‘StarHenge’ #5 Advance Review: The Cosmic And The Celtic Create A Magically Dense Drama
by Olly MacNamee
‘StarHenge’ #5 delivers and delivers big! On story and especially on art as we weave our way through the past, present and future in a head spinning, trippy ride that comes up in Celtic Britain with King Arthur as dominant force to be reckoned with at home and abroad. Truly a tour de force from creator Liam Sharp.
Past, present and future converge and merge more and more as we learn more of the sensual and scary “tree lady” in StarHenge #5, courtesy of our now familiar narrator. The cosmic and the Celtic combine and the reader is treated to very tense, dark and majestic scenes of sensational sci-fi, worthy of classic era Metal Hurlant. A stark contrast to the more earthy art of Celtic era Arthurian legend we have witnessed over the past few issues. A barrage of somewhat abstract art and accompanying abstract narration, foreshadowing events to come. But, an art that seems to capture the enormous cosmic powers at work here. Powers that stretch throughout time. And, as sci-fi makes way for other scenes, we are treated to more varied and nuanced art styles from writer/artist Liam Sharp. His adoption of digital art in recent years is certainly paying dividends as this comic book proves. The art is so much an integral part of the story he is chronicling, as readers will no doubt pick up on as this issue progresses and we, in turn, regresses to Celtic times and an effective change in style once more.
Time, as we find out, has moved on once again. But then time is a very fluid commodity in this sci-fi/fantasy series. To be played with at the whim of the creator and for the good of the story. A concept that is confusing the Hell out of our hero, and narrator, the Wicca-worshipping Amber. But, it certain helps keep the story of King Arthur running at a pace and within this one issue we get a good deal of backstory. And while Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain is clearly a huge source text, we also get a second source too, and a new, late arrival to the party. One that many an Arthurian buff like myself will know, but one who is absent form many a retelling of the Arthurian legend.
StarHenge #5 is a richly layered issue both in terms of art and narrative. A mammoth read, but one that engorges the reader with an astonishing array of art styles that only add further depth to the saga being unspooled. You may think you know the legend of the once and future king, but with the various twists and turns time travel has brought to this particular retelling I think it’s safe to say this ain’t no legend you’ve ever seen the likes of before.
StarHenge #5 is out Wednesday 9th November from Image Comics