Review - Sara Rising #1 (@Tres_C_Studios)

"Dreams are cruel. They so often show you worlds that are better than yours."

Life in high school is hard enough without having to contend with monsters and/or aliens. Sure, Buffy and her crew pulled it off, but it's likely they're the exception and not the rule. There are still students who must contend with such events and Sara is one such student in Sara Rising #1 from Novastar Studios. The issue is written and lettered by Emilio Rodriguez, penciled by James Rodriguez, inked by Michele St. Martin and color assists by Wilson Ramos.

A special story about a teenage girl, an alien bounty hunter, an adaptive bio-weapon, alien gangsters and a sociopathic fast food manager.

At its core, Sara Rising #1 is about being an outsider and Rodriguez plays up that angle heavily. Sara is a teenager in high school who wears her nerdiness as a badge of honor, but she's subject to the expected torture that comes from the "cool" kids at the high school. Despite her tendency toward solitude, Rodriguez still manages to infuse her with plenty of confidence that matches that of her newfound alien friend. From that perspective, Sara Rising #1 excels at effectively characterizing her through dialogue interactions with other characters and plenty of narration. From a broader standpoint though, the story feels a little worn, in that it bears inspirations from Green Lantern or Witchblade mixed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The artistic style in Sara Rising #1 feels a little barebones in some respects. Rodriguez relies on illustrating characters with a simple approach, giving them enough detail to stand out from one another. There are some instances where the characters feel a bit more fleshed out in appearance and Rodriguez does pay attention to things such as wardrobe and look. The book's inks by St. Martin give the book a finish that feels like a throwback to comics of old as it feels washed out. The colors are pretty muted as well, helping to fit with the aforementioned washed out look.

Sara Rising #1 is blending together elements of science-fiction and high school, merging the worlds in a pretty violent fashion. Sara draws her inspiration from countless heroes before her and how she responds to the newfound powers will dictate the direction of the series. Rodriguez offers an oversized script in the first issue that builds up the universe and introduces all the characters. The artwork by Rodriguez is relatively simplistic, yet effective in depicting the world. Sara Rising #1 has a lot of attractive innocence in it that will make for a interesting read as the series progresses.

Sara Rising #1 is available now.