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Friday, March 1, 2024

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STONE STAR VOLUME 1: FIGHT OR FLIGHT – Space Gladiators (Zub, Dunbar, Grundetjern, Dillon, Daniel) Dark Horse Comics

Thanks to Superfan Promotions LLC for the review copy!

The first volume of Stone Star is a gladiator space epic that reminds me a lot of Thor: Ragnarok. The titular Stone Star is a huge space ship that serves as a mobile gladiator arena, broadcasting throughout the galaxy. The characters are befitting a space opera – there’s the old grizzled retired gladiator who has a secret soft spot, the princess in trouble, the street urchin and his wisecracking sidekick.  

I’m particularly glad I got to read the title as a collected volume, as each chapter ends on a pretty dramatic cliffhanger. It’s a testament to the characters that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to them. While Stone Star employs a lot of storytelling staples, it manages to bring an interesting angle to them. The use of flashbacks effectively fill in the backstory for two of the characters (and I’m hoping eventually we’ll get one for a third).

The comparison to Thor: Ragnarok goes beyond the fact that there are gladiators in space with some neat alien designs (Stone Star, freed by the constraints of a movie CGI budget actually has better aliens and setting design). The color scheme also reminded me of the movie. The art does a great job with scale in its action scenes, particularly in a fight with a huge monster.

Stone Star is one of those stories you start to read and can’t put down. The twists aren’t always shocking, but they are well executed and make for a fun ride. Volume 1 tells a fairly complete arc while leaving plenty to explore in future issues.

Stone Star Volume 1: Fight or Flight collects original digital series Stone Star issues 1 through 5 and it is now available.

Are you going to pick up this trade paperback? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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