Review: ‘Stargazer’ #4 Is A Sci-Fi Story With A Whole Lot Of Heart
by James Ferguson
A breathtaking view of the stars leads to an all-out alien invasion. All the while, the personal story of a few friends drives us forward.
Childhood friends Shae, Hailey, and Adriana are brought together once again as adults in search of Shae’s younger brother, Kenny. They all shared a strange experience in the past that may or may not have involved aliens. As they grew up, they were able to explain this away, but it’s all come back to haunt them.
It’s safe to say that the questions about the existence of aliens is put to rest in Stargazer #4. There’s definitely something going on and although there are still quite a few questions, it’s clear we’re not alone. Writer Anthony Cleveland creates a clash of this personal story of friends and family with the government coming in to do what you would expect when aliens come down from the stars.
Colorist Stefano Simeone lays out a gorgeous palette, particularly whenever the sky is shown. It’s this burst of color, full of awe and wonder. Swirls of purples and reds give it an eerie look that lends itself to the story well. There’s a tonal shift whenever we get a glimpse of the sky too. It’s like everything we know is suddenly thrown into question.
Artist Antonio Fuso plays with this shift too, specifically with the panel layouts. When we’re dealing with Shae and her friends, the layouts are more traditional in nature with squares and rectangles. This changes when the aliens show up, moving to more erratic sequences with different shaped panels. It adds to the action and intensity of the scene.
The design for the aliens plays in uncanny valley territory. They’re just human enough to make them creepy. Although they certainly make their presence known in this issue, they don’t actually speak. It makes me wonder what they’re really up to and how Kenny and the others play into this.
The sound effect work from letterer Justin Birch is top notch in Stargazer #4. Sometimes that’s all the sound for a panel and it speaks volumes.
All the while, we’re wondering what’s going to happen next and how all this is tying together. As we enter the second half of this storyline, the pieces are falling into place in dramatic fashion. Stargazer really has it all. It’s a gripping sci-fi comic filled with heart and a nice dose of mystery.
Stargazer #4 from Mad Cave Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.