X-Files Meets Murder She Wrote In Resident Alien: An Alien In New York #1

by Brendan M. Allen

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. Peter Hogan (2000 AD, Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse (Milkman Murders, Doctor Who) continue their unique, acclaimed science-fiction/murder-mystery series!

Harry Vanderspeigle has a secret. It’s a big one. He’s not from around here. Found himself stranded a few years ago when he smacked his spaceship into Earth and broke the dadgummed thing. He uses psychic perception filters to masquerade as a human doctor who solves mysteries in his spare time. This time around, the good doctor takes his show on the road when he recognizes something familiar in a video package about a missing street artist in New York. It’s all very Murder, She Wrote, if Jessica Fletcher were a doctor. And an alien.

It all sounds like it could be a setup for a goofy comedy, but as odd as this is about to sound, this is a reasonably realistic dramatic take. Peter Hogan delivers relationship with depth. His dialogue plays. The fact that the protagonist is an undercover alien is part of the story, but is only a facet of Harry’s awkward, insecure character. You look past the purple skin and pointed ears surprisingly quickly.

Steve Parkhouse’s linework has an interestingly mundane feel, which is brilliant for this story and plays to both the science-fiction and crime genres. Somehow, he makes the whole thing look perfectly run-of-the-mill. It’s actually shocking when the curtain gets pulled back and someone recognizes Harry for what he is. You’re so lulled into the premise, it catches you off guard.

This genre bending miniseries opener proves Resident Alien is still going strong into its fifth installment. If you haven’t picked up the previous series, no worries. There’s enough exposition to engage brand new readers, without bogging down longtime fans. The first four series are also readily accessible as trade paperbacks and digitally at Digital.DarkHorse.com.

Resident Alien: An Alien In New York #1, published by Dark Horse Comics, releases 11 April 2018. Created by Peter Hogan (script) and Steve Parkhouse (art).

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.