Lightstep #1 Review

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A highly advanced civilization born on a rock flying through the galaxy at lightspeed. A young woman with a strange gift, which may wind up being more of a curse. A secret hidden away, but vital to the future. LIGHTSTEP #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

Lightstep #1 ReviewLIGHTSTEP #1 REVIEW

Writer: Milos Slavkovic, Mirko Topalski
Artist: Milos Slavkovic
Letterer: Andrej Bunjac
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Milos Slavkovic
Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 14th, 2018
Cover Price:  $3.99

Previously in LIGHTSTEP: Set in the world of the upcoming Eipix Entertainment video game, we find a humanity divided by social caste, with the lower classes living a distinctly different existence than those of the upper. However, there is a dark secret from the past that may change everything.

THE FUTURE AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT…

January Lee, a young woman of a high caste family, recites The Three Truths of the Primogenitor, as she has since she was a small child. Surrounded by others who share her privileged station in the world she reflects on the Truths, and how she has doubt in their meaning. The Truths state that the ills of the universe are due to genetic imperfections and tainted bloodlines, and that once all others are purged, except the true bloodline, the universe will finally know peace. She is a young woman with a crisis of faith and the source of that crisis shows itself in a strange way. Her fellows and teachers call it the Holy Ailment, a sign that the hand of the Primogenitor himself has touched her. We would say she suffers from seizures. Nevertheless, her seizures are special; they show the real truth, a genetic memory, which paints a different picture of the rise of the Primogenitor than the one she has been taught. Her family sees her seizures as a gift, even her simple-minded brother, Anu, who looks up to his sister. January has misgivings about the world she lives in.

January Lee lives on a Lightstep planet. These are small, moon-sized worlds propelled through space at near the speed of light. The higher your station in the order of things, the faster your planet moves. The faster your planet moves, the slower time passes for you. A person who calls a lower caste planet may live an entire lifetime in the span that it takes a high caste citizen to live through one day.

As January returns home from her daily activities, her Father greets her with great news; her family has been chosen by the Order of Purity to participate in the Following His Path Ceremony. The Ceremony follows the Primogenitors path of power to his fall, and it is a great honor for the family to be taking part of it. In fact, her brother Termion has a genetic make-up that shares ninety-seven genetic markers with the Primogenitor.  While the Ceremony is purported to be make-believe, a grand show, January looks at her brother Anu and feels fear.

The events of the Ceremony will take January Lee’s life in a direction she never anticipated, and may possibly have consequences for her world.

SCIENCE FICTION WITH A UNIQUE LOOK AND FEEL

My first read through of Lightstep was cold, with no knowledge of the video game of which it is supposed to tie into. Let me say upfront, I do not think the existence of a video game, in development or not, should affect the readers’ perception of this title in the least. If you are one who eschews reading media tie-in books, you might miss out on something good.

Written by Mirko Topalski (CEO for Eipix Entertainment) and Milos Slavkovic, who also provides the art for the series, Lightstep is a different story. The concept is based partially in Einstein’s theories regarding the speed of light, in that the closer to the speed of light you get, the slower time moves. The idea of a whole society that has designated its people and their worth based on, not only their genetic values but also their position relative to the speed of light, is massively interesting and original. It is one of those high concept ideas that you often see in science fiction short stories; on the surface, it is amazingly simple, but a complex system of possibilities lays beneath it.

Add to this concept artwork by Slavkovic, and it is the beginning of what could be a truly original tale. Moving away from the super technical designs of many hard science fiction works, Slavkovic takes a nod from the past and the Art Deco movement of the nineteen twenties and thirties. It is a smooth and slick design style, with layers of curves, which, while beautiful and complementary, almost certainly would seem extraneous in a real-world setting. The tech moves beyond the realm of the technology to resemble works of art. This is not the real world, however, that the opulence in which our heroine lives is darkly mirrored by the conditions the people who inhabit the slower planets live. I am eager to see the look of those slower planets in a more depth, and the way the first issues ends makes it clear that we will.

BOTTOM LINE: INTERESTING CONCEPT, BEAUTIFUL DESIGN, BUT CAN THE STORY SUPPORT IT?

Now that I have praised the plot, setting and design, let’s discuss the story. The story is the bones on which other aspects will rise or fall, so how does this one fair? I have to admit, not as well as one would hope. There is a lot which is left to the reader to figure out or assume. In an effort to keep you blind to the events to come and to cause a gripping experience, leaves some details on the proverbial floor. The dialogue works well, and the characterization is good. Characters such as Anu are heartbreakingly familiar, and you begin to almost feel for January, although not quite as much as you want to. There is too much of her personality left to the imagination to really care at this point. Her fate needed to be spelled out a little more to heighten the drama, in my opinion. But, as it stands, it is still a compelling story you want to check out.

Not without its flaws, LIGHTSTEP #1 looks as if it could bring some original ideas to the science fiction genre. I want to give it some time to grow, but the sprouts looks good so far.

Lightstep #1

77%
77%
Interesting Concept

Not without its flaws, LIGHTSTEP #1 looks as if it could bring some original ideas to the science fiction genre. I want to give it some time to grow, but the sprouts looks good so far.

  • Writing
    6
  • Art
    9
  • Coloring
    8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0
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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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