Leongs Prism Stalker is a Beautiful and Poetic Tale
“Vep is a young refugee raised away from her devastated home planet as an indentured citizen in a foreign colony. She works tirelessly for her insectoid hosts, but there is no exit in sight in this viscous, dripping city nest. The eye of opportunity is closing. Her duty is to her family and her siblings, but what more can she do for them here? The answer appears faster than she is ready for.”PRISM STALKER #1(C, W, A): Sloane Leong (L): Ariana MaherPrism Stalker #1 had me at its beautifully story-driven imagery but lost me with the total structure. Not to say that this is a crucial thing, but it is a drawback that didn’t allow me to enjoy it as much as I wanted to.Prism Stalker #1 set to make its debut in March, is a new series from Image Comics created, written and drawn by Sloane Leong with letters by Ariana Maher. Prism Stalker #1 very much invokes some otherworldly universes similar to sci-fi writers such as Octavia Butler or Ursula K. Le Guin. As gorgeous as it is, it gets a bit complex as you try to figure out what narrative starts to form. We follow the beginnings of our main character Vep, taken from her homeland by an alien race. She continues to sneak and keep traditions with her family and yearns for freedom as well. Her skills and abilities lead her to an opportunity that she literally can not refuse, directing her to a place where she continues to fight for survival.via Image ComicsSloane Leong develops a beautifully enriched world with poetic dialogue from the very beginning. The lyrical narrative captures as you immediately follow Vep in this place she calls “home.” We revisit her backstory in altering alien landscapes and find her to be a thought-provoking and robust character, especially in a world where she’s trying to keep herself. Leong pens a creative and otherworldly narrative filled with designs that first immediately catches your interest. However, the story also has a downward effect of being almost a little too abstract but alienates and separates the reader like Vep is separated from her home.Leong pens a lot but lays out the foundation of the story, which catches you up to speed quickly. As I read, it left me scratching my head. Everything (and nothing) we’re getting from the beginning of this story is very up in the air. We’re gearing up for a bigger and badass of a story. The writing is slightly tiresome and doesn’t get exciting until the final moments where we finally get a glimpse of the story to come. This may pull readers in different directions. They want to be on board, but not seeing why we should invest in the story. Vep is a substantially memorable and impressive character to have us stay on this journey. I have faith that Leong will gear her character to be a total badass in issues to come.via Image ComicsWhile I wasn’t too sold on the writing just, Leong’s art comes through in steller out of this world ways that are for sci-fi comics. Leong’s art plants you in a mind-bending, trippy and utterly surreal landscape. Your eyes scan every single detail she brings into the world with neon and pastel colors that blow you away even more.Leong carries emotion and strength in her art. Every panel is emotional, creating a feeling of being lost and hopeless while smoothly flowing from one panel to another. If this comic were without words, the art would sell me quickly. It’s just that vivid. Ariana Maher’s lettering does a masterful, yet heartfelt job against Leong’s art. She gives a “stop, look, and feel” type of vibe with her lettering. She spaces out, so you get the full picture, but placed just right, so you aren’t left behind.Before you jump me, this isn’t me downing Prism Stalker #1 at all. I very much enjoyed the visuals, but the story could use a little more. Prism Stalker #1 doesn’t find it’s footing within the first issue and that’s okay! The last parts of this first issue create a smooth transition into where Vep will go next. It will be exciting to see what this new series will lead into. If you’re into stunning visuals of the alien kind and a new kind of sci-fi comic, Prism Stalker #1 is definitely for you. Prism Stalker #1 will be available March 7th on Comixology and your local comic shop.