Review - Resident Alien #1

Aliens walk among us! Or they don't. Who knows. It's a common plot point though, the notion that an alien is hiding among the humans. Usually, that alien has the ability to help people, an ability on full display in Resident Alien #1.

Published by Dark Horse Comics, Resident Alien #1 is written by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse.

Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle crash landed on Earth. Well, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle didn't crash, but an alien who adopted that alias did, wrecking his ship so he can't get home, so he decides to live out his days on Earth as a doctor. His place there works out well, considering he's called upon by most of the town of Patience.

The town has recently seen a murder of Hodges, the town's actual doctor, seemingly killed over the prescription pills in his office. The strange trust in Dr. Vanderspeigle is called upon by everyone in the town to help solve the mystery.

What's most enjoyable about Resident Alien #1 is that Hogan imbues the title alien with a serenity that evokes trust. He's a stranger in Patience; more than that, he's an alien. The work could easily fall into countless pitfalls of other works similar to this, but Hogan manages to keep it fresh.

The story playing out as something of a primetime police procedural works as well. There's the requisite small town chatter, clues leading the reader along the case and Dr. Vanderspeigle being dragged in. The characters all interact well also, giving the reader something to be invested in.

Parkhouse's illustrations are very apt for the story. None of the panels are too extravagant, but considering the story takes place in the small town of Patience there's really not a lot going on. Parkhouse manages to give the small town scenes some sense of drama through the choice of panel shots. It's fantastic art.

Dr. Vanderspeigle is a fish out of water in the truest sense and the best thing about Resident Alien #1 is that you really feel bad for him. He doesn't want to get dragged into the monotony of Patience, but he's also too nice to say no. He's clearly going to be needed with the events at the end of the issue, so stay tuned.

Resident Alien #1 is in stores now, with interiors below.