Review – Sea of Stars #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Jason Aaron & Dennis Hallum
Artist: Stephen Green
Colourist: Rico Renzi
Letters & Design: Jared K. Fletcher
Release Date: 3rd July 2019

Space is really, really boring, right up until the second it isn’t. Gil is a space trucker, which sounds like it should be really cool but his son Kayden is finding the lack of black holes, exploding stars and Quarksharks a bit of a disappointment.

A sudden and impossible attack from a mythical space Leviathan sees the Big Rig torn in half and Kayden flung into space. His suit ruptured and venting oxygen, Gil must find a way to rescue his son. Kayden however, seems to be doing fine with his new companions, a talking monkey and a space dolphin. Kayden is also doing fine because somehow, he understands his new companions and more surprisingly, he hasn’t died, even though his suit is torn to shreds and he’s run out of oxygen.

Just when I think I’ve maxed out what I can reasonably add to my pull list, something like Sea of Stars comes along. I’ve had a bit of an on-off relationship with Image so far this year, I’ve felt there’s been a rush to fill the void left by Saga going on hiatus and there have been as many misses as hits. This however, is a brilliant, beautiful, fantastical first issue and Sea of Stars has all the makings of being something that could easily help fill the void.

In the thirty pages we get in this issue, we have a set up for what could be quite a long running epic fantasy adventure.  There’s the mystical powers that Kayden has been imbued with via an ancient relic, giant mythical creatures lurking in the vast dark corners of space, alien creatures both malignant and benign and of course the heroes quest in Gil’s battle to find and save his son. Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum have done a brilliant job of weaving this tale and I’ll be looking forward to seeing where they take us.

I spent the whole of this issue working out why the artwork seemed so familiar and then I noticed that Mike Mignola had provided a variant cover and a lightbulb went on. Stephen Green, is of course known for his regular work on B.P.R.D. and it shows in the inventiveness and detail in the way he brings to life Aaron & Hallum’s world.I loved the opening page where what looks like a cross between a mechanical fish and a schooner floats through a gorgeously realised nebula to the exclamation “space… is so crapping boring”.

The imagery of Space as the greatest of oceans is clearly and beautifully realised, in the design of the ships, space suits, the marine quality to a lot of the denizens of space. There’s a clear influence that comes from working with Mike Mignola’s titles, but don’t think that this is just another Mignola clone, Green delivers very much his own style and personality but with the polish of someone who’s worked with a master.

Rico Renzi does an incredible job on the colours, and for me, just adds the cherry to the top of the cake with dazzling nebulae, contrasting the almost ocean deep shadows and palette of colour in the depiction of the marine like creatures we encounter.

A great first issue and what I hope will be an epic fantasy for some time to come.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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