Review: Stargazer #1
For me, one of the most overlooked sci-fi films is Fire in the Sky. The film is based on a book recounting one man’s alien abduction experience. In the story, he’s taken by aliens while logging with co-workers leading to a mystery if he was really abducted or in fact killed. For those that haven’t seen it, it’s well worth viewing. Stargazer #1, a new series from Mad Cave Studios, delivers a similar concept mixing the abduction story with a little bit of IT and Goonies and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Writer Anthony Cleveland seems to play with the familiar in this debut issue. It opens with a twist on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and from there weaves a story of the past and present day. Where Stargazer #1 stands out is leaving the reader with doubts. What’s real? What’s false? Is it all a bad acid trip.
The story revolves around a group of kids who have an experience one day that involves discovering acid and possible aliens. Were the aliens due to the drugs? Were they real? It’s unknown exactly what’s going on even by the end of the first issue which seems to take you in a certain direction. There’s so many fakes and twists, what “the facts” are remain unclear and unknown. It’s exactly what a good alien abduction story should be.
Antonio Fuso provides the art with Stefano Simeone on colors and Justin Birch lettering. The art is solid clearly jumping through it’s three segments and tying the latter two together in a reddish/purpleish color haze. The choice of colors is striking and with Fuso’s art style, it creates trippy visuals where the paranoia of it all is enhanced.
Where Stargazer #1 really stands out is the small details. There’s so much to relate to here as readers. One can just go into it appreciating the pressure of having to take care of an unwell family member. Many will relate to the aspect of having to keep a secret. And some will latch on to the emotional toll or the fantastical. The team delivers all of that and more in a story that perfectly mixes dialogue and visuals to flesh out characters and the story. We learn about a character from a photo. We also get a sense of the tough decision being made from a pamphlet. These are details that enhance the story without breaking the flow.
Those details too are perfect for this type of experience. As readers, we’re going into the story skeptical. Is this an alien abduction? We don’t know. But, it feels like the creative team have made sure to focus in on tiny aspects for us to put together that mystery and so much more. If you’re a fan of alien abduction stories or mysteries, Stargazer #1 is a definite buy.
Story: Anthony Cleveland Art: Antonio Fuso
Color: Stefano Simeone Letterer: Justin Birch
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
Mad Cave Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review. Mad Cave is also a paid advertiser on the site.