Stellar #1 Advance Review: An Apocalypse in Motion

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Stellar is a bounty hunter in the bombed-out remains of a civilization that barely exists now. She now hauls an insectoid alien to retrieve the bounty on his head. When that fails, she takes him to her sanctuary. She recounts what led her to this point along the way.

Stellar #1 cover by Bret Blevins
Stellar #1 cover by Bret Blevins

Stellar #1 is a first issue that relies on building many little mysteries, answering some, and leaving others for the future. That sounds like any first issue, I'll admit, but this comic centers around what happened to the world and what Stellar had to do with it.

The apocalypse is still happening in many ways. What we're told of this apocalypse scenario is bizarre enough to set it apart from the average decaying world of an apocalypse tale.

Stellar and the bounty she is hauling are where the story faulters. The titular lead recites many lines out of the "I'm dark and have seen some stuff" playbook, and her bounty is the comedic relief that sometimes becomes a little too intrusive. This doesn't kill the book, as there are qualities to both characters that I like, but it is a problem that needs corralling.

The artwork is what one might describe as conventional comic styling. The point of comparison I'm inclined to think of in this case is Mark Bagley. That said, Bret Blevins's style has less severe facial features, and he sets the world apart by adding numerous interesting details in the background that show the intensity of this war. Massive aliens lie across the blasted wasteland with spaceships lodged in their chest. Bombed-out buildings littered with bodies coat the world. Plus, the color art supports it by centering around grays and blues offset by Stellar and her bounty's pinks and oranges.

Stellar #1 impresses with its premise and world-building, even if its characters are a little lackluster so far. It's a sci-fi apocalypse story with some interesting ideas in its details to set it apart from others of the genre. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out when it hits shelves on June 13th.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.