Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.
This week we have a new series by Stephanie Phillips and Patrick Zircher called Taarna: The Last Taarakian from Heavy Metal.
You can find this book at your LCS on December 16, 2020.
Taarna: The Last Taarakian #1
Heavy Metal, Inc.
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Patrick Zircher
Colors by Jessica Kholinne
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by Christian Ward
From the death of the last Taarakian and a collapsed universe, Taarna was born. Heavy Metal’s flagship character from the animated film returns in a new series of cosmic mystery and battles throughout the multiverse in her war against Kako, the embodiment of chaos. This is the story of a millennia-old battle between godlike beings, with all sentient life caught in their path. A new life for Taarna begins from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Patrick Zircher, with covers by Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom).
We have been looking forward to this book for quite some time. Soon after it was announced, we spoke with writer Stephanie Phillips about her excitement for the book. The initial installment of this story is visually gorgeous and evokes a lot of the somber and cinematic quality of the Heavy Metal movie that introduced the world to Taarna in 1981. There is a scene in the last portion of the book that recreates and expands upon a classic part of the Taarna story in the movie. It is masterfully rendered.
This book is captivating in a unique way. Phillips tells the story in mostly from a mostly observational perspective which feels natural considering that the character did not speak in the movie. However, a strong emotional connection is formed to this stoic figure through her actions. The deliberate pacing is perfectly executed. The quiet moments match excellently with the action sequences.
Patrick Zircher and Jessica Kholinne create a gorgeous visual tapestry that tells a story of galactic cataclysm and triumph. The camera angles and panel layouts push the narrative when needed and slow it down to a voyeuristic sensation when it is called for. The colors are simply stunning, especially considering the amount of outer space scenes that are in the story.
Marshall Dillon delivers a smart lettering effort that keeps the story flowing well and presenting the narration in the clear antiseptic manner that is required.
This debut issue does not disappoint. We highly recommend this book for fans of the Heavy Metal movie and newcomers to the character.
Here is the interview that we did with Stephanie Phillips earlier this year.
Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler. We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues. Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for this book.