Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #2
I was a little concerned, when I read Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #0, that the feds searching for our protagonist, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, would take up more of this miniseries than I wanted. I liked the idea of finding out more about how the alien came to understand our culture and settle in a small town, but I didn’t look forward to another guys-in-suits-chasing-around story.
I’m pleased to say that this issue is just what I wanted. We do get a few hints as to Dr. Harry’s integration into our world — and, through well-chosen dialogue, some indication of how he views us — but most of this chapter revolves around him investigating a girl’s murder. He’s accompanied by his nurse, Asta, to Seattle, where they find out more about the victim’s background. She was a student, so they interrogate her roommate and classmates. True to the form of this kind of mystery, she was into some unpleasant stuff.
On its surface, this is a classically plotted murder mystery with a distinctive investigator, but as I read more of the Resident Alien stories, I realize that we’re learning more than we realize about Harry and the townsfolk he’s met. Writer Peter Hogan has a real way with words (the phrase “prehistoric porn” was a particular favorite this issue), while artist Steve Parkhouse’s figures as real and involving. I wish I could meet these folks — although since it would likely only happen if I was involved in a murder, better not.
This story is also a terrific choice for comics, since Harry can be drawn in a way that visually shows us he’s an alien — purple head, glossy marble eyes, elf-like ears — while everyone’s normal reactions to him remind us that they can’t see what we do. The concluding issue to this story, #3, is due out November 13. We’re promised to see more about the agents there. I hope there’s more coming after that. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)
Update: The collected edition is now available.