Sera and The Royal Stars #1 / Writer: Jon Tsuei / Artist: Audrey Mok / Colorist: Raul Angulo / Letterer: Jim Campbell / Publisher: Vault Comics / Publish Date: July 2019
Family, Fighting, and Gods
Sera is a soldier and the Princess of Parsa, but lately, she has also become a seer of the God Mitra due to the light of The Royal Stars dimming. Her mother had this same affliction, which drove her away from her home and her family. Sera does not want these visions. She wants to defend her kingdom, be with her siblings, and serve her people. How can she do that when a God is invading her mind constantly to tell her she has a higher calling? When Mitra replaces her heart with a crystal, it causes her to see her family and kingdom in blood. She knows then she must go on the quest that her Mother could not complete.
Sera and The Royal Stars
Jon Tsuei’s Sera and The Royal Stars is an interesting introduction to the willful Princess. He shows us her fighting spirit, bravery, but also her soft spot for her family. The other characters around her seem somewhat one-sided tropes. The sister angry for their mother leaving then, the loving King, the loyal soft-hearted brother, and the all evil villain. That being said, this is the first issue and perhaps these stereotypes will evolve in future issues. Tsuei does throw the reader for a loop with a new character in the end.
He also creates a fantasy world straight out of Dungeons and Dragons, with wars in the desert, magic, visions, and creatures. Tsuei keeps the action moving and evolves the fantasy genre as he goes. He creates tension and has the reader wondering where Sera will go and what she will find when she gets there.
Audry Mok’s art in Sera and The Royal Stars is gorgeously created. She makes the reader believe this world is real, while also delving into its mystical beauty. Sera is drawn with a fierce expression to solidify her character’s resolve. Nevertheless, her attractiveness does not lack in the face of attacks. Mok also had her work cut out for her with the constant change of backdrops, armor creation, and the look of mystical beings. These wonderful creations were fully supported by Raul Angulo’s vibrant colors. The sky when in the Stars realm against the gold of Mitra and then the reflection of the God onto Sera is particularly skillful and enjoyable use of color. Angulo’s colors help signify how different each location is, as well as the transitions from one to another. This duo truly works well together to create a unique fantasy book.
Overall, Sera and The Royal Stars felt like an introduction more than a full book. I enjoyed Sera, the mythology, and the artwork, but the last panel almost felt like a series ending instead of a one-shot. Regardless, I am interested to know where this journey will lead. As a lover of fantasy, this world is one I’d like to see more of. I would also like to see the characters more developed going forward. Ultimately, it is the art and color that will bring me back to this book, as well as set me on a path to see more of Mok and Angulo’s works.
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Verdict: 4 out of 5