Station to Station
By Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman
Station to Station is one-shot comic book that was originally featured in Dark Horse Presents #19-21. For a single issue the scope is quite big but it often felt confusing. There are other Dark Horse writers who seemed to have mastered the one-shot book, but Station to Station felt like it tried to take on far too much for such a short story. However, that is not to say it is without its positive aspects.
Right from the opening panel the reader is thrown directly into the midst of the plot. There has been a massive laboratory explosion which seems to have torn open a rift to alternate timelines, allowing both strange and magnificent creatures into our reality. Certainly an intriguing concept, there were portions of the story that were relatively confusing and disjointed in delivery. These points were addressed later in the book, but the resolution of this confusion felt like it wasn’t presented quick enough, allowing the bewilderment to dominate while reading. Furthermore, the central characters would too often seem to understand what was happening without any indication of how they could’ve possessed this information.
Despite these issues, Station to Station was definitely an interesting tale. However, it would have greatly benefited from being presented as a full mini-series, allowing the authors a chance to not only sculpt some sort of back story, but also to continue with this great concept they have created. At one point the main protagonist states “I thought we were building a window…it turned out to be a door.” This concept of converging timelines has fantastic potential and it would be great to see it explored in greater depth. There is even a seemingly domesticated pterodactyl-like creature wearing riding gear that appears during the story, and it’s the little hints of cool ideas like this that would make for a great mini-series or ongoing book.
The artwork itself is rather typical of a number of Dark Horse titles, although this is not a bad thing. The thick inks and rigid shadowing are well suited to this type of supernatural horror, and a number of the more bizarre creatures actually look strikingly similar to many of those seen throughout the B.P.R.D. books. The characters themselves look great and are well-detailed. The colors in particular often lend a rather noir sensibility to many scenes, particularly those which are detailed in a fairly monochromatic style. This aspect of the art also serves to enhance the realism throughout the story, with well-organized tones that bring each panel to life.
Although this book often felt like it bit off more than it should have for a one-shot story, Station to Station definitely brought a sense of the epic to single issue story-telling. The entire book is incredibly action-packed and fast paced, and there are some tremendous ideas presented throughout. The writing could have been better organized and accompanied with more explanation, but again, this is a result of trying to tackle such a big story with so few pages.