It’s hard to not think of Marvel’s Star Jammers while even looking at the cover of Star Bastard. It also bares some similarity to Galaxy of the Guardians and neither of those are bad things, it’s just that it wears its influences on its sleeve, just like it does its inspiration for the cover. The first issue is pretty straightforward and simple. It’s puts a lot of effort into establishing the main character Greeves as a bastard. And I guess he is, but we’ll get to that. The issue begins by introducing the supporting cast as they attempt to outrun an armada of ships firing at them. It’s unclear as to why exactly until we see Greeves. He’s recently made it with a princess of the empire that’s chasing them. Eventually they get out of the jam after Greeves makes a bastardly move. The story then sets up Greeves and company’s next move and establishes an enemy that’s being sent in their direction.
The story is okay. There are a few issues and the first is that while Greeves does some shitty things his crew really hammers home the fact that he’s a bastard or asshole, more than the story does. That and the first scene with the princess is just bad. It’s supposed to be innocent enough, they’ve had sex and he makes a joke saying she shouldn’t put her pants back on. The problem is, we don’t have the context of her having runaway with Greeves and instead it looks like a kidnapping. That wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the art matched the cheeky nature of the scene. Instead she has a serious look on her face like she was just forced to do something she didn’t want to. Later we see how lovey dovey she is, but the story could have used some of that in the beginning instead of leaving her silent. Her silence comes across as fear and instead of finding Greeves a cheeky bastard, he comes across as downright evil. Which clearly isn’t the intention and the rest of the story establishes that, but I can see other readers really misinterpreting this scene based solely on the art and the fact that she’s given no dialogue to help the situation be more understandable.
My only other gripe with the story is that it doesn’t take enough chances. It’s plays it safe and really follows an outline that’s familiar with comics and in particular comics with outlaws on the run; be it on land, sea or space. The characterizations come through and while their all just a set of character traits, it is the first issue and that’s enough to get us involved with them.
The art is really good and very professional. The only character I had a problem with, was the princess because outside of her introduction her facial expressions always seemed off. She didn’t seem like a woman who fell in love quickly and decided to run away with a guy, but rather a prisoner that wasn’t comfortable with her captors. It’s unfortunate because if that one aspect was changed the entire story’s vibe is different for me. On the other side, if that was then intent then we have a whole slew of other problems to address. Otherwise it’s very detailed, photorealistic and I can see this artist being picked up by a bigger publisher which would be a shame. Indie writers, hold on to your artists.
I know that I focused on one aspect of one panel for the bulk of my review, but it just goes to show you how each panel of every comic is important. You never know what will be the roadblock for a reader in an otherwise entertaining issue. I would definitely read more Star Bastard (great name by the way) and if you’ve enjoyed any of Marvel’s cosmic titles in the past or present then you should give Star Bastard a look.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="pink" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="self" link_rel="" icon_left="Score: 3/5" icon_right="Score: 3/5"]Score: 3/5[/button]
Star Bastard #1 Writer: Andrew Clemson Artist: Jethro Morales Colorist: Teo Gonzalez Publisher: Bincat Press Format: Ongoing; Print Website