Comics Features

REVIEW: Starburn Issues #1-4

Written by Tommy Partl

Starburn chronicles the adventures of a crew of space outlaws. They’re a tough, misfit group made up of several different species. There’s the lizard-like captain, humanoids Shavats, Gauge, and  Saskia, insect-like Ma’ta, the dinosaur-esque Basar, and wolf-like Gamal. Their ship, Starburn, is the fastest ship in the galaxy, and a prize that many other outlaws hope to steal. The first four issues of Starburn are excellent spacefaring tales, and anyone who’s a sucker for intergalatic outlaws (like me) will definitely enjoy it.

The first two issues focus on the crew’s mysterious pickup mission on Zaphon, where they don’t even know what their cargo is. Things spiral like crazy from there, with plenty of twists in the plot to keep you guessing what will happen next. The next two issues deal with Starburn’s escape from another band of space pirates, and solves the mystery of who built this mysterious ship in the first place. The plot has plenty twists to keep you reading, and you’ll hardly be able to guess what happens next. The first two issues alone have at least four major double crossings and sudden reversals of fortune. The characters themselves are also diverse and distinct, each with their own well-developed personality. Their relationships are also strong and believable. In the course of only a few scenes, writer/creator Kelly Bender is able to convey the crew’s trust in their captain as well as the sense that these are professional criminals who have seen plenty of action.

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Brian Balondo‘s art is slick and colorful. He’s able to bring a full cast of different species and personalities to life in his artwork. It’s rare that you see a comic (or even a movie) that does different alien species so well and can create their personalities just through their images. The Starburn’s crew has a half-dozen species mixed into it, and each one has a unique design. There’s no derivative character features or repetition. It really feels like you’re in a galaxy populated by diverse alien creatures. With bright lasers, creative landscapes, and good pacing, Balondo brings life to desert planets, interstellar space battles, and tight ship hallways.

Overall, anyone who enjoys a thrilling tale about space pirates will enjoy Starburn. The colorful artwork and unique character designs populate Starburn’s crew with memorable personalities, while the fast-paced, adrenaline-soaked writing keeps you turning pages, wondering what twist lies ahead for Starburn’s crew. Memorable characters and big set battles make this a solid science fiction series. Perhaps the only fault in it is that it’s only four issues, and we certainly don’t get enough time to unearth the secrets of this mysterious ship or its dangerous crew of scoundrels.

Issues #1-4 of Starburn are out now on Comixology. You can get each digital issue for just 99 cents. Hopefully we’ll see more stories about Starburn’s motley crew of smugglers from Bender, Balondo, and the rest of the creative team behind the comic.

Did you enjoy Starburn? Are you upset that we’re born too late to explore the New World and too early to explore the stars? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Tommy Partl