An alien crash lands on Earth and hides out as a retired doctor in a small town, calling himself ‘Harry Vanderspeigle’ and waits to be rescued. Everything is going well until the town’s existing doctor is murdered, drawing ‘Harry’ closer to human society than he really wanted to be.
Peter Hogan (2000 AD, Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse (The Milkman Murders, Doctor Who) apply a deft touch to the genre-bending Resident Alien. Equal parts ‘murder mystery’ and ‘aliens among us’ the creators draw us into the small town of Patience, USA, with subtle characterisation and strong plotting. While the story centres on solving the murder of the town’s doctor, the creators sow seeds of the wider world, snippets of Harry’s past and the lives of the other townsfolk in the story.
I read all three issues in this volume in one sitting and would have kept going straight away if I’d had the next volume to hand. The one thing I wanted more of was theme. While the various unfolding mysteries kept me turning the page, and the principle characters were distinct and memorable, I can’t really say what Resident Alien is about beyond its storyline.
Dark Horse released a second volume, Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde, in 2014 and the third mini-series, The Sam Hain Mystery, is set for release in April this year. In early March, rumours surfaced of potential Hollywood interest in turning the comic into a TV show.
If you like unfolding dramatic series, with strong ensembles, mysteries to be solved and a smattering of cool alien tech and physiology, you won’t go wrong with Resident Alien. And if does get made into a show, you can lord it over your friends with your insider knowledge of whodunit.