Sea Of Stars # 1: A Wonderful Kid-Friendly Space Adventure From Aaron, Hallum & Green
by Richard Bruton
The blurb on the back cover of Sea of Stars issue 1 reads… ‘A father. A son. And a whole lot of space between them.‘ I’ll go a little further than that… how about ‘Finding Nemo without the fishes and in space, with a little Lion King thrown in‘.
That’s the setup for this wonderful new Image Comics story from Jason Aaron, Dennis Hallum, and artist Stephen Green. It really was nothing like what I was expecting it to be – and I definitely mean that in the best way. Sea of Stars is a wonderful older kid-friendly space adventure that deserves, on what this fabulous first issue delivers, to be a huge success with young and old.
Seeing Jason Aaron’s name on the cover and only knowing him from his adult work on Scalped and The Other Side at Vertigo, plus various Marvel superhero series, I wasn’t expecting something that has the feel of an all-ages tale. That feel is really helped tremendously by Stephen Green‘s artwork, particularly in his design for young Kadyn, all big eyes and impressive blonde quiff.
Kadyn’s dad is a space pilot, transporting the Krogarrian Museum of Space History to its new home. But, because of childcare issues, he’s had to bring Kadyn along with him this time. And Kadyn’s none too happy to be here…
Yep, all he wants is something exciting to happen. And, as you could well expect, Kadyn’s going to get a real case of be careful what you wish for.
But, before that, Aaron and writing partner Dennis Hallum get to flesh out the main characters, simply, effectively, with just enough sadness and wistful remembrance to go alongside the fun Kadyn has whilst exploring the ship and the Museum pieces.
And both sadness and fun are done superbly well, with a perfect economy, getting all the information we need to understand the characters, their history, their motivations, their emotions, in just a few panels, allowing the story to really kick into high gear.
And what a high gear it is… where it’s dad desperate to rescue his boy (that’s the Finding Nemo bit) and Kadyn finding himself transformed and in the company of strange new companions (which is where the whole Timon and Pumba, Lion King thing comes from).
How it happens is another great example of how good Sea of Stars is, how Aaron and Hallum deliver a first issue with all the excitement, all the background, all the hooks that are needed to get readers onboard immediately and looking forward to just what’s going to happen in the future. Add in Green’s super expressive and wonderfully kinetic artwork, plus the lovely color work of Rico Renzi and you have the whole package, a wonderful read and beautiful to look at.
I read Sea of Stars issue 1 just after reading issue 1 of Postal Deliverance (reviewed yesterday) and they two comics are a perfect example of getting that all important first issue right and oh so wrong. Here, we have something that hooks you in, makes you care about the characters that are fleshed out perfectly AND delivers enough story to make sense of things and leave you desperately wanting to know what’s going to happen. Sadly, in Postal Deliverance, it’s simply a disconnected series of events, featuring characters who are sketches at best that leaves the reader with too little to care about issue 2 apart from a desire to work out what the hell is going on.
Make no mistake about it, this tale of a child lost in space and his dad’s search to rescue him really does have that great sense of a classic kid’s story, wonderfully crafted, immediately accessible, perfect for older kids and adults alike.
Sea of Stars is definitely a great first issue, doing everything a great first issue should do and balancing perfectly between setting everything up and giving us enough info and character to really care about what’s going on.
SEA OF STARS Issue 1, Lost in the Wild Heavens. Written by Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum, art by Stephen Green, colors by Rico Renzi, letters and design by Jared K. Fletcher