While continuity can be great, it is also very refreshing to sit down with a comic book and begin reading it with no lore to recall or character/plot expectations.
This has always been a quality of some of Mike Mignola’s best stories from the Hellboy and Baltimore universes, and even though each sandbox has certainly built up some canon over the years, the single stories are still accessible to new and casual fans alike.
Mignola and artist Greg Hinkle’s new collaboration, Radio Spaceman: Mission to Numa 4, is the epitome of this aesthetic, and boy, is it a fun comic to read! Spacemen, skeletons, rockets, beast men, elder gods, and some more surprises race across the page in this frenetic tale, where Hinkle’s visuals tell the majority of the story with highly detailed panels that hint at a much larger backstory, but do not take the time to explain anything.
This quality is actually a very good thing in terms of the pacing, but also allows the reader to go back and fully digest the illustrations with all of their technological and space landscape goodness. Hinkle changes the size and shape of the panels frequently, which also adds to the sumptuous visual layout, and adds a cinematic quality to the comic. As always, frequent Mignola collaborator Dave Stewart provides just as much in terms of the color scheme, helping to being each unique environment to life.
Radio Spaceman (which started as a random sketch by Mignola) captures all of the fantastic elements of 1950s sci-fi and monster movies, filtered through a modern Lovercraftian lens (and if that sentence doesn’t send fans of Mignola’s work racing to their local comic shops, I don’t know what else will).
With only one more issue left in the two issue series, I don’t really want any questions answered (not that there really is any time left to), but I do want more issues of Radio Spaceman after this brief and entertaining ride ends.
Radio Spaceman: Mission to Numa 4 #1 will be in stores on March 2.