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Review – Pilot Season: Stellar #1

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Pilot Season: Stellar COVA_stampedTop Cow‘s Pilot Season takes a bunch of concepts and produces one shots, allowing the public to vote as to witch they want see turned into a mini-series.  Stellar #1 is the latest from Robert Kirkman, Marc Silvestri and Bernard Chang.

Stellar is one of five genetically-enhanced super-humans created by the government of Earth. The process used on her has made her toxic to other humans and drove the other four volunteers insane.  Banished from Earth, Stellar now roams the cosmos trying to use her powers for good, haunted by the fact that she can never return home and all to aware that her fellow super-humans are out there, eager to strike at any moment.

There’s a lot I liked about the first issue and some I didn’t.  The concept of a super human who’s become toxic to other humans and attempts to use their power for good is a great concept.  The inability to touch another person and redemption are two ideas that could make a powerful series and of what we see of that, it works quite well.

The issue is, with one issue you need to put it all out there and towards the end we’re teased with the usual “action” trappings.  A fight is teased and what could be a great deconstruction of super heroes and the isolation they face due to their role is dragged down in those last few panels to the usual action and fight sequences.

There’s a lot of potential here though, and I’d be interested in seeing what direction Kirkman would take and what he could pull off in a mini-series.  The one shot as a series is very intriguing.

Plot: Kirkman is a master writer and shows off his brilliance when it comes to character driven story each month in The Walking Dead.  This one shot as a series has that potential, especially if it explored the isolation a person with super powers would face.  But we can’t judge the comic through it’s potential as a series, instead we must judge it on the single issue’s merits.  I thoroughly enjoyed 99% of the comic, it’s only the last few panels that made me role my eyes.  Still, for what we are shown of a tortured hero, it’s very entertaining.  Rating: 8

Art: The art by Bernard Chang is great.  Everything pops off the page with some great visuals and beautiful colors.  There’s a very dedicated color palette here that you don’t see too many other places.  While there’s nothing here that makes me linger for a long time, overall the art is very solid.  Rating: 7.75

Overall: The concept as a series has a lot of potential, and as a single issue, it’s very entertaining.  Out of the two Pilot Season contenders I’ve read so far, Stealth would get my vote, but, I definitely want to see where Kirkman would go with this as a series.  Overall rating: 8

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $2.99    Release Date: 7/28/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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