Review: Resident Alien: The Man with No Name #1

With so many great series concluding this year or last, Resident Alien has become Dark Horse’s best series. Sure it debuts in DHP first and then is collected as mini-series, but it’s a system that seems to work. “The Man With No Name” sees things heating up as the government is starting to circle Harry like a hungry vulture. They’re unfortunately closer than he knows and due to some simple mistakes, they’re lead right to Asta. Due to her father’s planning, though, she’s a big unrecognizable, which has saved her and Harry for the moment.

resident-alien-v4-1The rest of the issue is, of course, used to set up Harry’s newest mystery which seems to be his biggest yet. There’s a smell, a bum, and a fire. How are they all tied together? You’re guess is as good as mine at the moment.

Peter Hogan paces this story with perfection. All of the different story elements hit the correct beats when needed and always carry the story forward. In several ways, Hogan writes this series as a TV show. Usually, that’s a bad thing, but here I think it’s a happy coincidence. That and I would watch this as a TV show or at least a series of mini-series. The twists and turns that Hogan writes always hold your interest. The only thing that this issue is lacking is more information on Harry’s life before Earth. While I feel that Hogan has done a great job of making the reader know and understand Harry, I now find myself wanting to know more of his backstory. Not all of it all at once, but sprinkled in like the government stuff. It’s curious to see if Asta and her father will see him without his façade in the next issue and how that will change the series.

I love Steve Parkhouse’s art on Resident Alien. I’ve seen some of his art elsewhere, and it didn’t grab me as it does here. I could see his recognizable style, and that was great, but something about what he illustrates here sings off the page. From his covers to the way he’s masterfully made us as readers forget that Harry is an alien. His coloring is also to be noted. I find myself studying his coloring more and more with each issue, and I don’t know if a lot of people do what he does in comics. It’s a delight and shows his level of detail from inks to color.

This series is off to a strong start, but time will tell if it’s about Harry’s latest mystery or about the government closing in on him. It should be good either way. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, this isn’t a great spot to start. Yes, there’s a recap page, but Hogan didn’t feed all that info into the story like he’s done previously. That and the first three volumes are worth reading.

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Resident Alien: The Man with No Name #1 Writer: Peter Hogan Artist: Steve Parkhouse Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital