Becstar #1 Review
Becstar #1 is a science fiction/fantasy comic about your not so average run of the mill outlaws/smugglers. It’s written by Joe Corallo with art by Lorenzo Colangeli, coloring by Sweeney Boo and lettering by Joamette Gil.
Becstar is a star hopping mercenary-gone-full time-gambler light years away from earth. Leaving her old life behind with the help of her magical lucky dagger and friend Sally Soolin, Becstar ekes out a living under the nefarious Shadow Syndicate’s radar. But when a mysterious girl appears with grim news and an urgent quest where the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, Becstar has no choice but to join… and regret it immediately.
Becstar #1 Story
Becstar dislodges us into a universe which is governed by the rules of science fiction as much as fantasy. We are introduced to Paprika, the young protege of smuggler Turlough, who seems to possess a rod of unfathomable power and foresight. Turlough, sensing danger is nearby quickly sends Paprika away with the rod itself. All before a quick siege involving a killer Android murders Turlough in cold blood.
We are quickly introduced to a female Han Solo archetype that has given up the smuggling lifestyle for a world of gambling. Accompanied by Sally Soolin, her friend and co-pilot, we learn that Becstar is far from the dashing rogue we’d come to expect from these types of science fiction operas. She has a “luck dagger” because reasons which seems to get her out of the worst scrapes.
Eventually, after a rough and tumble with a variety of casino security guards, Paprika meets up with Becstar. Becstar, who is being pursued by the Shadow Syndicate, a shadowy organisation (sorry, it’s late!) run by the enigmatic gangster: Mordecai. It seems that many a year ago, Becstar, Turlough and Mordecai were once part of the same group of smugglers before it disbanded. Leading you, the reader of this sci-fi smuggler-con, to come to the conclusion that Mordecai is taking care of loose ends.
Joe Corallo’s script work takes us into a world which is confusing to start with. The world of Becstar seems at odds with ourself. You don’t know what assignment of genre rules that Corallo is playing with: science fiction or fantasy? It appears that both are at play and that he’s depicting a loose version of Star Wars Episode 2 era Coruscant.
Truthfully, Becstar is a world as vibrant as it is decadent. A world where smugglers are perfectly at home when an occupying force full of brainless automatons can allow each smuggler the chance to run rickshaw around them. Though, despite all this, the occupying force (Shadow Syndicate) seems like little more than a poor man’s Empire. And quite frankly, I grow tired of this overcrowded corner in the Science Fiction genre.
Becstar #1 Art
Lorenzo Colangeli’s style is a puzzling choice for this genre of comic book story. It feels very manga in certain panels with the depiction of the wide eyes, borderline tiny noses and lanky bodies of each and every character. While the enforcers barely fit on the page, Becstar barely plays into the strengths of its own art style.
There certainly are some superb crowd shots where Colangeli chooses to show off his world building chops. However, I feel it’s the close shots where I don’t know if Colangeli is drawing for an adult comic book or a YA comic book. At times it feels like Colangeli doesn’t know either.
Becstar #1 Conclusion
Colorist Sweeney Boo saves the day with her jaw dropping manipulation of the comic palette. Lending more to a cyberpunk style which again makes you feel like “do we know what we’re trying to accomplish here?” Does the artistic substance match the story? I’m afraid not.
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