Resident Alien (comics)
|Resident Alien (comics)|
Cover to issue 1, art by Steve Parkhouse
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
The Suicide Blonde
The Sam Hain Mystery
The Man with No Name
|Formats||Original material for the series has been published as a set of limited series.|
Welcome to Earth|
''The Suicide Blonde
The Sam Hain Mystery
The Man with No Name
|Number of issues||4 per miniseries|
|Editor(s)||Philip R Simon|
Resident Alien is a comic book series created by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. The series has been published by Dark Horse Comics in installments of four-issue miniseries since 2013. Three miniseries have been completed, and a fourth has been announced for 2016.
The story is about an alien who crash lands on Earth, then poses as a doctor while he awaits a rescue. He is pursued by a government agency and passes his time solving murders and other mysteries. The series has received positive reviews from critics, particularly for Parkhouse's ability to draw expressions.
Parkhouse and Hogan had previously collaborated on five issues of The Dreaming for Vertigo comics in 1999, and Hogan had been wanting to collaborate again. When Hogan asked Parkhouse what kind of project he would like to do, Parkhouse suggested something with an alien. The two worked closely on the broader aspects of the plot, but Hogan developed most of the story. Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson provided editorial input that helped Hogan and Parkhouse find the right tone for the narrative.
Hogan felt the depiction of aliens as monsters or invaders had become stale and wanted to bring a sympathetic attitude to a nonhuman character. He also wanted to mix the science fiction and Mystery genres to get some "interesting sparks." He drew inspiration from Twin Peaks, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and My Favorite Martian, and he specifically requested Parkhouse design the main character based off aliens from DC Comics published in the early 1960s, such as Chameleon Boy.
The title came from an early 1990s conversation Hogan had with an English friend who was married to an American. When asked if he had a Green Card, the friend instead showed an ID that read "Resident Alien". Hogan thought the phrase was funny and would make a great title.
Because neither Hogan nor Parkhouse can maintain the pace necessary for a monthly series, Resident Alien is being published as a series of four-issue limited series. Hogan has said a new miniseries each year is "the best balance for us, though I sometimes wish we could squeeze in another issue or two.” For each limited series, the first chapter is serialized in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents before being collected as issue zero. Issues one through three are then published monthly, and a trade paperback collection is released shortly after the limited series concludes.
The first chapter was serialized in Dark Horse Presents vol 2 #4–6 (October – December 2011). When it was collected as Resident Alien #0 in April 2012, it was the 268th best selling issue of the month with estimated orders around 4800 copies. Issue #1, released the following month, had estimated orders of 5700. The collected edition was released February 27, 2013 with the subtitle Welcome to Earth.
The first chapter of the second series, subtitled The Suicide Blonde, was serialized in Dark Horse Presents vol 2 #18–20 (November 2012 – January 2013) and was reprinted as issue zero in August 2013. The first issue, published the following month, had estimated orders of 3,863. The 104 page collected edition was released May 28, 2014.
The third series, subtitled The Sam Hain Mystery, was written before the 2nd series began publication. The first chapter was serialized in Dark Horse Presents vol 3 #1–3 (August – October 2014) and reprinted as issue zero April 29, 2015. The collected edition was released November 11, 2015.
A fourth series, The Man With No Name, will be published monthly beginning in September 2016. Instead of serializing the first chapter and printing #0-3, this series will be numbered one through four.
When an alien crash lands on Earth, he steals the identity of an elderly doctor who dies in an unrelated car crash. Using his mild telepathic abilities, he is able to make most people see him as human. Under the doctor's name, Harry Vanderspeigle, he "retires" to a remote cabin near a small town. When the town's doctor is murdered a few years later, the mayor asks Harry to act as a temporary replacement. Forced to interact with his neighbors, Harry discovers a fascination with humans and helps solve the murder case. He continues to be the town's doctor and unravels other mysteries as they come along. Meanwhile, a government agency aware of his landing is trying to locate him.
|Volume||Comic Book Round Up|
The series has received mostly positive reviews from critics, and many of them have praised the book's focus on small town life. Sam Roche of Adventures in Poor Taste described the story's scope as "pretty small," and Comic Vine's Mat Elfring agreed it was "a talking head book... but it's extremely satisfying on that level" Matthew Meylikhov, writing for Multiversity Comics, said the "well used premise successfully avoids stereotypical trappings." In his review for Unleash the Fanboy, Max Delgado wished the galactic origins and new life as a detective were more closely connected, since "neither is developed enough to stand on [its] own"
According to Elfring, Parkhouse's art style "fits incredibly well with the story." He was lauded for his work on facial expressions, and drew comparisons to comic artist Dave Gibbons. Greg McElhatton thought the "cohesive, attractive pages" were largely due to Parkhouse handling the color and letter duties in addition to the pencils, and went on to say the colors are an integral part of the story. Sam Roche disagreed, saying "some of the coloring is cringe worthy" and "the people don’t look lifelike."
When the first series debuted, critics universally criticized the first chapter being released as issue zero instead of issue one, calling it "potentially confusing," "ridiculous," and "insanely frustrating for any person picking this book up for the first time." Newsarama's Rob McMoningal feared some readers picking up #1 would rather pass on the series than try to locate the back issue. Opinions softened with later miniseries, and Edward Kaye of Newsarama described Sam Hain #0 as "not essential, but a good jumping on point."
In March 2013, Hogan mentioned a television series based on the property was "under discussion." In March 2015, Dark Horse editor and Vice President of Publishing Randy Stradley confirmed Hollywood was still showing interest in adapting the series.
- Roche, Sam (September 23, 2013), "Interview with 'Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde' writer Peter Hogan," Adventures in Poor Taste (accessed March 29, 2016)
- (4/18/12), "An Interview with Peter Hogan about Resident Alien," Dark Horse (accessed March 29, 2016)
- (May 23, 2012), "Resident Alien: An Interview with Steve Parkhouse," Dark Horse Comics (accessed March 29, 2016)
- Johnston, Rich (March 7, 2015), "Dark Horse’s Resident Alien Comic To Be A TV Series?," Bleeding Cool (accessed March 29, 2016)
- Glendening, Daniel (July 1, 2013), "Hogan's Resident Alien returns in The Suicide Blonde," Comic Book Resources (accessed March 29, 2016)
- Hickey, Patrick Jr (March 23, 2013), "Review Fix Exclusive: Interview With ‘Resident Alien’ Creator Peter Hogan," Review Fix (accessed March 29, 2016)
- Freeman, John (March 9, 2015), "Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s “Resident Alien” heading to TV?," Down The Tubes (accessed March 29, 2016)
- "Comic Book Sales Figures for April 2012," The Comics Chronicles (accessed April 25, 2016)
- "Comic Book Sales Figures for May 2012," Comichron (accessed April 25, 2016)
- "Comic Book Sales Figures for September 2013," The Comics Chronicles (accessed May 18, 2016)
- "Resident Alien Volume 2: The Suicide Blonde TPB," Dark Horse (accessed May 18, 2016)
- Romeo, Mike (June 13, 2016), "Exclusive: Dark Horse to Launch New “Resident Alien” series in September," Multiversity Comics (accessed June 15, 2016)
- based on 24 reviews, "Resident Alien Vol. 1: Welcome to Earth Reviews," Comic Book Round Up (accessed April 25, 2016)
- based on 22 reviews, "Resident Alien Volume 2: The Suicide Blonde," Comic Book Round Up (accessed April 25, 2016)
- based on 11 reviews, "Resident Alien Volume 3: The Sam Hain Mystery," Comic Book Round Up (accessed April 25, 2016)
- "a terrific format for exploring the details of everyday life." Johanna (August 17, 2015), "Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery #3," Comics Worth Reading (accessed April 26, 2016)
- "Small town life in Patience is a real draw here," McElhatton, Greg (August 16, 2013), "Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #0," Comic Book Resources (accessed April 30, 2016)
- "the best scenes are when Harry is analyzing his surroundings" Paugh, Steven E (January 18, 2013), "Review: Resident Alien – Vol. 1: Welcome To Earth," Comic Bastards (accessed April 26, 2016)
- Roche, Sam (August 14, 2013), "Is It Good? Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde #0 Review," Adventures in Poor Taste (accessed April 30, 2016)
- Elfring, Mat (May 23, 2012), "Resident Alien #1 Review," Comic Vine (accessed April 30, 2016)
- Meylikhov, Matthew (May 18, 2012), "Advance Review: Resident Alien #1," Multiversity Comics (accessed April 26, 2016)
- Delgado, Max (October 8, 2013), "Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #2 – Review," Unleash the Fanboy (accessed April 26, 2016)
- McElhatton, Greg (May 23, 2012), "Resident Alien #1," Comic Book Resources (accessed April 26, 2016)
- McMonigal, Rob (May 22, 2012), "Best Shots Advance Reviews: Godzilla, Magdalena, More," Newsarama (accessed April 30, 2016)
- McElhatton, Greg (August 16, 2013), "Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #0," Comic Book Resources (accessed April 30, 2016)
- Kaye, Edward (April 30, 2015), "Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: Daredevil #15, Justice League #40, Convergence #4, New Avengers #33, More," Newsarama (accessed April 30, 2016)