Resident Alien Vol. 1: Welcome to Earth TP
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 2013
Price: $14.99
Creator(s): Peter Hogan (writer) and Steve Parkhouse (artist)
Format: 104 pgs., Full Color, 7" x 10", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9-781-6165-5017-2
Age Rating: 12+
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
This clever graphic novel is an odd hybrid of science fiction and medical investigator story.  Think of it as The Man Who Fell to Earth blended with Body of Proof, and you won’t be far off.  One could easily imagine it as a BBC television show.
A humanoid alien has crashed on earth, and is trying to live a quiet, simple life in a small town.  His mental powers prevent the vast majority of people from seeing him as anything other than human.  He tells people that he's a retired doctor who just wants to be left alone.  He fishes, he dabbles, and he waits for rescue.  Then, the town’s real doctor dies, and the alien is talked into helping with a murder mystery.
This weird blend actually works fairly well, although purist fans of either police procedurals or science fiction may not be satisfied.  A few plot points are telegraphed, but the story works, once you accept the MacGuffin of the telepathic disguise.  One minor weakness is that most of the characters come across as stereotypes, so that the most "human" character in the story is the alien.
Parkhouse's art gave the book a visual appearance like European graphic albums, solid but not outstanding.  The story contains some violence and gore, and is aimed at older teens and adults.
--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.