Sea of Stars Volume #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum, with art by Stephen Green, colors by Rico Renzi, and letters by Jared K. Fletcher. When long haul space trucker Gil has to take his son Kadyn with him on a work trip it seems like a normal cargo haul for work. Until a space-born leviathan destroys their ship and separates father and son, Leaving Kadyn alone in space and with magical powers from an ancient hammer his father was hauling.
The story through the six issues collected in Sea of Stars Volume #1 can be a lot to take in. Sometimes it feels a little slow, like when it builds to its first big plot beat. At other times, it’s frantic as its protagonists confront the deadly perils of space. These pacing extremes might feel jarring if it weren’t for the one consistent factor that strings this book together; the humanity. Gil and Kadyn are written so perfectly. The father and son dynamic that plays between them in the first issue of this book is top-tier. Aaron and Hallum capture the struggles of a father trying to do right by his son fabulously.
The same skill is displayed in Kadyn as well. He is a young child stuck where he doesn’t want to be. Though he might intellectually understand his situation, he still rejects it. He still struggles with it and like any kid, he doesn’t understand why the world just can’t be what he wants it to be.
By the time their ship is attacked by a giant space leviathan and the two are separated, Sea of Stars Volume #1 already had me sold on these characters. Their separation only served to further reinforced my love for them. Gil becomes driven to reunite with his son. His single-mindedness is the apex of what fathers are supposed to be when they know their child is in crisis. Getting to Kadyn becomes all that concerns him.
Kadyn’s story through Sea of Stars Volume #1 is a bit different from his father’s. Instead of struggling to reunite, since he believes his father died in the attack, fueled by magical powers that allow him to surpass his loss, Kadyn goes on a worry-free adventure through space. He encounters some local space-faring creatures he befriends and begins to explore the cosmos. Even though Kadyn spends most of the book laughing as he discovers the cosmos and what he’s become there is always sadness underneath. You can feel his desperation to escape the pain looming just under the surface. His struggle to process his vastly changing life is portrayed with skill and subtlety.
Throughout Sea of Stars Volume #1, Green’s pencils are terrific. The creature designs are unique enough to stand out without being too bizarre. Environments also look wonderful throughout this book. This is largely due to Renzi’s excellent use of color. The alien landscapes look all the stranger due to the unique color palettes employed here.
A fairly substantial plot twist at the end of the book sets it on course for a very different sort of story after this first volume’s conclusion. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that no matter where the narrative takes them, as long as Gil and Kadyn keep being written with such skill and subtlety, I will be happy to follow.
Sea of Stars Volume #1 is available January 29th wherever comics are sold.
Sea of Stars Volume #1
I have a sneaking suspicion that no matter where the narrative takes them, as long as Gil and Kadyn keep being written with such skill and subtlety, I will be happy to follow.