Spacepig Hamadeus is not your typical comic book series. It was inspired but the wonderfully cheesy (to us) sci-fi serials of the the past, like Flash Gordon, Space Patrol, and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet. As such, Spacepig Hamadeus isn’t numbered. Each of the four issues has its own title, and were both written and published out of sequence. I will be reviewing them in the recommended reading order, not publication order, and labeling them in that sequence.
Captive Planet is the fourth (and most recent) title in the Spacepig Hamadeus series, and it is also the largest. The book is split into four stories, each very different in style and tone and, for the first time, two of them were written by someone other than creator Donovan Yaciuk.
The first story is Spacepig Hamadeus and the Captive Planet, written by Donovan Yaciuk with art split between Shane Nitzsche and Ryan Howe. Picking up from Ambush at the Hourglass Sea, Hamadeus emerges from the wreckage of the XT-47 unable to remember anything. The previously seen holomessage from Professor Hayden repeats itself and, just as it reaches the vital point where it was interrupted before, our hero passes out. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself in a gladiator battle alongside Princess Siara of Thandalis and Dillo Dhatta (last seen in Spectre General) against the giant squid monster Torguu. Eventually, the trio escapes (with the help of Prince Quinias of the Undersea Kingdom of Sarn), only to find themselves lured into a trap at the Hill of the Skull. The adventure ends on a cliffhanger (as it should), and will be continued in the yet-to-be-published Spacepig Hamadeaus and the Hordes of the Eighth Dimension!
The second fantastic adventure is the silver-age stylized tale of Torguu the Tentacled Terror. Yaciuk again gives us a stellar story, detailing Torguu’s first encounters on Earth and his possible connection to the Celestial Crimson Ruby. Ryan Howe’s art is beautifully accentuated by classically textured colours, also by Yaciuk.
The third story, Rasslin’ Business, is written by Chad Derdwoski with art by James Zintel. It gives us a glimpse into the gladiator games that Tremb’axx the Conqueror holds on Mars.
Finally, we are presented with The Great Martian Train Robbery, in which writer Chad Ginter gives a train heist to find a satellite uplink to be used against Tremb’axx. This is the second time I’ve come across Nyco Rudolph’s art recently and I am fairly in love with everything I’ve seen.
4+ out of 5 stars for this. Three of the stories in this were out-of-the-park great and the fourth was still a solid offering. The only thing disappointing here is that Hordes of the Eighth Dimension isn’t planned for release until next year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it comes out sooner!
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