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SYFY WIRE Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal to launch Starward, a cosmic, chaotic young-adult comic

By James Grebey
Starward Heavy Metal

The storied sci-fi and fantasy magazine Heavy Metal is launching yet another new comic series, this time focusing on a young woman who discovers that she’s the reincarnation of a cosmic warrior who must defend reality from chaos. The series, Starward, described as a modern telling of a Sailor Moon or She-Ra story, is Heavy Metal’s first series specifically geared toward young-adult readers.

Starward is the story of Stephanie Cohen, who is starting college at the end of the summer and giving up her love of classics to please her parents in Pre-Med,” the synopsis for the comic explains in a press release. “But classics crashes into her life when she realizes she’s the reincarnation of a stellar warrior tasked with guarding the cosmic door to chaos! Is Stephanie strong enough to follow her heart, accept her secret history, and look starward in time to save humanity ... when she realizes chaos has already won?”

Starward Heavy Metal

The comic, which will debut in a serialized format in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine before eventually being released in an expanded, stand-alone format in comic shops, is the work of writer Steve Orlando and artist Ivan Shavrin. Orlando — who is known for his work writing Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, along with several independent titles like VIRGIL and Dead Kings — says that Starward is “a perfect evolution” of his work writing the two DC heroes.

Starward, Orlando explains in the press release, is “a tale of heroism with massive worldbuilding, rich explorations of identity and the birth of power within oneself!”

Shavrin’s bold, almost pop art-style illustrations have graced Guardians of the Galaxy and the Toy Story 4 comic.

Starward’s first installment will appear in the pages of Heavy Metal #305, which comes out in February 2021. A release date for the standalone comic version has not yet been determined.