Every now and then there comes a time in comics where something new and exciting falls to Earth with all the wildness of a shooting star and the potential shockwave of an extinction level asteroid. In the ’70s it began with Star Wars. A few years ago it was Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga. Now it is Lightstep.
So, what do we have here?
Milos Slavkovic delivers one of the most original and beautifully drawn science fiction comic series in years. Lightstep hits you with bizarre and strange sci-fi concepts that appear in almost no other comic book, or any media for that matter. There’s a ship filled with a breathable ocean. A space jockey “Jazzman” who hijacks old jazz music IN SPACE. There’s even a starship with the sole purpose of cutting enemy vessels in half.
There is so much going on in Lightstep that the fact it is all balanced makes it feel that much more impressive. Nothing feels rushed and each new component of the universe flows seamlessly into the story. There’s even a nightmare that simultaneously incorporates world building and horror into one moment.
Admittedly this is not the easiest series to pick up (most operas never are). It harkens to many of Neil Gaiman’s works where if the reader misses a single detail, the entire plot may be compromised. This is not the the most complex series to read though, and it does reward you if you do. The story certainly worth it.
Picking up where issue one left off, issue #2 follows our exiled protagonist as she jumps from the boiling pot into the raging inferno. There’s action of course and a fascinating new take on a space battle I legitimately did not see coming. Of course there’s a mystery that pops up and by the time you flip to the last page you will be as invested in it as Luke Skywalker when he first played that recording of Princess Leia. This series presents itself as something that mashes both new and old tropes into a refreshing and unexpected hit that hopefully will influence people for years to come. Pick this up, I beg you.
One last note
I truly cannot compliment Slavkovic’s art enough here. Lines and curves merge with well designed and unique characters. As a chapter novel this might be interesting enough but the creator’s art seals the deal. I cannot get enough of it. I can only hope one of the big two publishers pick him up, at the very least for some variant covers. I mean wow.