn’t really a doctor, he is an Alien who crash landed and is awaiting rescue. Three years he has been keeping himself to himself, in an attempt to keep his true identity hidden.
He of course has some super duper, alien abilities to mask his true form. Ingeniously, he is drawn as an alien throughout the comic. I am going to dig into my Classics A-Levels here. In Greek tragedy, this method is used to allow the audience to see something which the characters living the scene, do not, it’s called dramatic irony.
This is oddly, so much fun, seeing an alien sitting in ordinary human settings. For instance, one of the opening pages to the book, there is cafe setting. A waitress is taking the order from a couple of scruffy locals, all perfectly ordinary, except for the alien sat at their table.
Resident Alien is a brilliant concept, clever, fairly intelligent and funny in parts.
*Spoiler alert* The naked murderer is very different! Annoyingly, the naked part needed explaining. I will forgive the story for that because it just added a bit of humour into what is an already wacky scenario.
The murder mystery is secondary to work the main story of Harry, that’s the facinating story and makes me want to read more in the series. It also makes me wish I had Sky TV so I can watch the show.
Art and Final Thoughts
The Art is interesting, quite different. For instance, it has a small town Americana feel, perhaps it looks a little dated, but it’s meant to be. The re use of similar pastel colours in the background, I really liked, Parkhouse’s ability to draw expression is exemplary. My favourite scenes were the alien landscapes and the vivid, almost nuclear green colourings, which I have added in the gallery below for your viewing pleasure.
Overall the comic works, it has a solid storyline, as a result, it makes readers want more. A plus it is a cool concept. Sadly, for me, the murder mystery part was definitely secondary to the Harry story. Will he or won’t he, get caught out? I am fascinate by it enough to want to read on in the series.
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