Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Review - Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Morning, Doc."

Finding out that aliens lives among us would certainly be surprising on some levels, but would make sense on other levels (depending on who it was we found out was an alien). There's a hope that such an alien would want to do good and be nice to others though. That's certainly the case in Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse.

A stranded alien continues to hide in plain sight in Patience, Washington, posing as the small town's doctor. When a startling new mystery catches his attention, he takes a trip to New York City with one of his only human friends, a Native American shaman.

The Resident Alien books have always felt very sound in their presentation and Hogan ensures that's no exception in the latest. Hogan's script is very tight and well-thought out as Harry lives his life as an alien among humans. Harry is very much a model citizen and is generally beloved by those around him, but Hogan works in a small inkling of danger for him in that he may not be as clandestine as he once thought he was. Still, Hogan takes the story in a standard, whodunnit direction by giving Harry a case to solve about a missing person that will take him from the confines of Washington state to the sprawling jungle that is New York City. At its heart, the Resident Alien series as always been about Harry solving mysteries and Hogan getting him to that point in Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 gives the story great direction.

What's most visually apparent about Harry is how thoughtful Parkhouse renders him. Sure, Harry looks like a purple alien, but Parkhouse doesn't let that stop him from showing a character capable of (and comforted by) deep thought and analytical thinking. The characters around Harry are illustrated with a similar type of thoughtfulness as Parkhouse uses light lines to render facial expressions. Parkhouse also emphasizes heavy shading in many of the panels that further embellish clothing and settings. The colors are also used to great effect, primarily in showcasing scenes at night and the glow of the television.

Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 is a solid start to a new series that boasts an alien masquerading as a human. Harry's goal is to live among the humans and do what he can to help them, while along the way earning the trust and friendship of many in his town. Hogan's script is very strong and consistent, not missing a beat when it comes to Harry and his interactions with the world. Parkhouse's illustrations are subtle yet bold, inviting the reader into Harry's world and introducing them to all the players. Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 is a great first book for either fans of the Resident Alien series or new readers looking for something good to read.

Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #1 is available now.

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