Spacepig Hamadeus Versus the Spectre General

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.

Released prior to Geysers of Doom, Spectre General is split into three stories, all written by creator Donovan Yaciuk. The first story, Tremb’axx the Conqueror and the Unseen Hand, focuses on one of series “Big Bads” and his quest to rule the galaxy. We get glimpses of several important figures that we may never meet, including Dr. Hayden, who is referenced in the previous issue (written several year after this one), and an oddly specific focus on Edgar Magnus at the expense of the other characters shown in the scene. We are also introduced to Queen Rockdora of the Planet Devler in the Seventh Dimension. I love the setup on this. Queen Rockdora is the perfect depiction of a classic sci-fi villainess, and the villain in love with the villainess subplot is equally classic.

The second story, Dillo Dhatta and the Scarlet Harvest, takes place in a prison located in the Syrtis Major region of Mars. It introduces Dillo Dhata and Siara Princess of Thandalis, both of whom are prisoners of Tremb’axx. The story also gives us another look at Tharis, who was also a major player in Geysers of Doom. This story felt much less “classic” than the other stories, but should be continued in Spacepig Hamadeus and the Captive Planet. It is my least favorite of the stories I’ve read so far, but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

The final story finally brings us to the titular character, with Spacepig Hamadeus Versus the Specter General. The story gives us a disappointingly short tale with Hamadeus attempting to retrieve the Celestial Crimson Ruby from the Spectre General, who is himself trying to deliver it into the hands of Tentaclor and the Intergalactic Crime League. While short, it was a great story and Shane Nitzsche’s art was some of my favorite in the series so far. Once again, this story is basically a setup to be continued in Spacepig Hamadeus and the Ambush at the Hourglass Sea (which was actually the first story published).

I enjoyed this issue, but am only giving it 3 out of 5 stars, based mainly on the strength of the previous issue. I recognize that isn’t completely fair, given that Geysers of Doom was actually published after this one and, therefore, has a bit more polish to it. Given that this is a series (out of order or not), that sort of comparison is inevitable, though.

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