It’s Getting Pretty Cosmic Up In Here: Reviewing ‘Starward’ #2
by Scott Redmond
With its second issue, ‘Starward’ casts off all Earthly confines and delves right into the science fiction and fantasy realms it promised in action-packed explosive ways, all while not losing any bit of its charm or ability to build lore around the action. Just looking at the book is such a delight because it’s so beautiful artistically, with some great pages that are begging to be blown up and showcased as posters on the wall.
After laying the groundwork in the first issue, through the relatively relatable mundane life of the main character, Starward leaps right into brutal science-fiction fantasy action for its second issue. Which is a ton of fun.
We get more insight into Stephanie Cohen and what the Starward sisters are and what sort of hold Kaos has in the world. A world where evil has already won and is everywhere, but the sisters hold the key to how it might be defeated. Steve Orlando fits a whole ton into these first stories, not only for introducing the character and lore but for really building this world. Sure, having it on Earth helps as it’s essentially our world now, but all of the other stuff is deep and detailed but never feels overwhelming in delivery.
After the more ‘normal’ scenes in the first issue, Ivan Shavrin gets to cut loose big time in this issue with tons of science fiction/fantasy style imagery and some hardcore action.
Again, the paneling style chosen here helps the story flow so well and gives each page its own life and personality. There is a brutal air to much of the action (that’s what happens when bodies are ripped in half and such) but it never reaches an overly gory level. There is weight and power to it without being too much.
Such a colorful book, with the colors being bright and smooth and popping off the page. In many cases, there is an almost paint or watercolor sort of feeling to the way the colors are presented. Helping give each scene even more energy.
Saida Temofonte brings similar but distinct energy when handling all the lettering, letting the dialogue and caption boxes flow around the pages in a logical and pleasing way. There is a personality to the caption boxes, especially when Stephanie is going back and forth with the voice within her that turns out to be her voice in a way. There is a ton of exposition in areas, there is a lot to explain and share, but it never feels like too much as it spreads through the panels and pages nicely.
Starward #2 is now available from Heavy Metal