‘Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery #0’ – Advance Comic Book Review (Take Me to Your Reader)

After surviving a crash landing that destroyed his spaceship, a stranded alien hopes to live quietly undercover in Patience, USA, masquerading as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle—a semi-retired doctor—until his home world can find him. He has some alien powers of empathy and the ability to mask his odd appearance from most people, which comes in handy after the local mayor and police chief both ask for Harry’s help. Harry replaces the town’s murdered doctor and also gets involved in the case, sparking a deep interest in forensics but leading him down some dangerous paths . . .

Such begins the exposition of Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery, written by Peter Hogan and with art by Steve Parkhouse. This special #0 issue collects Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery chapters 1 to 3, originally serialized in Dark Horse Presents Volume 3, #1 through #3, published in 2014, now brought together in the first of multiple collections to be released in the future.

You really need the exposition at the beginning of the collection, otherwise, you’re going to be playing some guessing games until future issues may reveal a bit more through the story itself. As for the The Sam Hain Mystery that has yet to be revealed, unless it will, at a later time, incorporate the pagan holiday of Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year, celebrated on October 31st, I have no idea where that may be going.

Let’s start with our main man (alien), Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, usually referred to by others by simply “Doc” or “Harry.” Two men we know little about are trying to track him down. Potentially military, CIA, FBI, or Area 51 extremists (who can say at this point), but they do have the ability and resources to dispatch a team. Other than knowing that they refer to our main man (the alien) as “Icarus,” we know only one other thing about the two men dressed in black. That one thing being Jack Schitt, and Jack left town.

Back to Icarus, imagine Kif from Futurama a bit taller, greyish, and has a backbone, along with some alien powers to assist in avoiding being discovered by most humans. At points he looks suave, and other times he reminds you of a well-aged, small town doctor, with a cane in one hand and a doctor’s bag in the other.

Finally, we have what seems to be a soon-to-be main character named Asta. A young Native American woman who knows Doc or Harry fairly well and is friendly as can be. The fact that Icarus is on a mission to track down a lost piece of alien technology that crashed to Earth remains to be seen.

Not knowing where this story is going so far, it can be easy to pass over. You root for the good guy and get the feeling that problems are well on their way. Is Icarus becoming more and more Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle and forgetting his mission, becoming more of a fixture on Earth than expected? Only time or exposition will tell.

If you’re in for a long haul, which this has the potential to be, give Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery a chance. If you’re already committed to a few titles or a video game or two, you may want to save it for a more complete collection.

You can thank me later.

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