ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Stargazer,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Stargazer #1
Stargazer #1 is published by Mad Cave Studios, written by Anthony Cleveland, art by Antonio Fuso, colors by Stefan Simeone and letters by Justin Birch. When four friends head out for a quiet night in the woods, they have an encounter with something they can’t explain. Fast forward 20 years later and it looks like what they ran into that night in the woods has come back. But what will it mean for these friends?

When we are first introduced to the group that will form our main protagonists in Stargazer #1, one cannot help but feel some noticeable Stranger Things vibes to this story. While this story begins in 1999, the nostalgic feel of kids having fun, carefree out in the woods invokes that same sense of a simpler time. But just as in the previously mentioned television series, things do not stay simple for long.

While the crux of what happened isn’t revealed in Stargazer #1, it clearly changes the kids lives in a profound way. As the story jumps to the present, Cleveland’s writing does a great job of presenting these characters with the air of people who have been struggling for an extended period of time. Their words are of those who are at the end of their ropes. One particular scene, depicting a confrontation between siblings Shae and Kenny highlight this feeling extremely well.

Stargazer #1

The emotion of Stargazer #1’s script is further augmented by Fuso’s artwork. He puts the emotion of these moments front and center, allowing the reader to further feel the intensity of emotion the words strive to deliver.

And while the emotional delivery is on point for Stargazer #1’s art, I did occasionally find certain panels coming across as a little sloppy in feeling. Characters are sometimes difficult to discern with the use of heavy shadows. This caused me to have to reread certain pages to make sure I knew who was who.

The color usage by Simeone does a great job of carrying the emotions with the panels. With each panel limited to a small range of colors, there is a cohesiveness to the visuals that helps guide the reader’s emotional experience, as the color provides a solid back up for the emotional presentation.

Wrapping up the presentation of Stargazer #1 is Birch’s lettering. The lettering work here is a solid performance of the craft. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow. Even if who’s saying the words was occasionally less clear.

Stargazer #1 wraps its story with the sort of cliffhanger one would expect. As a first issue for a series that clearly plans to reveal itself slowly to readers, it does well to give enough information to make readers curious of what will come next. Even with a couple visual hiccups the story’s presentation delivers on an emotional setup for the issues to come. While it may not be the smoothest start, it certainly could yet make itself into a thoroughly interesting tale.

Stargazer #1 is available September 2nd wherever comics are sold.


Stargazer #1
3.5

TL;DR

Stargazer #1 wraps its story with the sort of cliffhanger one would expect. As a first issue for a series that clearly plans to reveal itself slowly to readers, it does well to give enough information to make readers curious of what will come next. Even with a couple visual hiccups the story’s presentation delivers on an emotional setup for the issues to come. While it may not be the smoothest start, it certainly could yet make itself into a thoroughly interesting tale.