Hey, just because I am doing nearly daily “Noteworthy Issues” doesn’t mean I won’t also do a week’s worth of trade paperback reviews when I have enough to put out for a weeks. Besides, Canadian Netflix made is difficult for Jimmy and I to continue that Young Justice watch.
Regardless, first up I have a review for the first volume of Jason Aaron’s Sea of Stars, subtitled Lost in the Wild Heavens.
Space trucker Gil lost his wife recently, so he is trying to make it up to his young son Kadyn by bringing the kid along on one of his long hauls. However, Kadyn is mostly bored by space since Gil’s job requires he often keep his distance from anything remotely dangerous. Factor in as well that his job often kept him away from his son, and Gil doesn’t quite know what to do with the boy. But then a giant alien shark thing swims out of the cosmos and bites the ship in half, separating Gil and Kadyn and forcing them to survive on their own.
If anything, the how the two survive could look like it’s coming out of a completely unrelated pair of books. Gil’s adventures, such as they are, show him doing his best just to get back to where Kadyn is in an area of the universe that humans don’t generally go. What he goes through is much more “hard” sci-fi as he has to deal with scant supplies and power sources, scavenging for what he needs with only a carnivorous plant in his backpack to provide oxygen and an obsolete security bot for company. He has at least a vague idea where he is and how dangerous this spot of space is.
Kadyn, on the other hand, somehow developed some sort of superpowers. He can fly through space on his own, understand alien languages, and he doesn’t even seem to need his space suit anymore. Accompanied by Space Monkey (who initially wants to eat Kadyn) and Space Dolphin (who is more curious), he’s having weird misadventures of his own. And yes, Kadyn named the pair. But there are these aliens with some sort of Aztec design going on, and they have some ideas of their own, something involving Kadyn and a very large thing in space. That could be a problem.
I picked this up by virtue of the fact that it was from writer Jason Aaron. He’s done a lot of interesting stuff at Image, and sometimes he even finishes them. His work tends to have a somewhat cynical air to it, or at least something that questions authority. Why else would one of the big villains from his Thor run arguably be Odin? However, this one here seemed like Aaron’s attempt at an all-ages story. To be clear, it isn’t quite that. Gil tosses off some profanity here and there, but the Kadyn sections have a good deal of humor and childhood innocence going on. He’s got superpowers now, and he is absolutely reveling in that fact. Perhaps that comes from co-writer Dennis Hallum, though Stephen Green’s artwork does have a kid-friendly look to it in places while also showing the darker aspects of the story with Gil’s struggles quite well. Granted, this is still a book from Jason Aaron coming out of Image, so I have no idea whether it will get much further than this. I can name two series off the top of my head that Aaron started and never finished there for one reason or another, but in the meantime, I will be on board for more of this.
8.5 out of 10 punched out quarksharks.