by Jayden Leggett, Editor
I imagine that releasing the very first issue of a brand-new comic book series would be an incredibly challenging experience, which is why I am especially pleased to announce that the debut issue of Falling Star, written and illustrated by the immensely talented Aussie creator Cristian Roux, is just so darn entertaining.
Taking place “sometime in the future”, a catastrophic and unnatural storm has a deadly hold on an unnamed city. News teams and local authorities are speculating that the storm is being caused by the recent presence of “alters”, a name given to humans who are exhibiting powers and abilities beyond the capabilities of ordinary human beings. But who, or more importantly, what, are these “alterhumans”, and how did they come to be?The way that these and a lot of other questions are raised in this book is one of the reasons as to why I found it so intriguing to read.
All throughout the issue, the narrative flips back and forth between several different characters. We have the news reporters commenting on the incidents that are taking place, whilst also interviewing members of the Agency for Alterhuman Research and Response, who’s military-like presence is everywhere across the city. Meanwhile in a soup kitchen, a trio of seemingly homeless people are discussing their own opinions about what is happening in the city, and whether the Agency is truly only here to investigate the alters, or if they have another hidden agenda.
However, arguably the central characters to this comic so far (at least from what I can tell, judging by the front cover and the narrative content) are a couple of mysterious people who are apparently alters, as one, a man simply named “D”, exhibits Wolverine-like animal abilities such as an enhanced sense of smell and some brutal looking fingernails, whilst the other, a woman named “Mim”, has the ability to create portals in solid objects, in order to transport herself and others to different locations.
We find the duo lurking in a dark alleyway in the hopes of eluding the patrolling Agency soldiers, when they discover the unconscious (or possibly deceased) body of a strange looking being. The pair decide to hide the currently helpless being from the prying eyes of the Agency (with a fair amount of reluctance from D), and by the end of the book the reader is left wondering exactly what all of these events mean. Who is this mysterious “Star” person that the news and various alters are constantly referring to? How did all of these people get their unique abilities? What’s the go with the creepy street performer who can apparently switch physical locations with other people but also ends up with the other person’s hair in the process?
The endless mystery that surrounds much of the story in this comic is a hugely contributing factor to why I found it to be so very enthralling. Of course, in the world of comic books, brilliant writing often means nothing if the artwork sucks. Thankfully, Cristian Roux happens to be as equally skilful with a drawing pencil as he is with a… um… writing pencil?
Falling Star: Issue 1‘s artwork is exceptional, featuring bold black and white artwork and utilizing numerous shading and tonal techniques. I particularly loved Cristian’s mastery of depth of field, with background images being slightly faded and more grey in tone, allowing the boldly drawn characters in the foreground to really pop-out.
I equally loved the story and the artwork on every page in this book. In fact, the only one real gripe I could make is that early on in the story during the more lengthy pieces of dialogue, some strange formatting occurs in which an uninterrupted sentence begins in one speech bubble and continues over to the second, with the result being that I would accidentally apply pauses in the middle of sentences where no pause was intended. Hopefully this will be sorted out by the release of the next issue (which I am definitely eager to get my hands on).
If you are at all keen to expand your comic horizons beyond the typical books of Marvel, DC and so on, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Falling Star: Issue 1, which you can purchase directly via Cristian’s online store, or via one of the many physical Australian comic book stores also listed on the website (including my personal favorite, All Star Comics). Whatever you do, just don’t expect to receive all of the answers to the story by the end of the first issue… you’re gonna have to wait for the next installment to (hopefully) find out more. Personally, I can not wait.
ComicsOnline gives Falling Star: Issue 1 4.5 out of 5 hungry homeless people slurping soup.