Sera and the Royal Stars #5 from Vault Comics continues as one of my favorite fantasy titles in comics today. Inspired by Indo-Iranian myth and setting, Sera and the Royal Stars has been a beautiful adventure that lives the hero’s journey out with creatures, gods, and complicated humans throughout. Last issue, Sera, our protagonist tasked with the quest of collecting the Royal Stars and returning them to the world in order to restart the cycle of the seasons, traveled the depths of the Underworld as she attempted to outrun the minions of Draco.
With the Council of Gods as their only hope of escape, Sera and the Royal Stars had to get creative to find refuge to complete the quest when their request for help was ignored. Now, in Sera and the Royal Stars #5, written by Jon Tsuei, with art from Audrey Mok, colors from Raúl Angulo, and letters by Jim Campbell, the last hope of Parsa, Sera, is prompted to free the magic inside her, the star where her heart should be. In order to survive, she gives into Reguluus’s call to let him out, to show them her power and his.
I usually like to discuss the story before the art but the strength of Mok’s illustration is striking. The power in the opening page is unlike anything I’ve seen recently. The vibrant purples and blues from Angulo create a page that shows what fantasy should be. Additionally, Angulo continues to show the importance of lighting brown skin, keeping Sera’s brown skin-town even in light, balancing it with the blues of the glow. It seems simple, but with the current coloring issues going on in Marvel’s The Marauders it is important to note. And, as a brown woman, I am always excited to see colorists who understand our skin.
This understanding of light and skin tone travels throughout the whole book as Sera fights with a blade and bow of light. Angulo’s colors are perfection and Mok’s ability to make a world that is extremely fantastical and diverse in creatures and setting is one of the best things about Sera and the Royal Stars #5. Sera is beautiful and powerful in each and every panel.
As Sera fights Eltanin, the mastermind behind the suffering that has befallen Parsa, the Old Bull attempts to keep her body safe. This splits the story in two, focusing one on Sera’s body and one on her soul which is in a battle to stay alive and correct Eltanin’s chaos. But while this issue feature beautifully choreographed action and new creatures, it also gives us a tender exploration into Sera’s relationship with her mother. From the beginning, Tsuei’s storytelling has been out of the park, crafting a believable and loving relationship between Sera and her siblings.
Now, in Sera and the Royal Stars #5, Tsuei pens a brief but loving moment that shows Sera’s connection with her mother and uses it to push her past her limit. We also see Sera forced into a moment of choosing sacrifice or her family, a choice all heroes must make. Her decision ends the first half of this 10-issue series extremely well.
Overall, I can not recommend Sera and the Royal Stars enough. With the trade set to release in mid-December, I implore lovers of fantasy and story to pick it up and catch up with the adventure thus far. As for Sera and the Royal Stars #5, this issue is beautiful, action-packed, and emotional in all the best ways.
Sera and the Royal Stars #5 is available where comic books are found on December 11, 2019.
Sera and the Royal Stars #5
As for Sera and the Royal Stars #5, this issue is beautiful, action-packed, and emotional in all the best ways.
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.