Doctor Harry Takes His Show On The Road In Resident Alien Volume 5 TPB

by Brendan M. Allen

A stranded alien continues to hide in plain sight in Patience, Washington, posing as the small town’s doctor. He has no intention of leaving-unless it’s to get back to his home planet! When a startling new mystery catches his attention, he takes a trip to New York City with the hope of finally finding a way to communicate with his homeworld. Collects the four-issue series.

Doctor Harry Vanderspeigle isn’t what he seems. He has a big secret. He’s not really from around here. Found himself stranded a few years ago when he smacked his spaceship into this rock and couldn’t get the thing to start up again. Using advanced psychic perception filters, he plays a human doctor and solves mysteries in his spare time. In this fifth Resident Alien title, the good doctor takes his show on the road when he recognizes something familiar in a video package about a missing New York Street artist.

Resident Alien Volume 5: An Alien In New York sounds like a brilliant setup for a goofy sci-fi comedy, but as odd as this is about to sound, it’s a reasonably realistic dramatic take. Peter Hogan gives us deep characters with relatable motivation and relationships. The dialogue plays. The fact that Harry is an undercover alien is an integral part of the story, but is only one facet of a much more complex awkward and insecure character. You’ll look straight past the purple skin and pointed ears surprisingly quickly.

Steve Parkhouse brings a shockingly mundane feel to the art, which is exactly what this story needs. The aesthetic play brilliantly into both the science-fiction and crime procedural genres. Somehow, this story that centers on a purple alien searching the Big Apple for other aliens looks perfectly run-of-the-mill. It’s actually shocking when Harry gets caught out and someone recognizes him for what he is. It’s so easy to invest in the premise, it will catch the reader off guard.

Resident Alien is still going strong in this fifth installment. No worries if you haven’t read the previous four. These arcs all stand alone just as well as part of a larger set. There’s just enough exposition in Volume 5 to engage new readers, but not so much it will alienate long time fans.

Resident Alien Volume 5: An Alien In New York TPB, Dark Horse Books, releases 21 November 2018. Written by Peter Hogan. Art, color, and letters by Steve Parkhouse.

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