A father and his small son, alone on a delivery ship full of ancient artifacts. What if something were to go terribly wrong? Find out in Sea of Stars #1!
Writer: Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum
Artist: Stephen Green
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 3, 2019
Sea of Stars takes place in the future, in space. A widowed space trucker is on a long haul and takes his young son Kadyn along with him. It should be safe, and maybe even educational, right?
FIRST STEP ON A LONG VOYAGE
Some things never change. Sea of Stars #1 opens in the vastness of space with young Kadyn complaining about how boring it is, and his father, Gil, saying he can’t stand listening to his whining. Right away this draws us in. As far in the future as this is, a parent and a child on a long, dull trip are still something we can identify with. They’re on their way home, trucking a load of esoteric cargo from a museum, and Kadyn wishes he could have seen something cool. Quite organically, we also learn that Kadyn’s mom is gone.
They haven’t seen much of anything in days, but something comes across Gil’s screens and he hails the ship but gets no response. Kadyn, meanwhile, has put on his spacesuit and goes poking around in the hold, where all the museum pieces are crated up. The other ship approaches, but it is no ship. It is an enormous space creature. By the time it is within sight range, it is so close that Kadyn cannot get back to the bridge before it attacks.
Almost before we can think about that, their ship is bitten in half and both Gil and Kadyn tumble out into space. They can hear each other, and even see each other, but they still aren’t all that close. That seems like a heck of an opening right there, but there are still several pages to go! They’re right up against the creature, and as Gil gives his son directions on how to get clear and where to go to maximize his chance to be found, the creature swallows him. Then it turns and heads for Kadyn.
But we aren’t done yet. There’s an explosion that kills the creature and knocks Kadyn out. He lands on a chunk of rock debris. In short order, he is found by a couple of scavengers (a sort of space monkey, and a space whale). They have an interesting, if momentarily terrifying, conversation about eating Kadyn. As Kadyn sits up and starts talking to them, we see more clearly that his spacesuit has been damaged, and seriously so.
And now is when things get fantastical. It’s an interesting blend of the almost magical survival of Kadyn – and does he now have special powers? – and the realism of space that is vast and fairly empty. We’ve had a coincidental meeting here, but it doesn’t feel like the typical space jaunt where several characters all happen to coincidentally meet in the same place. There are twists, turns and surprises, so while it feels like we start out in one story, things shift around by the end of the issue.
Right from the start you can tell that the art of Sea of Stars #1 is really something. Even as Kadyn complains about how boring it is, to the reader it looks majestic. I love the look of Gil’s ship too, with its sails. When we move to the interior shots, it does seem much more workaday; tidy, but practical and maybe just a bit worn. I really love the cargo hold. We can see into the cases of stuff from the museum – a good choice, because there are a lot of interesting things such as creature specimens, skulls, space suits, and other odd artifacts.
Then we see the attack of the space leviathan, and that is just stunning. And as the ship is utterly destroyed and the artifacts tumble into space along with Kadyn toward the eye of the creature, it’s just, wow. It looks like the end of the story. Seeing Kadyn where he fell, with his suit torn open, so tiny and vulnerable, my heart just about stopped. And then the space scavengers show up, and they’re so interesting, besides being rather humorous. Each page takes us to new highs and lows. It’s a stunning book.
BOTTOM LINE: A STRONG BEGINNING
Sea of Stars #1 is a dramatic start, what with the destruction of the ship and whatever has happened to Kadyn. Space is a large and lonely place, and we feel that here. But while there is a strong sense of danger and limited time, there is also a feeling of adventure, and even magic.
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Sea of Stars #1
A father separated from his son on the ultimate of grand scales – outer space!