Starside #1 Normalises A World About to be Invaded
Starside #1 spends more time balancing the tension of an invading alien armada with assumed ongoing teen drama. Less time penning the development of chief protagonist Jack and his school friends.
No complaints here. Though an interesting move to spend so much time world building a series. Setting the scene as it were. When most indie comic creators would simply go the prequel ONE SHOT route instead. I admire a team of creators with balls and stick to believing in their IP.
So what is Starside all about?
The last page kicks has the short blurb:
“When an extra terrestrial fleet rips Jack away from his ordinary life on earth, he is dropped into a war-torn universe where he discovers interplanetary slavers, a crusading army, and the origins of Humanity.”
An interesting technique that not only sets up what’s to come next. But also has set up this Faculty meets Alien Hunters teen love fest, as an introduction into Starside’s world. This comic merely sets the stage while keeping us interested enough to move on to the second issue. Despite this, the creators need to consider bundling the sale of issues 1 and 2 as a pack.
Starside initially kicks off with a two page time jump to Jack running into some ruins on an unknown planet. Complete with double edged sword in hand.
The next scene touches on the relationship Jack has with his sister. The strong emotional ties that link the pair. Complete with a certain degree of neuroticism toward his sister’s own well being. Typical big brother stuff. A character flaw we’ll no doubt see explored in future issues.
What happens next scene is a slow introduction into Jack’s social life and his own fears of failure. One with an upcoming exam. The next with a girl he seems to like. It’s the usual teenage bullshittery at play here. Grounding the story to similar surroundings we can all relate to. Those of us who’ve graduated high school, anyway.
Class starts. This is soon interrupted by a sequence of events that start with what I immediately assumed as warnings of an earthquake. I certainly expect what followed – the appearance of an alien spacecraft. Nor did I expect the evacuation of the school children to an underground shelter. Immediately followed by an invading alien force busting down the shelter doors.
Stylistically the art is minimalist in approach which allows the dialogue the shine. However, the star of this comic book is in the colouring. Starside’s colouring of each page evokes the right amount of tone, emotion and personality. Adding a layer of depth that the penciling and dialogue could never hope to achieve on their own. Hold onto that colourist.
How did we rate Starside #1? 4 Sodas
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Editor & Writer. When not immersed in questionable 90s pop culture I can be found covering News and Reviews. Convinced 4/4 time signatures were invented by the devil.