Stargazer tells a familiar tale of future fallout on a group of kids from "one fateful night" where one kid has an inexplicable accident that shapes the rest of their lives. Is there government conspiracy and alien abductions afoot or could poor Kenny just have been the victim of a bad acid trip? The only way to find out is to read Stargazer!
Even though Stargazer leans into a number of incredibly familiar tropes, it still manages to capture quite the emotional punch. Narratively it functions as a bildungsroman in reverse, highlighting the moment in the past that stopped Kenny’s psychological growth and led to the modern day tensions between him and his sister Shae. The natural progression of the story telegraphs clearly that the series will head in a SF direction but the tension created by the doubt in the past is enough to give this book the emotional depth to seperate from the pack.
The tone set by the artwork is approriate throughout the story, lending a certain darkness and eerieness similar to the style and structure of an Andrea Sorrentino drawn book. It’s interesting to note that in the shift from the past to the present, Fuso also alters the page layout structure, shifting from a dominantly widescreen mode to a more grid-like structure which slows the narrative pace down significantly and aids the emotional development taking place in these latter pages. As we begin to move towards the climax, Fuso uses a number of empty grid boxes interspersed with the rest to create a sense of disorientation that was quite clever.
The book also does great work balancing the nostalgia of 1999 (who of my generation doesn’t remember the thrill of the newest strategy guide or issue of Nintendo Power?) with contemporarily relevent materials such as the recent admission of UFO events by the US government. In the wash of total chaos that is 2020, Stargazer feels like timely and appropriate book for the time and is certainly worth checking out!
Coming in September from Mad Cave Studios, Stargazer #1(Cleveland, Fuso, Simeone, Birch) delivers an emotionally driven story that plays on both nostalgia and contemporary concerns.
Stargazer #1: “One Fateful Night”
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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