Mmm... Pulpy.

Mmm… Pulpy.

Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #0   

Created by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse

Script by Peter Hogan

Art by Steve Parkhouse

Review by Joey Braccino

A couple of years ago, Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s Resident Alien first debuted in the Dark Horse Presents anthology series. The original four-issue run told the story of Harry Vanderspiegle and a string of mysterious murders in Patience, USA. Of course, in true sci-fi fashion, Harry is actually a stranded alien whose ship crash-landed and one of those mysterious murders includes the town’s resident doctor. At the end of that series, Harry, the resident alien, replaces the resident doctor and everyone lived happily ever after. Until now.

With Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde, Dark Horse Comics has collected three shorts featuring Harry and the cast of Resident Alien that teased a sequel series from Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. The three stories are woven together seamlessly in this collected issue and serve as a prologue to another Resident Alien mini-series entitled The Suicide Blonde. This #0 issue provides some excellent background information on the players and flashbacks to Harry’s arrival (three years prior to the main action of the comic) on Earth.

The issue kicks off with a psychedelic, Native American-inspired dream sequence featuring some gorgeous artwork from Steve Parkhouse. The scene blends Twin Peaks and X-Files as it promises a larger, spiritual conspiracy at play surrounding Harry’s business in Patience. The next sequence is a flashback to, as is expected in a sci-fi alien romp, a shady Men-In-Black-esque government agency interested in a mysterious aircraft crash. Hogan’s script bounces back-and-forth between this government agency, Harry’s first days on Earth, and Harry heading to the local diner for a meeting with the Mayor. With all of the high-concept conspiracy and dream action is going on, Resident Alien’s true success comes from placing a purple, pointy-eared alien into the everyday, slice-of-life, Middle-American goings on of Patience, USA.

Sure, Harry’s in disguise to the characters in the book, but Parkhouse and Hogan make the brilliant choice of leaving Harry in his true form to the reader. Parkhouse’s artwork is reminiscent of John Romita, Jr.’s scratchy aesthetic mixed with Mike Allred’s pop sensibilities. It’s vibrant and pulpy and perfect for the Men In Black meets X-Files tone of the book.

Verdict

Worth a look. References to Men In Black, X-Files, and Twin Peaks aren’t just for fun—in terms of style and tone, Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #0 takes the sci-fi elements of aliens and UFOs and plugs them into white-picket-fence small-town, USA. Granted, I still don’t know who the eponymous Suicide Blonde is, but hey, I had a ton of fun reading this issue! Check it.

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About The Author

Joey Braccino took his BA in English and turned it into an Ed.M. in English Education. Currently, he brings comics back in a big way all day every day to public education. In addition to proselytizing the good word of comics to this nation’s under-aged citizenry, Joey is a firm believer in the academic and literary merits of cultural media more broadly—particularly film, radio, pop journalism, and social media. #Excelsior!

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