Across a Field of Starlight Makes Interstellar Friendship Personal (Review)

Across a Field of Starlight is a stunning portrait of long-distance friendship and queer space adventure that comic book readers crave.

In recent years, there’s been a queer sci-fi boom in comics – from On a ray of sunshineat Kim and Kimat Cosmoknights. Now, Through a field of starlight from Blue Delliquanti joins this canon. The graphic novel is about Lu, a scientist from a commune free from the Blossom Empire’s rule, and Fassen, a part of the resistance against said empire. Although they are often light years apart, the forbidden friendship they develop is strong. When their worlds collide, this friendship is tested.

At the heart of Through a field of starlight is Lu and Fassen’s friendship and the positives and negatives that come with a long-distance relationship. The joy these two feel when they just get a message from each other and the worry they express when they’re apart rings true, especially considering how high the stakes are in this universe. Plus, Delliquanti does a great job of showing that these two are individuals first — sometimes they disagree, but that makes their dynamic all the more realistic and engaging.

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Through a field of starlight

Fassen’s perspective on the universe is particularly interesting. As children born into this rebellion, they grew up far too quickly. As they fight for freedom, they feel like they have to conform to the role of a soldier without question, and even acts of kindness bring them to a halt. Often in the media like star wars, we see the benefits of rebelling against an oppressive system. Although there is no doubt that the Empire is something that must be stopped, Through a field of starlight reminds us that war is not pretty, even when we fight for what is right.

Adding Lu’s perspective allows Through a field of starlight fully delve into the complexities of free will and human rights. Unlike Fassen, Lu comes from a commune where no one owes anyone else a debt. Children are free to be children and basic human needs like food, health care and water are not a privilege but a right. It’s a stark contrast to Fassen’s world, and it not only adds more complexity to the central friendship, but it also adds to the rich tapestry of this universe.

The universe also comes fully alive through the art of Delliquanti. Space does not look like a monolith. Readers not only see how diverse different corners of the universe can be, from more desert planets to the mix of lush nature and technology surrounding the commune, but they also see how diverse the people are. The space is limitless, so it’s not only refreshing to see so many unique faces populating it, but it’s also the most logical.

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Through a field of starlight

These faces are also hyper expressive in the best way. Take out the dialogue and we’ll still know exactly how these characters are feeling. Plus, there’s a fluidity to Delliquanti’s art that makes the action scenes feel natural. In addition to all this, the color work appears. At times, especially towards the end, it feels abstract and psychedelic. It’s exactly what fans of fun sci-fi are looking for, even if the story itself deals with heavy themes and high stakes.

fans of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Steven Universe are sure to be fans of Through a field of starlight, because this graphic novel delivers space adventures, complicated themes and the power of friendship. More importantly, despite the intergalactic setting, the characters feel grounded, and one can’t help but identify with and root for Lu and Fassen.

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