Advance Review: ‘StarHenge’ #1 Is A Magical Cosmic Epic Steeped In The Celtic Folklore Of Yore

by Olly MacNamee


‘StarHenge’ #1 is a cosmic epic in the making, set in the dark ages of Celtic Britain, contemporary America and the stars themselves as writer/artist Liam Sharp weaves a saga for the ages with suitably stunning art to match.


StarHenge #1 is the latest comic book to blend the legend of King Arthur with the contemporary world. But, writer/artist Liam Sharp takes it even further with aspirations for a truly cosmic and far-reaching epic saga that will span the stars and time itself. With the suitably cosmic artwork to match that catapults this opening issue into the comic book stratosphere. A prog-rock cosmic odyssey steeped in the past, the present and the future. And all told through the eyes of a narrator, Amber, whom we first meet in person as a young eighteen-year-old high school student, who also happens to follow the wicca traditions of yore.

As well as doing some pretty heavy lifting when it comes to world building, we also get time shifts that’ll keep readers on their toes, but allows for Sharp to lay down some ground rules and throw down some clues too. The future he envisions is one that embraces and relies on magic, as well as one that has seen its share of bad times too. All depicted on a mammoth, immense, beautiful scale. Sharp’s swap to digital painting has raised his game immensely, with each page a stunning masterpiece evocative of early, classic Metal Hurlant. It’s a style much suited for this sprawling space opera. There is a richness in these lush pages that is hard to really put into words. Sharp’s future is a vision of gleaming chrome and far-out fluidity, no better summed up than in our first encounter with the Ur-Queen. While the past is lush in highly detailed and textured geology and fauna. Meanwhile, the present is most grey with one page reminiscent of Dave McKean’s collage art as seen on the covers of The Sandman. Like I said, Sharp has ramped his art game up to eleven in recent years and its stunning to behold.

And in this dark future, we meet Wyllt and his mother, the Ur-Queen. Two character we are immediately encouraged to keep a close eye upon, especially with what develops and is revealed by the end of this gripping, intense first issue. As well as Amber, of course, who is omnipresent throughout, showing an awareness of proceedings suggesting she is speaking from somewhere in her own future and not as the eighteen-year-old we meet here.

In this far-flung future there is a crushing war consuming the galaxy. And the Ur-Queen has a plan. A plan that involves the ancient Celtic past, which is where the Arthurian legend comes into it. Although, this futurescape is also informed by this legend too, as keen-eyed readers will spot. And so, with the past and the future somewhat entwined, there is still the mystery of Amber and her role in all of this.

A rather novel and far-reaching take on one of the greatest legends in Western folklore given a multi-layered, cosmic and Kirby-esque twist. Far out, man. I can dig it. Will you too?

StarHenge #1 is out July 6th from Image Comics

And, catch a full preview here.

%d bloggers like this: