• Starstorm standing powered up
    The Savage Strength Of Starstorm #1
    Drew Craig
    Drew Craig
    Jason Finestone
    Cover Artist:
    Drew Craig
    Image Comics
    Release Date:
    Jason Finestone

The Savage Strength Of Starstorm is a promising new series published by Image Comics. In part, a love letter to the comics of the '80s and '90s, the first issue combines cosmic epic with high school cliché. This issue introduces the outer bounds the series will expand into -- a space-faring empire and a cosmic power-up -- while establishing its main characters. The Savage Strength Of Starstorm #1, written and illustrated by Drew Craig with colors and letters by Jason Finestone and production art by Wesley Griffith, brings humor and action in a familiar, comforting package.

Grant Garrison is ready for his first day at a new high school. Orphaned and suffering from amnesia, Grant finds himself at Kirby High School facing the typical high school clichés. Things escalate quickly when a meteor crashes into Grant's school, leaving only classmate Jen and Grant standing amid the rubble and a monster. Among the rubble is an artifact that bonds to Grant, giving him powers and a sleek new outfit to battle in. The issue goes through pretty standard paces from start to finish, but it maintains an enjoyable tone.

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Grant picking up the Starstorm

The story here is fun but suffers from being a bit too predictable. The Starstorm itself feels fresh and has a lot of potential, but this issue doesn't get too far past the generic "person discovers a mystical object they don't understand yet" part of the narrative. The opening and closing scenes allude to a larger world and more expanded players in the universe, and they're by far the most intriguing parts of the story. The character work is strong. Grant is likable as a protagonist, and Jen is instantly compelling, but they're stuck in a well-known story for most of this issue.

Craig's art shines when it bursts free from the typical high school setting. There are a couple of double-page spreads that are jaw-dropping in both scope and execution. Precise page layouts deliver perfectly executed comedic timing. The action is presented with dynamic angles and picturesque action poses. The character, creature, and ship designs are a definite highlight of the issue. This book sings when it dives into sci-fi.

Starstorm flooded with visions of faces

The color palette for this issue leans towards cooler hues. Finestone makes room for the red of the Starstorm outfit to pop in contrast with the rest of the comic. Colors are applied evenly throughout, creating a visual consistency from cover to cover. The letters are handled with care and expertise. There are a few instances of speech bubbles overlapping. In the hands of a more inexperienced creator, the result could've been a visual disaster, but here they're executed to perfection.

This issue is a bit of a mixed bag. The premise is strong, and the larger world that's alluded to is intriguing. There's just a little too much "been there, seen that" distorting something that feels new and fresh. Though it doesn't knock it out of the park, these creators clearly know what they're doing. With The Savage Strength Of Starstorm #1, Craig, Finestone, and Griffith lay a firm foundation to move forward into exciting, uncharted territory.