Earthlight, vol. 1

Damon’s the new kid on the block, or moon in this case. His family has moved to the Earthlight Lunar Colony so that his father could take over as Chief Administrator and his mother could become the teacher at the new Earthlight Academy. So he might as well tape a kick me sign to his spacesuit now. As he struggles to fit in, Damon becomes involved in the lives of the teens around him and in their rigid lives, but a danger from the outside world of adults may change the lives of these teens forever.

There are too few really good science fiction graphic novels and, unfortunately, this addition to the genre is not going to improve those statistics. Moore tries to shove too many details into his short volume, dealing with dating abuse, poverty, cliques, emotionally distant parents, terrorism, family responsibilities, etc., etc., etc. The result is that none of the issues are dealt with fully and resolutions seem rushed or forced. The clichéd surprise ending comes with no foreshadowing and doesn’t fit the character involved. Schons’ art is one highlight. The world of the Lunar Colony feels cramped and pressed for space. High tech equipment vies with the everyday bits of real life, like tissue boxes and students’ backpacks. All the characters are pretty, even the supposedly geeky ones, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are unique and easy to tell apart and believably multicultural.

Earthlight has a decent premise, but ultimately doesn’t live up to its potential. For a title that deals with similarly weighty issues, but in a more successful manner, look for Paul Sizer’s Moped Army.

Earthlight, vol. 1
Story: Stuart Moore; Art: Christopher Schons
ISBN: 1-59816-705-7
TokyoPop, 2006