One of the key strengths of this story is the way Bechko and Hardman use ambiguity to develop Station to Station. This review aims to remain as spoiler free as possible even though this originally was published serially through Dark Horse Presents.
The opening sequence starts with the immediate aftermath of an explosion at a lab on the island. Bechko and Hardman put together a tight story built around suspense and tension set on Treasure Island in San Francisco, which springs from an experiment gone wrong.
Bechko and Hardman run Station to Station at a pace that feels like greased lightning on rails as the story’s characters and plot unfold through layers. Tim, the chief scientist from the lab, finds himself laying in a pile of rubble.
Immediately, Station to Station grabs the reader’s attention with its cold opening where no one knows what’s going on, including Tim. Before he can even make sense of what’s going on, a dinosaur appears ready to make a meal out of him. That makes a great starting point to bring the reader into the story with each panel a cliffhanger that makes the pages fly.
Since Station to Station puts some of its cards immediately on the table (in this case the cover) with the giant creature from the Bulk, it’s fair to say that this creature figures prominently into the plot. In some ways, the use of the creature fits the conventions of monster movies, but the way Bechko and Hardman use it, especially in the end, makes for one of the more interesting story twists in recent horror/monster comics.
Hardman creates a beautifully retro vibe that captures elements of vintage horror and monster films like Godzilla and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, making Station to Station fantastical and amazing in its energy and feel. His colors and line work pops from panel to panel like the movie art from the era, evoking a time when imagination was limitless.
Hardman’s visual storytelling skills are at their best in Station to Station, particularly with the visual structure. One particular page offers a great sense of design with the way Hardman does the layouts and coloring of a flashback prior to the explosion.
There’s no doubt that you will get as much of a story through art as you will words when reading any story Hardman illustrates. Station to Station is no exception in that regard. Every page, every panel runs like pure poetry in the way that it comes together. There’s a full sense of composition and dynamics that crackles and bristles with energy.
Overall, you would do yourself well to take fifteen minutes to escape from your mundane existence and lose yourself in the pure, unadulterated fantasy Bechko and Hardman deliver with Station to Station. This one takes my pick of the week for its pure fun.