Review: Star Mage #3
Rebellion and desertion! JC De La Torre’s saga of space and wizardry continues as Darien adjusts to school at Lambdu Kishpu, meets new friends and learns of the treachery of his brother Orasmas. Orasmas reveals his new, unstoppable weapon – one Darien thought was lost forever. Gorgeously illustrated by artist Franco Cespedes, issue three will have a lasting effect on the rest of the series.
Darien’s adventure out in space continues this month in the pages of Star Mage #3. The story is written by JC De La Torre with art by Franco Cespedes. The first two issues started to set up a big, sweeping space saga involving wizardry, but does the third issue really get things going?
Darien never really fit in on earth. He recently discovered that it was due in part to him being the son of a king from another planet who could wield powerful magic. Darien was never trained in the ways of his people, and their ability to manipulate Kishpu, so when he is brought home in the midst of an intergalactic battle against his brother Orasmas, he’s woefully unprepared for what he must do. The council wants to kill him, but clearer heads prevail and Darien is instead sent to school to get him caught up on the ways of Kishpu. No one can know who Darien is, but when Orasmas unveils his secret weapon, it might not matter anyway. Can Darien learn enough in time to make a difference in the war? Will he be able to stand against the might of his evil brother and his secret weapon?
JC De La Torre does a great job of fleshing out his world and the characters that inhabit it. There’s a lot of jargon that’s used to explain places, people, and things, but the writer does a good job of dropping it in with context so readers can piece it all together. This is a fully formed sci-fi world. The issue does get bogged down in another gigantic flashback sequence though. An info dump takes place to show why the king left with Darien and his mother as well as how Orasmas rose to power. That flashback takes up the majority of the issue, leaving Darien adjusting to his new school life and some budding friendships taking place over about 7 pages. There’s a lot of potential with that section, so hopefully we see more of that before the ultimate showdown that’s brewing. Cespedes’ art is a big draw to the series. The artist does a wonderful job of fully forming the fantastical world the writer maps out in the story. Things are big and bold with a great blend of sci-fi setting with a dash of Harry Potter-like wizardry as well. The colors are vibrant and really bring the far-out space fantasy to life.
Bottom Line: Star Mage is a little heavy with the exposition and plot this month, but the world seems fully formed now so it could be time for the team to really let loose. There’s a lot of potential with this series, so hopefully the next three issues really start to mine some of the big ideas laid out. 3/5
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