Resident Alien (Vol. 3): The Sam Hain Mystery: The mystery of an old pulp fiction novelist

Resident Alien (Vol. 3): The Sam Hain Mystery by Peter HoganResident Alien (Vol. 3): The Sam Hain Mystery By Peter Hogan (writer) and Steve Parkhouse (artist)

In Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery, Harry’s arrival in the town of Patience a few years ago is revealed as well as how he acquired the money needed to live for years without an income. We also find out why he came to earth in the first place. These flashbacks are accompanied with what the secret government agency is doing to track down Harry (code name Icarus). Given the mistake he made in the last volume, the agency has picked up his trail again: A random photographer accidentally got pictures of Harry and Asta in the background of a picture he was taking and has published pictures of Harry on the web. The link goes viral, and the government intensifies their search for Icarus.

In Patience, Harry is moving from the cabin outside of town that he’s lived in for the past two-and-a-half years. With the help of Asta’s friend, Download, he moves into the doctor’s old quarters above the clinic where he works. He mainly has books and DVDs to move, so Asta makes fun of him when he goes to the bookstore to get yet another book: A Sam Hain mystery novel by Rex Monday, a series of books that Harry is particularly fond of, and it’s where the title of this volume comes from. When the bookstore owner tells him that the author Rex Monday is supposed to live somewhere nearby in Patience, Harry has yet another mystery to solve. Who in town, who must be quite old, wrote these books under the pen name of “Rex Monday?” When he finds a briefcase hidden in the old doctor’s office, he discovers more clues, and the volume follows Harry while he’s hot on the trail of solving this book’s mystery. That mystery leads to a possible murder in the past, so volume three of Resident Alien is a murder mystery of sorts like the first two volumes.

This is another five-star book. Resident Alien is very consistent in its art and in the writing. The stories are slow-paced with lots of conversation, yet they read quickly. Hogan really takes the time to fully develop his characters, particularly Harry and Asta, but he lets us get to know the people of the small town of Patience, too. And this allows for some moving scenes, as is the scene when Harry finally confronts a murderer. It’s a tale of domesticity gone bad and the scars that family members can take on. These volumes need to be read in order, and this book is another must-read in the 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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  1. I loved the “reveal” of the author’s identity. And wow, at the end it looks like trouble is coming for Harry and Asta.

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