The first “Resident Alien” mini-series by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse was a lot of fun. Kicking off with short stories in “Dark Horse Presents” before shifting into its own comic, the series brought a murder mystery where the protagonist was the reluctant small-town doctor who’s secretly an alien who’s stranded on our planet. “Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde” #0 brings more of the same, picking up right where the last series left off, but also easing new readers in. This is a good thing, because if you aren’t reading “Resident Alien” you really should take a look.
Hogan provides a good introduction for new readers, which never feels exposition heavy or clumsy. It’s handled through a mixture of flashbacks to when Harry first arrived on the planet, dreams from his assistant Asta who secretly knows that he’s an alien, and just moving forward from the first series. Watching Harry try to figure out his next plans and his semi-reluctant plans to stick around (which feel less and less reluctant with time) is surprisingly engaging, and that has a lot to do with how well Hogan writes the characters. Small town life in Patience is a real draw here, and it’s fun to see Harry continue to get pulled further and further into the lives that were already there.
Parkhouse’s art is sharp and angular, and incredibly expressive. He’s an artist who is just great at drawing faces, both human and alien. Clarice’s resigned look when she hears she needs to see the new doctor instead of Harry is classic, as is Harry’s half-smile when he explains that he’s still off-duty. He’s also providing the colors, which are just as integral a part of the look here; the bright colors of Patience, the sepia-toned flashback to when Harry’s buying his first car, the startlingly different color scheme for Asta’s dream of Harry’s home world. This is a handsome book, and it seals the deal on this being fun and worth reading.
About the only thing that’s missing in “Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde” #0 is the actual start of the latest murder case, which is of course what’s waiting for us next month with issue #1. Add that into the mix and you’ve got everything that makes “Resident Alien” so much fun. If you haven’t read this series before, this is a perfect place to give it a whirl.