REVIEW: StarHenge #1 from Image Comics

Liam Sharp’s StarHenge #1 immerses readers in a beautiful and confusing world of Arthurian lore, time travel, magic, and evil robots.

  • StarHenge Cover #1
    StarHenge #1

    Liam Sharp

    Liam Sharp

    Cover artist:
    Liam Sharp

    Picture Comics


    Release date:

    Liam Sharp

    StarHenge #1

Considering how prolific artist and author Liam Sharp is, fans might be surprised to learn that he’s never worked with Image Comics before. Fortunately, everything will change on July 6 with the release of StarHenge #1, written and drawn by Sharp. The first number is a tour de force which incorporates Arthurian legends, time travel, magic, and plenty of action to create one of the most exciting comic books of the year.

Told by a young woman with an interest in magic named Amber Weaver, StarHenge #1 tells the story of the war to save the human race. As Amber and her boyfriend Daryl talk about the urban legends of their hometown, the Queen of Ur watches as humans struggle to defend themselves in a galactic battle against evil robots. The humans use magic to try to gain the upper hand, but despite their best efforts, they are outnumbered and outgunned. So, in a desperate attempt to defeat her enemies and save the human race, the Queen of Ur sends her only son back in time to Earth.

Related: REVIEW: Oni Press’ Blink #1

It’s like Sharp exploring a new concept on every page of StarHenge #1. It gives readers a glimpse into ancient history and the distant future before returning to the present to introduce Amber, the series’ immediately charming narrator. It would be easy for the exposition of an ambitious series like this to become dense and inaccessible, but Sharp is careful not to overexplain the many difficult concepts that make up the world of StarHenge. He allows them to remain mysterious, so he can focus on his intriguing cast of characters, leaving the reader curious, not confused.

As compelling as the story is, Sharp’s work steals the show. The immersive, multi-layered nature of each panel lends credence to the world it builds and makes it easy to get lost in each page. It captures the horror of a futuristic war between humans and androids, before celebrating the sweet and beautiful nature of young love. Sharp presents each period in a slightly different visual style, but each scene oozes with its distinctive energy. His art helps communicate complicated ideas and characterize new protagonists without sacrificing his singular style by incorporating a wide range of colors and textures. It would be easy to compare these pictorial pages to the work of sci-fi/fantasy artists like Frank Frazetta or painters like Francis Bacon, but, truth be told, Sharp’s stunning artwork defies comparison and classification.

Related: REVIEW: Image Comics’ Clementine

StarHenge #1 deserves to be read and celebrated on the strength of Sharp’s writing or his art alone. But seen as a whole, this first issue is pure comic book magic. He crafted a story that challenges audiences to keep up without alienating readers looking for entertaining reading. It is an absolutely magnificent page-turner that is sure to benefit from several readings. It’s hard to imagine where Sharp’s story is headed, but it’s sure to be an incredible journey.

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