By Dustin Cabeal
At times Star Scouts is an entertaining read full of imagination and a positive message about being different. Other times, it hits you over the head with its characterizations and paced far too slowly. Star Scouts is obviously aimed at younger kids as the message and outcome of the story are very easy to figure out. This wasn’t a deal breaker, but it did make for a bumpy ride to the end.
The gist of Star Scouts is that Avani is new to town and has been forced to join the Flower Scouts. It’s nothing like her old school or scout troop, and so she has a hard time fitting in. Granted, she doesn’t give it much of a chance and could have tried a little harder to make a friend. Eventually, she’s accidentally abducted by an alien. They bond rather quickly, and soon Avani is part of Mabel’s scout troop. Avani meets the rest of the troop and finds out that they’re one of the lowest ranked troops in the Star Scouts. There’s a camp they attend and here’s where the conflict is introduced as Avani upsets another scout and they begin to war. This turns into a competition run by the Scouts to determine who will stay and who will go.
The story itself and the message are nice. The message isn’t hit over your head constantly because it’s too busy using the same jokes over and over. The biggest problem with Avani is her slow character growth. Her character doesn’t grow until the last challenge, and by then it doesn’t make her any better than the girl she’s battling. That was disappointing because the way the challenges were set up and paced it essentially traps Avani’s character growth. She must continue disliking her rival in order to progress the story and ensure some kind of victory at the end. The story works the way it is, but it could have been better in regards to the character development and plot structure. Because of this, it’s more likely that a kid would accept the slow character growth making it geared more towards children.
The artwork is a delight. Mike Lawrence’s artwork is clean, detailed and looks like a Saturday morning cartoon. The character designs are unique and in some cases add to the story. The backgrounds are filled with details which make the images wonderful to look at, but then also the world feels alive as well. That is a great feat to accomplish in any comic, but Star Scouts does it quite well.
It's fairly obvious that this is just the start of a series. It would be fun to read more and see what else can be done with the world. That and there are some secrets that are kept in this volume that has yet to play out in the world. It would be nice to see what happens and for that reason, I would be back for more Star Scouts.
Creator: Mike Lawrence
Publisher: First Second Books