Continuing to explore the new comic books that are coming out this year one series that caught my eye when announced was Starsigns. Specifically that this is a new superhero series created by Saladin Ahmed. Ahmed’s run on Miles Morales: Spider-Man was very enjoyable and he has proven that he is able to work in various types of superhero worlds beyond that series. Now will Ahmed tap into the X-Men vibe that is promoted with the solicitation for Starsigns #1? Find out with our advance review.
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Megan Levens
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Shawn Lee
“The constellations of the zodiac fall to earth, granting twelve ordinary people from very different walks of life the superhuman powers of the Starsigns. But each of them is about to learn that power always comes with a price.” – Image Comics
Starsigns #1 checks all the right boxes when crafting a new world where superhumans exist. We get a general understanding of why superhuman powers suddenly appeared. There is a series lead who has a life of her own. In the process, we get a world that has gone through a massive change that is not understood because the full impact hasn’t been felt.
The biggest strength of Starsigns #1 is how Saladin Ahmed emphasizes the character interactions in this story. We get this through our two perspective characters Rana Fawaaz and Tatiana. While Rana is the main focus of how the narrative in Starsigns #1 is told Tatiana is given as much importance for the time she is on screen. The importance of both characters comes through how the fall of the Zodiac constellations impacts the world. There is the vibe of how Marvel introduced Spider-Man and the X-Men at the beginning.
Most importantly, Ahmed shows that connecting and relating to characters aren’t the same thing. Ahmed makes sure to have Rana stand as her own individual character who has an entire life built out. Her experiences aren’t ours. The way she interacts with friends, family, and work associates shows us different sides of Rana’s character. Changes in dialogue choice and setting help develop the individual voice of not just Rana but also those around her. Those changes make you connect with her, so you do want to see how being involved in the world of superheroes changes how Rana tackles her life.
While the similarities to Spider-Man and X-Men are here, the way the mythology of Starsigns #1 is developed has a lot of manga vibes. The basis of this new age of superpowers coming from the fall of the Zodiac constellations establishes a core of several special people. But based on how we see this happen at the beginning of Starsigns #1 leaves the door open for more depending on the way story arcs evolve.
Megan Levens’s artwork along with Kelly Fitzpatrick’s coloring does a good job meshing an art style you find in webtoons with the comic book framework. It’s an art style that works for how many slice-of-life elements there are with developing the way different character interactions go down, especially with how superpowers are something completely new to this world Levens and Fitzpatrick nail the reaction when those powers manifest.
Starsigns #1 does everything you want from the first issue of a new comic book. The foundation around this new world of superpowers is easily understood without much explanation. The series lead in Rana Fawaaz has a narrative that is presented in a way you get invested in her story right away. That investment leaves you wondering how the change in the world will impact her and those around her.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10