Sera and the Royal Stars is a Vault Comics‘ fantasy title set in a Persian landscape and culture. It is written by Jon Tsuei, with art from Audrey Mok, colors from Raúl Angulo, and letters by Jim Campbell. Bringing magic and adventure in equal parts, Sera and the Royal Stars is beautiful and expansive.
Last issue we were introduced to Sera, a princess of the Empire of Parsa and commander of its forces. But, like most heroes who begin their journey, she’s called to service by the god Mitra, replacing her heart with a star and setting her on a quest to return the Royal Stars to the heavens and restore the seasons to the world. But in order to leave on her quest, she had to leave her family.
Following in her mom’s footsteps, Sera leaves and winds up rescuing one of the stars, the “Old Bull” in the closing panels of the issue. Sera and the Royal Stars #2 picks up immediately after the last one closed with the brightly colored monsters rushing Sera and Aldabaren, the “Old Bull.” While both fight, we see a glimpse at Aldabaren’s power.
After the two defeat the lizard people attacking them, Sera learns more about the Royal Stars, the stalled seasons, and her role in it all. Sera and the Royal Stars #2 continues the traditional hero’s journey in all the best ways. Through Sera’s eyes, we learn about the large world that Parsa inhabits and the role the gods play, even when they aren’t revered anymore.
We see Sera’s world solidly expand beyond the land and to the stars, in more than just a dream and with that the fantasy of the world. Tsuei’s words are beautiful and each one builds out the world more and more. This a fantasy adventure and every bit of the dialogue works to explore that in a way that it all feels necessary.
Beyond this, as the two return to Parsa and they’re surprised by the state of the Empire. Here, we get to see the scope of family tensions and more magic. The world that Tsuei is creating is one that is endearing, grand, and immersive, with Mok’s art and Angulo’s colors breathing life into it.
Every panel is gorgeous. From the scenes in the heavens, to fights on the Earth, and surprises of the Royal Stars, every character is extremely detailed and powerful. In power, I mean that if you were to remove each character from the larger world, their character design would still stand on its own, their clothes telling a story of their identity.
Mok’s characters and their emotive facial expressions compliment Tsuei’s words perfectly but Angulo’s colors are a star. I noticed it last issue, but in Sera and the Royal Stars #2, the variances in lighting prove that Angulo’s ability to properly light brown skin must be applauded. The undertones make Sera glow and whether she is all in hues of blue or surrounded by beautiful foliage, her skin is both radiant and undeniably brown. It may seem small, but a lot of colorists either wash out darker-skinned characters or leave them filled with variances in one issue, something that happened in the middle of Image’s Blackbird.
Overall, the fantasy world of Sera and the Sacred Stars is one that you can easily step into and be engulfed by. It’s beautiful and vast. I can’t wait to see where Tsuei brings it next.
Sera and the Sacred Stars #2 is available where comics are sold.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.