Prism Stalker #1
Writer & Artist: Sloane Leong
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Anelise Farris
Prism Stalker #1 is the start of a brand new science-fiction comic, written and drawn by Sloane Leong. In this initial issue we meet Vep, the protagonist, who is a young refugee. Her home planet Ivana was wrecked and placed under quarantine, so Vep and her people serve a foreign colony in exchange for shelter. Unwilling to simply accept that this is her life now, Vep is determined to bring change to her family’s dismal existence.
Fortunately for Vep, her “brood guardian” has taken notice of her, deeming her more clever and capable than the others. Due to this, a figure named Sozerin visits Vep, telling her of her suitably to take part in a Chorus Academy: which, from what I can gather, essentially means a school that trains individuals to successfully form a new settlement on a new planet. Vep doesn’t get much of a choice in the matter, but it is at least a sign that change might be possible.
As with a lot of promising first issues, Prism Stalker #1 takes a while to pull you in. The first half is spent vaguely describing what happened to Vep’s home world. The writing is archaic and lyrical—which is totally appropriate for the context—but it doesn’t leave readers with much to hold on to. The latter half redeems the sparse first half by having the right amount of dialogue and plot progression. Nevertheless, it still leaves a lot of questions: What exactly is Vep? Who/What is their host world? What caused the quarantine? I also have a sinking feeling that with the brief description of the Chorus Academy that this comic might go the way of school-story tradition—which is increasingly popular in science fiction and fantasy works. Let’s just hope it offers something new.
The art in Prism Stalker #1 is gorgeously vibrant. Think Lisa Frank with an increased psychedelic vibe and more diverse creatures. Each page is a visual treat, and Leong has a gift for creating pages with a lot of depth. That being said, the art remains consistently cheery throughout, and this prevented me from grasping the severity of Vep and her family’s miserable existence.
The Verdict: Check it out.
It is difficult to make a verdict with a comic like Prism Stalker #1. On the one hand, Leong has created a colorful world that invites readers in. On the other hand, however, this comic could very easily fall into the classic school-story pattern, preventing it from bringing anything new to the table. And, with such little information given in this first issue, I am not invested in Vep’s character yet. My fingers are crossed for issue #2!
Prism Stalker #1 will be available in stores Wednesday, March 7, 2018.