Resident Alien: An Alien In New York #1
Writer: Peter Hogan
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Aliens and mysteries go together like conspiracy theories and shut-ins, but they also make for some amazing stories. Resident Alien, for those who don’t know, follows the story of a visitor from another world who hides in plain sight with the help of natural psychic abilities. The first issue of this new mini-series, the fifth for Resident Alien, has some Lebowski-style bowling, a love triangle and a solid classic noir feel.
Parkhouse’s heavy ink strokes and energetic lines help give the relaxed action of the panels an undercurrent of tension. Hogan and Parkhouse have been collaborating on this title since before its 2013 inception, so it’s little surprise that the pages have a fantastic rhythm and flow. Like any great pot-boiler, the action starts off slow. Our protagonist is under threat of blown cover, and combined with the prospect of another from his race on the planet sets the stage for a voyage to the Big Apple.
Immortal Men #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Scott Williams/ Jim Lee
When Dark Nights: Metal wrapped up, DC fans were treated to a montage of the universe to come. The DC universe we know and love, as a result of the events of Metal, has been thrown into a much, much, much larger universe. While it remains to be seen the full impact this will have, Immortal Men pulls back some of the curtains to reveal an epic struggle going on literally beneath our feet. In this very Gaimainesque world, we quickly find out that things are pretty dark on the other side of the mirror.
This first issue centers on Caden Park, a kid from a wealthy family in New York City who senses he’s destined for bigger things. His psychiatrist equates this to a good heart and overactive imagination, but this is a comic book with a metahuman pantheon on the cover, which means that’s definitely not the case and keeps the pages turning. The Batman Who Laughs is also a part of this storyline, demonic Robins in tow, which undoubtedly has many readers instantly curious. Tynion has constructed a classic mutiny in heaven conceit, and it’ll be exciting to see how much the imbalance shakes the world. What’ll be more exciting is Williams’ dazzling action sequences as Caden Park comes into his own.
Darth Vader #14
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Some of the Star Wars titles in Marvel’s oeuvre have been more Attack of the Clones and less Empire Strikes Back. However, the Darth Vader books have consistently breathed new life into a mythic character, complete with the creepy noises. The covers alone for Vol. 2 are usually incredible, but Camuncoli is clearly one with the force for this illustration. The real draw of the Darth Vader books is seeing the road that led him to threatening Princess Leia on the silver screen four decades ago. He was a very busy warlord in the meantime, and a villain you find yourself rooting for. After all, spoiler alert, he does get redeemed at the end.
Marvel’s editing and direction team are doing some fantastic heavy lifting for Burning Seas, the current storyline, now on part 2, which offsets the current Star Wars storyline of Revolt on Mon Cala. If you ever wondered how Mon Cala came to be in the Rebellion, the two titles are offering two distinct historical viewpoints. Bonus points for fan service with Raddus and Ackbar. As far as Darth Vader is concerned, he’s aiming to take over a planet covered entirely by water. His goon squad of Inquisitors is terrifying, but Soule has the measure of the man and never lets the Sith-lackeys come close to outshining the Chosen One.
There were a ton of really great books this week, and it’s impossible to be happy with just three books. We’d love to hear about your favorites for this week in the comments!