Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 Review

Writer:  Liam Sharp
Art: Liam Sharp and Matylda McCormack-Sharp
Letters: Liam Sharp
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 6th, 2022

Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 kicks off a new epic mini-series that combines magic, science fiction, and time travel, all taking place within a dark universe loosely based on British myth.  It promises to be akin to the Dune series in its level of scale and it all begins here!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 Review.

The Story

Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 isn’t a casual read and that’s a good thing.  In this first issue, you’ll be plunged into the deep end of a universe with a lexicon overflowing with new terms and concepts.  In the first few pages of the issue alone, we get terms such as “boffins”, “Goldilocks Zones”, “carking” and “Ur-Queen”.
In the year 2112, a deep-space scout ship launched from Earth comes across a world filled with ancient ruins.  Landing on the planet, the crew awakens an artificial intelligence that tortures them to get information.  Learning about Earth, and more importantly, the existence of magic, the AI determines magic is a threat to it and all magic must be wiped out.

On modern-day Earth, 18-year-old Amber Weaver (who was born in England but now lives in California) dabbles in witchcraft and spends time with her boyfriend, a star player on the football team.   Amber is the narrator for the story, and she will eventually become pulled into the grand scheme of it, but in this issue, we get some nice looks into her relationship and her fascination with occult history.  We don’t get to see much of Amber in this issue, but she seems like an interesting and adventurous character that I look forward to seeing more of as the story progresses.  Her boyfriend is a dullard, however, so hopefully, he’ll be cast aside.

These modern-day scenes with Amber are a relief from the galactic battles set in the future, where we see Terminator-style robots and ships called The Cast that are generated by the alien AI battling the “Knights of Veldt”, who wear medieval-style armor, and carry energy swords and patrol space, keeping The Cast from destroying all magic. These battle scenes have an almost Warhammer 40k feel to them, with massive ships and humongous armored warriors fighting amongst the stars.
The other major character in the story is Wyllt, son of the Ur-Queen and warrior of the future, who enjoys romance as much as conflict.

I enjoyed this first issue and the world-building.  There are aspects borrowed from British myth, “Stargate”, “The Terminator” and “Alien” to form a unique new universe for this story.  I feel the next couple of issues will be Earth-based, which is fine, but there’s no denying how fun it is to watch ships hurtle through space and armies battling on vessels orbiting alien worlds, so hopefully, we get off Earth quickly and back to the stars.

The Art

Liam Sharp’s art on Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 is beautifully painted, with the Earth-based scenes grounded in more realism and detail, and the space scenes in the future drawn in a more impressionistic style. The Cast, the Terminator-style army of robots sent to destroy magic, are drawn to look terrifying, human bones and skulls merged with massive metal bodies.

A large variety of spaceships and alien architecture fill the pages set in the future, and they give this universe a grim look and feel. One splash page, where several ships wage battle, lighting up space with orange explosions and laser fire, is especially beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Starhenge Book One: The Dragon and the Boar #1 is a great beginning to a new saga.  Though the terminology is dense, ultimately it absorbs you in the universe of the story.
I would have liked to see more of Amber in this issue, we barely scratch the surface of her character, but I’m sure we’ll get more of her next issue.

8/10

 

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