Sea of Stars #1
Writers: Jason Aaron and Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Artist: Stephen Green
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letters + Design: Jared K. Fletcher
Review by KrisK
“SPACE……IS SO CRAPPING BORING.” This unexpected sentiment, spoken by a young child, sets the tone for the Father-Son adventure tale. Kadyn, a young boy forced to go on a transportation job with his space trucker father, dislikes the endless monotony of safe space travel. Sure, there are stars, planets, and asteriods, but where are the blackholes and exploding stars? The Quarksharks? The father, Gil Starx, feels bad for the kid, but he couldn’t get a babysitter for a whole week.
The father suggests the boy go see what he is hauling, a space museum. The boy puts on his spacesuit, and he goes to the back of the seat. While he explores the museum and smarts off to his dad, disaster strikes. The father fights to save the son, and he succeeds in getting the boy free of the wreckage. The ship tears asunder, and the family separates. They both survive but are separated by a Sea of Stars. Two space creatures discover the boy, and are shocked Kadyn understands their language. This discovery leads them to decide not to eat the kid. A few important things are revealed to the reader, shifting this story’s tone and direction. The father crashes on a moon. With Liam Neeson’s resolve, Gil declares he will find his son.
In the beginning, the story feels like a Bruce Springsteen ballad set in space. The working class family faces real-life struggles. The kid back talks the father, but Kadyn clearly hurts. Gil wants to give his son more, but he can’t afford it. Before space comes between them, its clear the loss of the mother already divides them.
From the start, nautical analogies embed themselves in all layers of the story. The ship sails the solar winds in charted starways. The space suits resemble old diving suits as much as space suits. Sea creatures exist in space, swimming through the void. The disaster shipwrecks the duo far apart.
The story keeps it simple, the way many classics do. Instead Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum focus on developing emotional beats between the father and son. You root for the family. The dialogue tells you everything, without the piles of exposition you often see in first issues. In the end, the writers keep the story organic and real. Fans of Thor and Spider-Woman will recognize the family dynamics both writers excel at displaying.
Stephen Green’s art aptly fits the story. The faces of the characters read real emotions. The creatures’ designs remind you of the relevant sea creatures, while still being unique. Garbage floats after the wreck. Rico Renzi’s purples and blues stun. The neon green of a giant eye pops beautifully.
Verdict: Buy! This comic is the beginning of something special. The coupling of Aaron and Hallum fulfills a dream I didn’t know I had. The heart and emotion of the story resonate instantly, and the art takes your breath away.