There a very few rules in the world of comic books, but when Mike Mignola picks up his pen, you pay attention. That’s a given. This is after all and amongst many other achievements, the person who gifted the world Hellboy. If nothing else, the man deserves all the accolades afforded to him for that piece of genius, but never one to rest on his laurels, Mignola is back with the steampunk hero Radio Spaceman. The character of Radio Spaceman was born, when Mignola’s pencil sketches made their way online and quickly went viral. Fast forward a couple of years and we have a new fully fleshed out (so to speak) hero to enjoy.
The character of Radio Spaceman is a typical Mignola creation, brought to life by the wonderful art of Greg Hinkle and coloured by Mignolaverse associate Dave Stewart. It’s drab grey space suit swings the attention to the variety of tubes and weapons sticking out it, topped off by what seems to be a levitating skull in a helmet. Think Darth Vader meets Skeletor, but far more affable.
The story itself is classic sci-fi. Part one of this two-part series, introduced our new hero as it searches for survivors from a crashed shuttle on Numa 4 who seemed to have vanished and such is life, there are unseen threats yet to come when they discover a mysterious temple. Part two kicks off with Radio Spaceman in the thick of it all, kicking ass and taking names, while the previously unknown threat makes itself known, but as Radio Spaceman tries to make its escape, a seemingly undead third party appears from the crash site. Friend or foe?
At two parts long, you are left clamouring for more, but rest assured, that this is Mignola at his best and there is something here for fans old and new of his. The blend of pulp action hero crossed with steampunk anti-hero, is one of his fortes and Radio Spaceman is another character, and book, to cherish… Chris Andrews