We have a brand new series (or mini-series, from what I’ve heard) on our hands from IDW that I haven’t heard much about until a few days ago. What is it? What is it all about? Is it good?
Star Mage #1 (IDW Publishing)
Darien Connors is your average, typical, young teenager, with the exception that this dad was an astronaut. Then one day after being hung from the school’s flagpole, things change!
Well, being struck by lightning tends to change one’s life normally.
The description/solicit information that I got for this issue is that it is Harry Potter meets Last Starfighter. I’m not familiar with Last Starfighter, but I am with Harry Potter and I definitely got that vibe throughout the book. In fact, I would say that this issue is sort of like the first couple of chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for those of us not stateside). It’s a basic introduction of Darien, where he is in life, what his situation is like, and the ultimate introduction to the more magical/sci-fi world. However, that’s pretty much it overall and we don’t get anything else to really sink our teeth into. Heck, the solicit information pretty much summarizes everything that happens at the end in two or three sentences.
What I’m saying is that there isn’t much here that’ll get you super excited or invested right off the bat. It has the usual trappings for a story of a kid with a great destiny outside of his boring, mundane life. Though on the flipside, if one wanted that kind of story, they will certainly find what they are looking for here. Regardless, the writing is solid overall. The pacing, storytelling, the character work (or lack of character work since there is barely anything here outside of the main character), the dialogue and dramatic narration, and more; it’s all fine but nothing to write home about. As time goes on, hopefully the comic can pick things up once we get into the mythology of the series and see more of this sci-fi magic genre.
Sir! He was about to punch the kid regardless. That at least qualifies for suspension!
The artwork is like the writing: It’s perfectly serviceable. Characters, layouts, and coloring are fine (though the coloring benefits from a more magic and sci-fi aspect, which adds a bit of flair). Like also with the writing, I suspect that once the story gets going and we move into the more unique parts of the comic, we’ll see some pretty interesting imagery and pages, more so than this issue.
Is It Good?
Star Mage #1 is a promising comic for young readers out there looking for something along the lines of Harry Potter. At this point though, it really hasn’t taken off or gotten going, leaving us with a rather typical and average opening. Once the story begins, however, I suspect we will start seeing things shine.