New from Mad Cave Studios, Becstar is a science fiction story set in an entirely new and immersive universe. Written by Joe Corallo with art by Lorenzo Colangeli, the series features high stakes (the fate of the universe hangs in the balance), mercenaries with drinking problems, and an art style that is at once vivid and expressively over the top. Set for release May 5th, AIPT has an advance copy ready to be reviewed.
Becstar #1 is an exciting first issue that introduces readers to characters who feel lived in and real. The science-fiction world is well realized, and the first issue well plotted. We open on a facility that is protected, but that protection can barely hold up to a threat that is more than willing to kill in order to get what it wants. With imminent danger hanging over the story, we’re introduced to Becstar, a mercenary who has turned to gamble to spend her time likely in part due to a magical lucky dagger she has in her possession.
It’s in these types of magical items that Corallo and Colangeli have created a science fiction story with a superhero twist. These items add a little extra mystery and excitement in later scenes in this issue, which increases your interest and anticipation. The items might feel a tad familiar, and there are certainly some nods to other sci-fi stories, but overall Becstar feels entirely like its own thing. It should interest sci-fi fans hungry for something new.
The good guys consist of three characters: Paprika, Becstar, and Sally. Sally is Becstar’s first mate and the all-around guardian angel of sorts as she attempts to keep Becstar out of trouble. The three are united when Paprika shows up after her harrowing loss in the first scene. Of these characters, Paprika ends up being the least developed, though since she is our “everyman” in the story and serves as the surrogate for the reader we can assume her development comes in future issues.
The art by Colangeli is expressive and cartoony with its character design, but doesn’t shy away from detail. In one panel, for instance, we get some hyper detail in a wound through the eye. Inks and colors are also by Colangeli and these are where the book really comes alive. The rougher linework can come through at times, which is a bit jarring since so many pages are very clean, but in most instances of this the colors shine through the rougher work.
The colors by Colangeli add atmosphere and volume to the characters themselves quite well. The backgrounds and setting are established well by the colors too. A brightly lit casino interior, for instance, is overtly bright as it should be while a scene outside the casino is cast in neon and yet shadows seep in a bit better. In some scenes, the source of light is an element that adds atmosphere and helps define the space. A green flame, for instance, is accurately lighting the area around it, but not necessarily the entire room.
Becstar is a highly enjoyable sci-fi story with some superpowers thrown in for good measure. The creative team has rendered an interesting world well worth exploring and this first issue offers a story that’s hard to put down. You can pick up the first issue in comic book shops on May 5th.
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