Comic Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil – Deep Trouble (Issue #2)
Hello, yeah, it’s been awhile.
After the sudden arrival of the first issue of the Star vs The Forces of Evil comic at the end of September, many like myself were hoping for the second issue to appear a month later. However, it quietly kept getting pushed back in the comic release listings, until finally hitting comic store shelves, on November 16th.
Unlike our introductory story, the second issue’s storyline (titled Ole Moon River), quickly leads us down a much different path than where we left off.
Star Butterfly is still determined to clear Flying Princess Pony Head’s name, and decides to use time-travel to do so.
Figuring she and Marco Diaz can go back in time to catch the real culprit in the act, they borrow the Wheel of Progress from Father Time, in order to put this plan into action.
Unfortunately, Star ends up going back further than expected, and the two end up in the past on the planet Mewni, where Star’s parents are in their teenage years!
Reading comics over the years, I’ve noted how some multi-part stories often have the thankless task, of spending their opening pages, summarizing the past issue(s). In this issue, writer Zach Marcus quickly gets this formality taken care of, in probably the fastest way I’ve ever seen!
Most surprising to me, was the appearance of Father Time, from the Season 1 segment, Freeze Day. Just like Star and Marco, the writer has managed to channel the character’s strange bi-polar tone, and the artists have made the Plains of Time just as many of us remember them from the show! For those readers who are familiar with this character, I’m sure you’ll be able to imagine Jim Gaffigan’s voice coming out of his mouth, just like I did.
Of course, the highlight of the issue, is seeing Star’s parents in their younger days. Up until now, there’s been scant information about the early years of Moon Butterfly and River Johansen, and it’s not clear if the story we see here, will be considered canon with the DisneyXD show.
Time-travel stories have usually held me in their sway since I first saw Back to the Future, and like that film’s story, Star runs a major risk of creating a time paradox here (though fortunately, we are spared Moon Butterfly having ‘the hots’ for Marco).
Much of the action in this issue, feels more visual than verbal, as we follow River’s attempts to impress Moon, who seems more at ease with a handsome and clean-cut young man named Dirt (yes, you read right).
While the story is a valiant attempt to plunge us into an unexplored realm, it feels like it doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as the first issue. In a few areas, I found myself getting a little confused regarding several bits of wordplay, and who they were being directed at.
One of the more curious things about the story, is seeing Star refer to her parents as ‘preteens.’ However, we see Moon has her wand, and as Star mentioned in the first episode of the show, a Princess is only able to claim the wand on her 14th Birthday. So, is labeling Moon and River preteens, an error on the writer’s (and Star’s) part…or is it possible Moon obtained her wand early, because of unseen circumstances in her past?
Also of note, is the additional use for dimensional scissors. In the show, we’ve seen they can be used to traverse across space, but in this story, Star shows they also have the ability to cut into the flow of time! Of course, the big question is, will this just be something isolated to the comics, or could it be used in one of the show’s stories? Given what we’ve seen in the last few episodes during Season 2, cutting into time could probably solve a few questions some of us have.
Much like in the first issue, I was rather surprised by the artwork. In a number of panels, illustrators Devin Taylor and Cindy Plourde break up the rather ‘flat’ imagery we’ve come to know from the show, and really push angles and perspective, for a more dramatic effect. It also feels like the art style is ‘loosening’ up a bit more from the first issue, as if the comic is trying to find a mid-ground between the show’s visuals, and it’s own particular style.
With issue #2, very little of it had anything to do with Pony Head, making the story feel like a major deviation from where we came from in issue #1. This storytelling method used here, does make me question where the story is going. Will the next few issues follow this deviating adventure style, or will we soon fall back into Star attempting to clear her bestie’s name?
Final Rating for Issue #2: B-
With time-travel having proved a sticky road to go down, Star is going to be trying something a little different next issue.
As one can see from the cover image for issue #3, it looks like the enigmatic Glossaryck of Terms will be showing up to help (or hinder)the investigation to clear Pony Head’s name.
Will Glossaryck prove to be the key to helping solve the mystery? See you back here (hopefully soon), when we review the next issue!