Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#Top5ComicBooks of 2015: #5 - "Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery" by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse

I'm surprised Resident Alien hasn't been optioned for a TV series..yet. From Dark Horse Comics, this sci-fi/detective series has good characters that would be fun to watch, but part of it's appeal is that it has a nice quiet, low-key tone to it. It's protagonist looks like an older Chameleon Boy from The Legion of Superheroes mixed with the cool demeanor of Mister's the Martian Manhunter comic book I would love to read from DC Comics, but they're not delivering. Thankfully, the team of Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse are offering something much better.

Stranded space alien Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle lives in the small town of Patience, Washington and presides as the resident 'town doctor'. He has a recessive telepathic ability that allows him to cloud minds and interact casually among humans without an elaborate disguise. Part of the suspense comes from his telepathy allowing a margin of error; there are humans capable of seeing his true form, particularly Asta, his nurse at the clinic, who became his friend and confidante. Since his showdown with a serial killer in the first arc, he's often shown walking with a cane after a leg injury. There's a subplot involving government agents slowly investigating his whereabouts, and a lingering mystery about the orange lunchbox-shaped object he's carried with him (the only article he's kept since his spaceship crashed) but that's still in the background. It's a bit Northern Exposure meets Diagnosis Murder with 5% Twin Peaks thrown in...those are awfully dated refrences..I'll add Gravity Falls to if Ford was revealed to be half-alien, less of an egghead and solved mysteries rather them compile them in journals, he'd be Harry Vanderspeigle.

At the forefront of the series is Harry's aplomb as an amateur sleuth. In The Sam Hain Mystery, he discovers the mystery novelist he admires may have resided in the town of Patience and left behind an unpublished manuscript with the town doctor - Harry's predecessor, but the only known writer of note is a cookbook author...

It's the third arc of the series and a fourth - The Man With No Name - will debut this year. It's schedule is similar to new episodes of Sherlock - a series of mini-series, so there's no chance the creators will tire of it or give in to nonsensical storylines. This series is a class act that is worth your time.

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