Writers: Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman
Artist: Gabriel Hardman
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Modern day monster comic Station to Station might look new on the shelves this week, but it predates Pacific Rim by a few months. This one shot was originally serialized in Dark Horse Presents last year. Reading it piecemeal must’ve highlighted the massive storytelling differences between this comic from 2013 and the old Silver Age work it’s indebted to. Steve Ditko could’ve told this story in six pages, but here it stretches out to 24.
There’s an upside to that, of course—it’s just more space for Gabriel Hardman to fill in with his realistically gritty artwork. The Toth influence is still deep with Hardman, defined in thick, clean lines, a dark palette, and chiaroscuro-drenched action scenes. Hardman is capable of classic adventure comics glory in the style of the masters of the form, and Station to Station is some of his finest work yet. It looks like a Joe Maneely horror comic.
Hardman wrote the script with Star Wars Legacy scribe Corinna Bechko. Simplicity is often a virtue, but this might be a little too sparse. Science embarrasses itself once again and accidentally materializes a gigantic alien monster in an island off San Francisco. Two scientists try to defeat it while avoiding its psychic Stockholm syndrome. The plot avoids cheap twists, which is a plus, and would make a fine prelude to a larger story. Who knows—buy this comic and maybe that’ll happen. Again, though, in the late ‘50s this would take up five pages in the back of Journey Into Mystery. Somewhere down the road Station to Station will make a great addition to a Hardman collection.