StarCraft: Soldiers #1
Writers: Jody Houser & Andrew R. Robinson
Art: Miguel Sepulveda
I’ve always steered clear of comic books based on video games. Typically I read original work that focuses on complex relationships in fantastical or science fiction worlds. However, I thought I’d take a shot on StarCraft: Soldiers, having grown up playing the original video game. Sadly, all my fears of video game/comic book crossover contrivances are true in Starcraft: Soldiers #1.
It’s graduation day at The Styrling Memorial Officer Academy. A class of second lieutenants throws their hats in the air. It’s a day of celebration. Shivani Singh looks out over the assembled space marines and war machines but the most rigorous teacher at the academy breaks her revery and congratulates her. Then an old friend, a man who dropped out of the academy, congratulates her. He’s not shy about the illegal ventures he’s a part of in the fringe worlds.
This issue is clearly an introduction to characters and situations. However, the execution is awkward, and there are a few too many coincidences. Furthermore, the mode in which information is given to readers is heavy handed.
Unfortunately, Shivani Singh, as well as the few supporting characters in this issue are no more than cardboard cutouts. The awkward character development is a bit cringe-worthy at times, even. The line, “Top of your class. I can’t say I’m surprised…” shows the haphazard attempt to establish Singh as gifted and driven. Lines like this, however, remove the reader from the piece, as it’s stated solely for the benefit of the reader. Both Singh and her teacher know this already, so why is it said? I call this, “As you know, Bob…” dialogue. Dialogue used for the sole purpose of informing the reader of something all characters involved, already know. Unfortunately, this comic is rife with lines similar to the one above.
The art in this piece is adequate but doesn’t set itself apart in any way. I was excited to see space marines and siege tanks, but this issue was so busy trying to dump information on readers via dialogue, there wasn’t room for any creativity in the art. In fairness to the artist, Sepulveda, he didn’t have much to work with.
I wanted to like this. I really did. StarCraft and StarCraft II are some of the best games I’ve ever played, but a good game does not a good comic make.
Just a poorly executed comic.