Resident Alien (Vol. 2): The Suicide Blonde: Another murder mystery for an alien detective

Resident Alien (Vol. 2): The Suicide Blonde by Peter HoganResident Alien (Vol. 2): The Suicide Blonde By Peter Hogan (writer) and Steve Parkhouse (artist)

In Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde, the story opens with Asta (the nurse) and her father spirit walking in a dream-state, looking in on our resident alien, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle. Asta’s father warns her not to let Harry know that she knows he is an alien. They do not want to alarm Harry and cause him to run. Asta’s father says that there are people looking for him, and that if he runs, it will call unnecessary attention to Harry.

We also get flashbacks to three years ago when Harry first landed, and we see the government agency go into action trying to track him down after finding his spaceship. They have one image of Harry looking like an alien, an image taken from an ATM at a local mall not far from where Harry crashed. We also get scenes of Harry trying to escape the area three years ago. We follow him as he buys a car and begins his travels.

Meanwhile, Ethan, the new doctor, shows up right after Asta tries to talk Harry into staying on as the doctor in town. But with the new doctor’s being so young and arrogant, the town wants Harry to stay around to oversee Ethan until his three-month trial period is over. And then they want Harry to stay on as doctor again. Harry kindly agrees.

The main plot of this story arc starts when the chief of police asks Harry to look at the body of a young woman who apparently committed suicide. Upon further inspection, however, they might have another murder in town. So, in this story, we’ve got another murder for Harry to investigate. And when they find out the mayor, Bert, knew the woman, the clues start piling up. But to really investigate fully, Harry decides that he needs to go to Seattle, where the woman is from, and Asta agrees to drive him. So, in this volume, we get a road-trip story mixed with a murder mystery, punctuated with flashbacks of the government trying to track down the alien they have named Icarus.

This is a great book in a wonderful series. I love that they show Harry making his way across the U.S. three years ago and learning on the way. We watch him as he reads to learn about this new world. He reads books for kids before moving on to books on psychology and then finally to murder mysteries. We see the covers of the books he’s reading, like Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. When Asta finds his latest set of true crime books from the 1950s and 1960s, she makes fun of him for the old covers. Another reason I like the comic is because of the art. I like that the artist shows Harry as an alien to the readers while we know that to those around him he looks human (except to young children). And I love that these are murder mysteries with Harry as the detective. This series really is a must-read, five-star set of books. I hear the TV show is good as well. But whether you’ve seen the show or not, certainly check out what is now a six-volume series.


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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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3 comments

  1. I’m going to have to start reading this!

  2. I grabbed the omnibus edition today at Brian’s Comics in Petaluma, CA. Already read chapter 1. I love Harry… and (spoiler alert)
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    I loved that Harry couldn’t sense guilt from the killer because they felt none!

  3. I’m glad you’re reading and enjoying the comics! They are so very good.

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