Heavy Metal movie star vs. actual stars and planets in Taarna #1 preview

Taarna #1
(Image credit: Heavy Metal)

Heavy Metal's flagship hero Taarna returns this December in an all-new ongoing series by writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Patrick Zircher.

(Image credit: Heavy Metal)

"From the death of the last Taarakian and a collapsed universe, Taarna was born. Heavy Metal's flagship character from the animated film returns in a new series of cosmic mystery and battles throughout the multiverse in her war against Kako, the embodiment of chaos," reads Heavy Metal's solicitation for the first issue. 

"This is the story of a millenia-old battle between godlike beings, with all sentient life caught in their path."

Heavy Metal has provided Newsarama a three-page preview of Taarna #1, along with 'director's cut' style commentary by Phillips and executive editor Joseph Illidge.

(Image credit: Heavy Metal)

Page 8

Joseph Illidge: What I love about this page is how much it evokes the classic tone of the 1981 animated film's version of Taarna while elevating her into a cosmic being. A warrior riding a Moebius-created creature and flying right toward the heart of a star is both magical and just another day for our new vision of Taarna.

Stephanie Phillips: I love seeing panel 4 with Taarna next to this sun that is about to explode. She is physically small in comparison, but she's about to prove that she can take on something of a planetary size in order to keep her universe safe. 

Illidge: Stephanie created a scenario that put our hero in such a galactic level life and death situation, it immediately lets you know the scale at which Taarna operates in order to save others. The visual of Taarna becoming a kind of miniature star in order to face a larger one is great in its apparent simplicity.

(Image credit: Heavy Metal)

Page 9

Phillips: As our re-introduction to Taarna in issue #1, I wanted readers to see Taarna as a protector and less as a butcher. As such, her 'enemy' in these pages is a dying sun that threatens an entire planet. Taarna is rushing head-first at a sun without hesitation in a moment of complete selflessness.

Illidge: Space is a mystery to us, and one of the many things we will never know, is what it looks like when a miniature star causes a large star to become extinguished. It's not a natural phenomenon, but that's exactly what's happening here.

In my mind, this is the most compelling angle from which to see this brain-breaking event, and the colors really bring home how brilliant and scary this moment is.

Human eyes shouldn't see this, shouldn't be so close to this.

(Image credit: Heavy Metal)

Page 10

Illidge: That quiet moment in the middle, between the inhalation of taking in the power of a star and the exhalation of releasing it...that's a timeless silence.

Phillips: Patrick did a really great job here of showing Taarna as part of this universe. The back-and-forth between the planets and Taarna as she reignites a sun makes me feel like she is really part of these cosmos that are swirling around her so beautifully. There's this kind of romantic imagery happening where the universe is dangerous and beautiful at the same time, just like Taarna.

Illidge: You have to wonder how many tales will be told by different alien species, in sacred texts and fables, of the day Taarna did this nearly indescribable thing to save a world.

Taarna #1 goes on sale on December 16.

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Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)