Starhenge is Liam Sharp’s first venture into writing a fully creator owned title with Image Comics. It is a bold and fearless endeavour. Sharp’s previously much loved creator owned project Captain Stone was equally creative and yet Starhenge is significantly more polished and ambitious.
With that said this new offering clearly wears some of its some of its comic influences upon its sleeve. There are surely hints of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing in places, not that those influences should be considered a bad thing. If inspiration should be taken from anywhere Moore’s Swamp Thing is certainly a fine place to start.
The most obvious element to appreciate is Liam’s incredible visuals. This is one of those comics that would make for a hugely enjoyable artbook even without the storyline and the incredibly expert lettering on display. It is hard to imagine Liam has been holding anything back in recent years given his successes on DC’s Green Lantern and Wonder Woman titles and yet that would appear to be the case here.
Visually Starhenge is a true treat for the eyes. Liam keeps to a strict grid system to tell his story which works perfectly and is slightly reminiscent of his recent DC Bat and The Cat work and even from his Hulk issues many years ago. Where the project becomes truly intriguing is the storyline.
It certainly feels that Liam’s Brave and the Bold series for DC may too have been a warm up for this obvious passion project. The love of mythology combined with a deep understanding of science fiction is there for all to see. That special sense of wonder that all good science fiction creates is also there and certainly present. Arguably it is a comic that requires the reader to concentrate. One cursory read doesn’t do the material justice, there is some nuance on display that takes some time to appreciate. It is a comic that punches you in the face and tells you to keep re-reading again and again. It demands the reader to pay attention.
Arthurian legend may have a new author now in the 21st century. If any criticism was appropriate, it would be that this first instalment is slightly frustrating - it leaves the reader truly demanding more. I suspect the series may be hugely more fulfilling read as whole. With that consideration I can’t wait for the next chapter.
I genuinely hope Starhenge is a huge sales success for the simple reason I hope Image see common sense and publish an enormous, oversized edition to appreciate the glorious art on display here in a hardback edition.
In my book it gets ten gold stars out of five.