ComiXology Originals 2020
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Max Dunbar
Coloured by Espen Grundetjern
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
The nomadic space station called Stone Star brings gladiatorial entertainment to ports across the galaxy. Inside this gargantuan vessel of tournaments and temptations, foragers and fighters struggle to survive. A young warrior named Dail has been drawn into the ring and is trying to prove himself in the Grand Arena, but there are forces on the station determined to see him destroyed as revenge for his father's fighting legacy.
Well I am sorry to say that this is my introduction to the series, I missed season one which makes me sad, however that being said you can pick this up and enjoy it without worrying about not being able to follow along. The opening here is great and I like seeing that the, i’m going with indigineous species, remains that house cities is sensational. It really captures the imagination and make the reader want to see what else is happening within these pages. I will wholeheartedly admit that anytime I know Jim and Max are working together I want to be there to experience what they create. I have yet to be disappointed by what either of them does let alone together.
I love the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is beautifully presented. How we are introduced to the characters and the world they live in is perfect for new readers and a nice reminder for established fans. While on the surface it may appear to be more of a younger audience read don’t be fooled because what we see is anything but all-ages. The character development we see is amazing and it really allows us to get to know these folks. The way they act and react to the situations and circumstances as well as how they interact with each other, see dialogue, we have this opportunity to connect with them. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the world, the story arc itself and so much.
I am a fan of how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story are taking shape. That we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as we do is sensational. The writing is so well done and it reminds me why I’m such a Jim Zub fan.
The interiors here are fantastic! The linework we see is beautifully laid down and how the varying weights and techniques are being utilised to create the detail work is stunning. The creativity and imagination on display is utterly fabulous and it is able to come to life thanks to Max and Espen. That we see backgrounds as we do makes me one happy camper as they not only enhance the moments but bring us depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the book. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is phenomenal. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is extraordinary stuff. I love seeing the choices in colour so that these various species are unique and different.
There are aspects of this that remind me of Star Wars and of Dungeons & Dragons, though if you’ve ever rpg’d Star Wars it could simply be that. Regardless what I am saying is that there is a familiarity and comfort in the way we perceive the series. This is so charming and so well told that you can get lost in this world and left wishing you could explore the city itself. ComiXology Originals is home to some absolutely amazing stories so perhaps you should consider reading both digitally and physically.