Resident Alien: The Man With No Name (#1 – 4) – Peter Hogan

4 out of 5

Can we all agree that we’d be content with only occasional Resident Alien minis being published, and Marvel and DC can just quit?  Maybe some Lobster Johnson one-shots along the way, but that’s it.  Saga is definitely canceled.  Yes?  You’re on board?

Paul Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s brilliant series delivers another low stakes but effective mystery, interestingly adding quite a bit to Harry’s character (and definitely changing the dynamic of stories to come) without actually featuring him too directly.  That is, we get a fair amount of time with the “others” in our smallish world – the government agents tracking Harry, the officer also investigating the potential murder of a homeless man – who’s mumblings to Harry in his final minutes trigger this series’ quest – and most importantly, Asta and her father.

While previous minis sometimes struggled to integrate these pieces, Man With No Name balances that by having Harry be present, but not necessarily narrating the whole thing.  We learn about him through his interactions with others, which is fitting for this title, which is one of quiet observation.  The ‘mystery,’ as usual, ends up taking something of a hit, being resolved sort of offhand after the fact, but this also somewhat reinforces the very grounded feeling of the title, forever ironic for its alien main character.

Parkhouse knocks this out of the park.  The digital colors are at the precise tipping point of being too “clean” for Steve’s loose but clear pencils; the images of just people talking leap off the page, full of life and characterization.  …The only oddity being two female characters who happen to look exactly alike, save one keeps her hair up and the other down.  A final scene where hair up girl wears her hair oppositely seems like trolling us.  Oh well.

Resident Alien continues to take its aw shucks time to construct its quaint and confortable corner of the sci-fi light universe, fluffing pillows and getting the iced tea ready for what will absolutely be your enjoyable stay.

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