Review by Ian Keogh
Every volume of Space Boy features a portrait of a different character on the cover, and this time round it’s Doctor Kim, Oliver’s stepfather. He seems an unusual choice, as he’s only been seen once before, and then only briefly, although in Space Boy 2 featured in a scene that dropped a revelation and widened the mystery surrounding Oliver. However, he earns his cover portrait via a far longer and again definitive appearance here.
Space Boy 4 opens with Amy visiting Oliver at home, with some revelations provided immediately, followed by a hell of a lot more. To date the mystery about Oliver, and his attitudes to life have been minor intrusions in a high school drama. Stephen McCranie has obviously decided it’s time to step up the other plots, and over the opening half events become more and more sinister.
Toward the end of Space Boy 3 the problem of too much inconsequential content began to lessen, and McCranie applies the approach of all killer and no filler here. That doesn’t mean it’s an action rush from start to finish, but in stark contrast to earlier volumes everything is designed to move the story forward. In effect there are only three scenes, but each of them is meaningful, and each has a distinct mood.
Until now Space Boy has been a promising series with a lot of unnecessary scenes, but it’s to be hoped McCranie has now mastered the pacing to accompany his attractive art. What happens here opens a lot of doors, and Space Boy 5 offers more. Alternatively this material opens the second Space Boy Omnibus.