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Solestar [The Naive Project] Review

By
Posted on July 23, 2013 AT 06:47pm

There are times when comics become more than the sum of their parts. When the story of a hero becomes the story of the person who created the hero themselves, and when that person becomes more a hero just by completing the project. This is the case with Solestar, a project from aneurysm survivor and comic book creator Siike Donnelly, all done for the further support of brain aneurysm awareness. This charity project is the realization of a dream and a graphic novel that tells the story of not only how a hero was able to live, but also how he died.

Isamu Takahashi is a Japanese hero who has had several setbacks in his life, including the loss of a loved one to a brain aneurysm. The story follows Takahashi as he performs under the superhero name Solestar, doing everything in his power to save the world and give back more to the planet than he’s taken. As Solestar takes his last day of life to help others, the story of the greatest hero of all time unfolds through the biggest story of his life, enacting a plan to turn those who wished him and the rest of the world harm into those fighting for good, all in the course of a day before his own time runs out.

Siike Donnelly is a novel writer, and his work in comics is something new to him and the comics world. This shows at times as Donnelly falls into the habits of using  old comic book tropes (the loss of his soul mate) as a literary device. This is used here as a loose term, as the loss of his loved one is used more as a unifying theme as to the lethality of brain aneurysms, and not as much as the common trope of losing a loved one for heroic motivation, one that the hero (and the author himself) suffers from. That being said, Donnelly does a great job creating something for a great cause and making this story an emotional ride that fans of superhero stories should love. The small window of time that the book takes place in is something rare, and combined with the fact that the entire plot focuses on a hero in his last day of life, this is a rare and powerful story that will bring forth an emotional factor in with a well-written and exciting story.

The artwork is something that is an incredible feat all on its own. As a work for the support of a charity, an incredible amount of artists have come through to help on this very special project. From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman to Not My Bag creator Sina Grace to a page from Donnelly himself, there are dozens of local and long-distance artists that have made this book a reality. This does have the unfortunate result of making the book hard to follow at times, with the vast amount of different art styles being used making the book a dozen different styles of comic book. While this is the case, the ability to gather so many different talents to provide artwork for this special project is amazing, and all of these artists are talented in their own way. The full list of artists are named inside the book itself.

Summary: This is very obviously an early project from Donnelly, but that being said, it’s an inspiring and ambitious project created by an artist who has done everything they can to work in this industry. While it has it’s drawbacks as a creation in and of itself, the sheer amount of work, support and love that has gone into this project is staggeringly inspiring. With a plethora of talented artists, a writer who is obviously skilled and supporting a cause that is worth the price tag in and of itself, Solestar is an empowering project by many people for a great cause, and lead by a victim of the very ailment this book is raising awareness for. This is an amazing project that is also a great read, and the sheer amount of work taken in to make this a reality is proof that the comics industry is one of the greatest mediums in the world.

All in all, Solestar is in a realm of its own. A powerful book with an incredible message, Donnelly and the team of artists that helped make this possible makes this book a terrific project to support. Despite a few negligible flaw, this is a great book for an amazing cause, and for that, Donnelly should be supported not only for his strength, but for his skill.

Pros: Incredible Project, Good Plot, Powerful Message

Cons: Hard To Follow Artwork (Due To Different Styles)

Grade: A

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.




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