cover image Black Star

Black Star

Eric Anthony Glover and Arielle Jovellanos. Abrams ComicArts, $24.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4228-6

This extraterrestrial survival thriller from Glover, making his debut with Jovellanos (the Jem and the Holograms series), beats with emotional tension and suspenseful action, despite some muddy exposition and character development. Harper North is a research scientist on an interstellar mission to a distant planet to harvest a flower species that may heal cancer. All of her crewmates are women, and among them are her rival, wilderness expert Parrish, and lighthearted medic Fletcher, who is Parrish’s lover. An asteroid shower damages their craft and ignites a fire onboard while the crew is in stasis. North breaks free from her chamber but chooses not to risk her life to save Fletcher and Parrish, making the latter a bitter antagonist in the cat and mouse game that ensues after a crash landing on the planet. North treks through brutal storms and grueling terrain with the help of an AI-powered visor that serves as her guide and offers flashback holograms, which are well rendered but interrupt the momentum. Jovellanos injects energy with fluid action, expressive character design, and a radiant color palette with blazing red wildfires and icy blue shuttle scenes. Despite its narrative flow flaws, this offers a nifty take on interpersonal conflicts in interspace, bolstered by snazzy art. Agents: Joe Riley, Zero Gravity Management, and Karen Kaller, Illustration X. (May)