Thursday, May 24, 2012

Resident Alien #1

Written by Peter Hogan
Art by Steve Parkhouse

It kind of feels like Dark Horse is the new Vertigo, as they are beginning to take chances on new, off-beat series with a more adult feel to them, kind of like many of the mini-series that DC's imprint used to publish ten years ago or so.

Resident Alien is a good little series.  This first issue can not be read without first reading either the stories that were published in Dark Horse Presents, or the '0' issue that reprinted them last month.  The book is set in the small town of Patience, where the local doctor has been murdered.  The town does host a retired doctor, who is pushed into service examining the body, and then taking over the deceased's practice until a replacement can be found.

The thing is, the retired doctor, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, is actually an alien from another planet, who crashed onto Earth years ago, and is trying to just live a quiet life.  His abilities to subtly influence the minds of others mean that no one else can see him for who he really is, although it appears that is presence gives one of the nurses a headache.

There are some standard small-town mystery things going on in this issue.  There is a suspect, who was known to have stolen drugs from the dead doctor, and who is being charged with his murder, despite his claims of innocence.  There is also suspicion that the doctor's death was not an isolated incident, but is in fact part of a pattern of unexplained deaths.

Peter Hogan fills this comic with strong character work, and Steve Parkhouse, as always, turns in some very nice art.  This is not likely to become anyone's favourite comic, but it is a well-crafted and drawn story, that is doing some interesting things with some conventional ideas.  It's worth checking out.

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