When Stellar was younger, she and a bunch of other children were made into superhuman weapons and formed a team to fight in an inter-dimensional war. The story begins at least a few months after Stellar left the war and crash-landed onto the seemingly impoverished planet she now resides. However, pretty soon her old team come after her and attempt to bring her home. Upon her arrival, it becomes clear that one member, who was somewhat sadistic as a kid, wants revenge on the rest of them. It seems to come as a shock to Stellar that he’s alive, so perhaps they murdered him?
Explaining the story of Stellar without giving too much away is tricky. The main reason for that is because it’s heavily reliant on the flashback storytelling method. This often comes off as confusing and means having to flick back and forth to understand what’s going on; you’re pretty much reading two stories at once. This might be acceptable late on in a comics life, once you’ve already had time to familiarise yourself with the characters, but doing it from the get-go seems like an unnecessary gimmick. On top of this, a lot of the backstory given is vague, often raising more questions than it gives answers at this stage. At its core, Stellar is a story about revenge, it’s usually nice to know why someone is out for payback, but as mentioned, details are hard to come by; presumably those questions will be answers in future issues, this TP only comprising of #1 - #6. The art style of the book itself also feels dated; there’s the occasional bit of gritty violence now and again, but for the most part, it seems like a cross between a ‘90s Marvel title and an early Star Wars comic.
Stellar is an interesting story, and there does seem to be a rich backstory to the characters and the world, however, having to re-read it multiple times to figure out what’s going on, and still coming up short, makes it a very frustrating one. Case in point: the final act contains a twist seemingly thrown in for no reason, one that really rankles Stellar, but to the reader, it’s not even clear why she’d ever be bothered. It doesn’t affect her or anyone else in the slightest.
Stellar? Not quite.
AUTHOR: JOSEPH KEATINGE | ARTIST: BRET BLEVINS | PUBLISHER: IMAGE COMICS | FORMAT: TRADE PAPERBACK | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW