Harry Takes His Show On The Road In Resident Alien: An Alien In New York #2

by Brendan M. Allen

Nurse Asta and Shaman Twelvetrees earn Harry’s complete trust and learn more about the newest mystery that’s haunting him. Stranded on Earth, Harry’s only hope of communicating with his home planet could possibly be found in New York City! Peter Hogan (2000 AD, Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse (Milkman Murders, Doctor Who) continue their unique, acclaimed science-fiction/murder-mystery series!

Harry Vanderspeigle is a complicated dude. He’s been stuck on this rock for a while, trying to fit in, guarding his extraterrestrial origin from almost everyone. There are a few folks who see right through his facade and recognize him for the purple, pointy eared faker he is. So far it’s worked out in his favor, though. He’s able to maintain his medical practice, and even solves crime in his spare time.
In the first issue of Resident Alien: An Alien In New York, Harry spotted something strange in a video package about a missing New York street artist. The artist’s signature, scrawled in Krylon on a brick wall, is actually not the string of nonsensical characters it appears to be. It’s ten digits in an alien script that Harry can read. Ten digits that look a hell of a lot like a Manhattan phone number.

Now, in chapter two, he’s got to decide what to do with this information. There’s clearly something sinister going on with the missing artist, but the fact that he used alien numbers in his art means he may even be able to help Harry get home. With all the implications, there’s no way he can resist a road trip, even though he appears to have some issues with large groups of people and tight quarters.

An interesting thing about Peter Hogan’s script is that the situations work for just about any awkward “fish out of water” situation. Cultural transplants, strangers in a strange land, imposter syndrome, anyone who has ever tried to fit in with the cool kids wherever they may be. Harry is so relatable because he’s purple with pointy ears. It’s ridiculously easy to plug yourself into his parable, because his differences are so exaggerated, he could stand in for almost any race, religion, ability, or origin.

Steve Parkhouse shows of his scenic chops, transitioning smoothly from vast, sweeping hillsides to tight, claustrophobic cityscapes. His character design has a brilliantly mundane feel, but emotions are easily read through posture, expression and ambulation. He’s got a style that shows enough of what’s happening through his linework that Hogan can back off on the narration. These two work ridiculously well together.

Resident Alien: An Alien In New York is a fresh look at the classic crime noir genre. The sci-fi elements are omnipresent, but surprisingly downplayed to the point that you almost forget Harry’s even an alien. I’m sure when (if?) he meets up with other aliens later in this 4-part mini, that’ll get harder, but for now, Harry’s just one of the dudes, with his anxious quirks, and who happens to be slightly purple and angular in feature.
Resident Alien: An Alien in New York #2, published by Dark Horse Comics, released on 09 May 2018. Created by Peter Hogan (script) and Steve Parkhouse (art).

%d bloggers like this: