It’s a time of peace, albeit a tenuous peace, in the Starcraft Universe. The Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg are currently at a cease-fire, but how long will it last? And what part does a scavenger crew have to play in the future of the universe? Let’s look at StarCraft: Scavengers #1 from Dark Horse Comics.
Writer: Jody Houser
Illustrated: Gabriel Guzman
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Cover Art: Gabriel Guzman, Michael Atiyeh
Variant Covers: Timothy Greene II & Wei Wang
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in StarCraft: Scavengers: The United Earth Directorate has a treaty with the alien Protoss and the savage Zerg races. There is a strong possibility that a new era of peace could be right around the corner if everyone complies. But the scavenger ship The Magpie is in route to the Koprulu sector, and their actions may have a detrimental effect on a hard one peace.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE PICKERS WILL FIND
Aboard the Kel-Morian space ship The Magpie, they are working with a new crew. Young Caleb is their new engineer, and he seems as green as a farm-grown apple. Luckily he has a friend in the red-haired Kyra, with whom he grew up. As comfortable as Kyra is on ship, that is how uncomfortable Caleb is. He won’t have time to adjust though, because Captain Theban announces to the crew their purpose in the sector: he has his eyes on a derelict Protoss ship. The plan is to board the ship and gather every piece of tech that could be of any interest to anyone and, sell them to the highest bidder, and make more money than they can imagine. Everyone is in on the boarding party, and preparations begin.
But a curious conversation occurs between the captain, his second, and Kyra, as it seems the crew has different allegiances than what is displayed on the surface. Soon after, the crew boards the abandoned ship, and eager to gut it of useful items before its orbit decays and sends it burning up in the atmosphere. That is until their plan hits a snag, and the race against death begins in earnest.
IN SPACE, THEY PROBABLY WILL STILL HEAR YOU SCREAM
I will admit, I am not fluent in the StarCraft mythology. I was a player back in the days of the original and the expansions, but never really got into the series later installments. Keeping that in mind, I believe that Jody Houser (Faith, Star Wars: Thrawn) has done an excellent job of updating the reader enough to where even those of us with only a passing knowledge of the series will know what is going on. She installs plenty of flashback sequences to let you know about the characters at hand, as well as to educate the reader on the nature of the antagonist of the series. There are some nice sequences, and she really relays the character’s personalities through their speech. It was an enjoyable read.
Gabriel Guzman (Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows, Amory Wars) is similarly pleasing. Guzman has a clean style that is detailed and well executed. It is consistent between characters, from the naivety of Caleb to the friendly enthusiasm of Kyra. The feel of science fiction is well maintained, and balanced out well with the low-tech look of the characters. They look like they are scavengers, without degrading to the point of caricature, but the world feels possible. Also, the panel layout is worth noting. There is a technique of framing the flashback sequences without using panels, and colorist Michael Atiyeh (Mass Effect, Dragon Age) successfully colors those panels, using the color strokes to define the edges. It’s a simple technique, but it differentiates the present from the past and or imagined. All in all, a solid, enjoyable creative team.
BOTTOM LINE: ENTERTAINING AND LIGHT, WITH A PROMISE OF DARK CONSEQUENCES.
A solid beginning to a behind-the-scenes story that shows you a part of the Starcraft Universe where you are not immediately fighting off a Zerg rush. If you are a fan of the sci-fi, check it out. If you are a fan of the game, it is a no-brainer pick-up.