We return to the universe of Dylan Klein and Lane Brettschneider’s Starside, where once we checked out their opening journey through its space, now we catch up on the latest instalments of this space opera about a man trying to find his way home.
Starside tells the story of Jack, a high school student whose life seems to revolve around looking after his family, in particular his ill sister Abigail, and his schoolwork. However, all of that changes when the Earth is invaded by an alien race and as chaos reigns across the world, Jack is captured and taken from his home with a handful of other prisoners. However, when an attempt at an escape fails and the spaceship crash lands, Jack finds himself alone on a strange planet with only an alien sword and no idea where he is or how to get home.
Writers Dylan Klein and Lane Brettschneider have created a seriously engrossing story in Starside. Seemingly taking its cues from Farscape and Star Wars, what Starside seems to do best is leave you in positions at the end of each issue with more questions than answers. This is especially the case with Jack and the reasons behind his initial abduction as, while Jack is very much a reader’s entry character, the ‘specialness’ of his fellow abductees makes one wonder where this ‘specialness’ has suddenly come from, and if Jack is like them. Meanwhile, fellow lead character Riggs, who appears from the third issue, continues to offer little information about himself save, the implication behind why he is willing to help Jack. As such, this story is immensely intriguing leaving readers wanting to know what happens next.
Meanwhile, Jordan Chao provides some truly solid work in these first few issues of Starside. Chao’s style, which has a rough look which seems to imbue a dirtier, more horror-esque vibe, really works well in this genre which is more often cleaner and flashier. However, the use of Chao’s pencils and colours really helps lend a sense of fraught urgency and the need to survive which Jack’s journey comes across as from the get go.
Starside was a intriguing concept and comic upon the release of it’s first issue but, four issues in, it is now something a whole more captivating. With a great story following a sympathetic lead in a gorgeously different style of art for the genre, this is a series that could really go from strength to strength, making you to stay and see if Jack makes it home.