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Fans of far-out, sci-fi truckin' sagas like Joss Whedon's Firefly and imaginative Japanese anime fare are in for a cosmic treat as Jason Aaron ramps up his breathtaking new Image Comics series, Sea of Stars.
From the acclaimed writer who brought us Marvel's Conan the Barbarian, War of the Realms, Doctor Strange, and Star Wars, comes a blue-collar adventure in outer space with a galactic cargo pilot's efforts to find his marooned son in the great black void.
Penned by Aaron (Southern Bastards, Thor) and Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum (Cloak & Dagger, Vader: Dark Visions), with absorbing pencils from Stephen Green (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.), and vivid colors via Rico Renzi (Spider-Gwen), this ongoing outer space odyssey lifts off with its premiere issue on July 3.
The galaxy-spinning storyline follows a recently widowed father named Gil who scores a long-haul gig transporting alien museum artifacts across the universe. He decides the road-trip is safe enough to bring along his young son Kadyn until their interstellar "big rig," the Porkchop Comet, gets chomped in half by a colossal Space Leviathan.
Gil becomes separated from his son and struggles to survive in a damaged emergency suit that's venting oxygen at a disturbing rate while attempting to stay alive long enough to rescue Kadyn. Amidst the unfolding chaos, Kadyn receives assistance from a talking Space Monkey riding a Space Dolphin as the boy's newly discovered powers slowly emerge.
Accurately billed as Jack Kirby, Finding Nemo, and The Road in space, Sea of Stars #1 also benefits from a striking variant cover by Hellboy's Mike Mignola.
SYFY WIRE chatted with Jason Aaron on this Miyazaki-inspired creator-owned series and where his and his team's journey through the deep, unexplored wilds of space will sail as the narrative unfolds. Then check out our 5-page preview in the gallery below!
What was the core idea for this trippy sci-fi saga and what sorts of inspirations did you draw from?
Jason Aaron: I love the crazy, kinetic sort of Jack Kirby version of space. Which is filled with streaking comets and weird ringed planets and strange otherworldly creatures. I also love the idea of space as a vast ocean. So yeah, this is me wanting to do more space sharks.
Can you take us on a quick tour of the pulpy plot for Sea of Stars?
I love the tagline that Image came up with. A father, a son and a whole lot of SPACE between them. That very nicely sums it up. This is an adventure on two fronts. A father and son get separated in the deep wilds of space, when something big and scary and mysterious attacks their spaceship. The kid soon finds himself somehow soaring between the stars under his own power, with some talking space animals as his sidekicks, on a fun journey through the wondrous depths of space. Meanwhile, the dad is going through sci-fi hell to chase after his boy. If the kid is on a Miyazaki adventure, the dad finds himself trapped inside The Revenant in space.
How did you divide the writing duties with Dennis Hallum and how did the collaboration occur?
We came up with the whole idea together, and the cool thing is that Dennis and I are basically each writing our own version of a space adventure. I'm doing the kid's story, who's on this wide-eyed, fun and innocent adventure, and Dennis is writing the dad's story, where he's fighting for his life every step of the world against a wildly dangerous deep space environment that's constantly trying to kill him or eat him or lay eggs in his face. And each issue will feature both of those adventures, woven together, with an overall destination we're headed toward.
What was the artwork's tone and style discussed with Stephen Green and Rico Renzi and how did you hope to give it distinction?
We just wanted them to do what they do. Dennis and I came up with this idea specifically with Stephen in mind, because he's a guy we were both excited to work with. He's a super imaginative and passionate artist, and we knew he'd kill at designing all these weird, lush space settings and bizarre creatures, and he most definitely has. Along with nailing the very real emotions of this story, of a father trying to save his kid. Pair Stephen with Rico, who's simply one of the best and most striking colorists in the biz today, and I think you've got a sci-fi comic that looks different than anything else that's out there right now.
If you were a space trucker, what would your CB radio handle be?
BJ and the Space Bear.