Off the bat there is so much I’d like to say about this series and volume already. The first volume was definitely one of my favorite mini-series from last year and even Steve enjoyed the trade for the first volume of the series. Something that always stands out to me is the title of the series; it’s extremely clever, but it works a different way for people who have read the story and for those who haven’t. Again, it’s clever. I was happy that Resident Alien was returning, but let’s find out if it was worth the wait. (Spoiler it was!) Much like the zero issue for the first volume of Resident Alien, this chapter of the story was spread throughout Dark Horse Presents originally. Now, collecting the story like this hasn’t worked perfectly every time for Dark Horse, but it works particularly well for Resident Alien. I don’t know if it’s intentionally structured by the creators with the zero issue in mind or if it’s just that the style of story lends itself to both formats; whichever it is (or both) it works.
The first segment of the story follows Asta and her father as they enter Harry’s dreamscape. It’s a stunning visual as Asta is dressed and painted in Native American paint, almost warrior inspired. Her father guides her to Harry and they can plainly see him for what he is… an alien. He tells her that he’s fine, but that if he leaves the town he’ll be discovered and followed. He tells her to convince him to stay in Patience.
The story then flashes back three years ago to the government trying to piece together the details of the wrecked spaceship they found, Harry’s wrecked space ship. They run through all the details that we learned near the end of the last volume, but a startling discovery comes from the ATM that Harry used… his picture was taken. The government boys actually sell the story as being a hoax to the higher-ups because they don’t know what to do and have nothing other than the photo to go off of, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not expecting to find an alien eventually.
The story continues this pacing as it bounces between the past and the present and builds toward the next mystery of the volume. I enjoyed the interlaced backstory and learning more about Harry’s early days on the planet, but also the government’s take on everything. I think that part was the most interesting to me personally.
I was obviously already familiar with the characters when I came into the story, but Hogan did a great job of slowly reintroducing the cast of characters and sneaking back story into their dialogue. I really liked anything involving Harry and the scenes with his past were very cool. The fact that he has a sonic screwdriver is awesome and no it’s probably not called “sonic screwdriver”, but it’s still awesome.
Parkhouse’s art is as spot on in this volume as the last. There’s no change in the quality of the art and if anything his style is developing more. That’s saying a lot considering this wasn’t released that long after the first volume. The opening scene with Asta and her father exploring Harry’s head was beautiful and really sells the idea of being inside a dreamscape without warping the image or making it look like tripping on acid. I appreciate that because I’ve never had an acid dream and I get really tired of seeing them in comics just because it seems like a cool effect.
I’m pumped for this series and I like the fact that the creators have kept it to just three issues again. This zero issue is very successful in catching you up in time for the second volume, but also getting you excited for the series as well. I think it’s going to be as good as or better than the last series and that’s saying a lot. Even if you read the DHP issues you should check it out as a complete read, it’s definitely worth it.
Creators: Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse
Writer: Peter Hogan
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 8/14/13