Title: Stellar #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joseph Keatinge
Artist: Bret Blevins
Release Date: June 13, 2018
TL;DR: Stellar #1 is a slow-burning start to a sci-fi bounty hunter epic with a badass heroine searching for redemption and beautiful, pastel artwork. What’s not to instantly love?
Story and Writing
After the craziness of E3 2018 and our local Wizard World Comic Con, I was craving a little downtime. The tale of a sci-fi bounty hunter with sassy characters and beautiful artwork was just the thing I needed, and, lucky enough, I had the first issue of Stellar from Image Comics nearby. As good as the name promises, if the first issue is any indicator of the rest of the series, this is one sci-fi story you won’t want to miss!
Stellar’s synopsis is as follows:
Stellar was taken as a child and transformed into the ultimate weapon, one that would end an intergalactic war. She succeeded…at everything except finding peace. Reduced to a bounty hunter, she scours the worlds she’s broken, searching for redemption. But there are other weapons loose in the galaxy, who just can’t leave the war behind them. JOSEPH KEATINGE (GLORY, SHUTTER) and legendary artist BRET BLEVINS (New Mutants, Sleepwalker) will transport you to another dimension, filled with crashed spaceships, fast-talking aliens, and ageless wonders.
There’s a lot to digest in this first issue, but that’s one of its most promising features. There are a handful of flashbacks that get a little confusing, but they totally assist in building the world and setting the stage for who (or what) our heroine truly is. But, for the most part, Stellar is super easy to follow and does a beautiful job of setting up the harshness of their world while still remaining light. Stellar‘s alien bounty turned companion adds the perfect amount of sass to some of the heavier moments.
While we are left with more questions than answers concerning our main character, it’s obvious that Stellar will be more of a slow burn. The first issue lacks any sort of major climax, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. If anything, the creators are pushing the true importance of how their world became what it is, and I think this is going to be a big part of eventually understanding Stellar herself.
Where Stellar truly stands out is its incredible artwork. From the line work to the use of color, everything has a softness that makes turning each page an exciting venture. This style, paired with the beautifully chosen pastel color palette, really brings the broken planets and ruins to life. The softness of Bret Blevins’ artwork perfectly balances the harshness of the world and characters that Joseph Keatinge has created.
That being said, not even the artwork hides the reader from the devastating apocalyptic world of Stellar. The planets are strewn with the rubble of crumbling ruins and broken down spaceships, but that isn’t all. You almost don’t notice the skeletons of soldiers, massive alien creatures, and robotic limbs and scraps littering the landscape, and once you do, it’s impossible not to search for these fantastic details.
Final Thoughts on Stellar #1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Stellar still has a lot to answer for, but it has a very promising beginning. While both are great on their own, the artwork and the storytelling really work together in such a way that they really bring out the best in each other. There are definitely more questions than answers at this point, but this is one of the main reasons why I’m so stoked to continue on with this series. I don’t mind a slow burn if it eventually pays off in the end!
Stellar #2 is scheduled to release on July 18, 2018.