Earthlight Volume 1
It’s high school teen drama… in space!
I’m not sure what to say about Earthlight. I want to like it, but it’s not quite there for me. The artist, Christopher Schons, is great with near-future technology, and he’s also good with creating expressive figures in the kids, so that’s not it.
The writer, Stuart Moore, crafts excellent scenes and is good at introducing story events and characters efficiently, even if most of the people are predictable types (but still likable). The new kid is embarrassed by his mom being his teacher. The girl he likes has secret psychological issues. Plus, there’s a tough guy rival who picks fights to reassure himself of his power.
I think it’s some of the plot twists. The mother starts out being too perfect, before taking a radical turn that I thought was flatly unbelievable. Meanwhile, the punk kid is hammered home to the reader as a bad guy. I would think being a bully would be enough to establish his villainy, but it goes far beyond that.
I wanted to see more followup on some of the plot points, like the kids’ anger at their loss of control, given a crackdown on the space station. I would have appreciated, I think, more character-driven soap opera, less over-the-top space adventure (although it’s well-drawn and dramatic). There’s a lot of relationship potential of different kinds — parents, crushes, friends — that feels as though it had to be shoved in around the corners when I would have rather seen it be the story driver. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)