Prism Stalker #4 Review

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Posted June 5, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books
Written By: Sloane Leong
Art By: Sloane Leong
Published By: Image Comics
My big worry leaving issue three of Prism Stalker is that we’d be stuck in magic school, that this book went from interesting to fairly standard young-adult. As I approached issue four though, my mindset…well, I don’t want to say it changed, but the thought of being stuck in magic school again didn’t seem so bad. Magic school is fun, or can be, and if we’re given a new coat of paint, I suppose I’ll stay around for the long haul.
Prism Stalker is still taking place in magic school. The coat of paint is also still nice, new, and shiny. It’s complicated.
Vep reminds me of Deku from My Hero Acadamia. She’s in magic school but can’t control her powers. This early on, both characters worry about being kicked out. Both also go through some pretty painful experiences, because unlike Harry Potter, these magic schools have teeth. The difference is that every time Vep gets hurt and sent to the infirmary, she maybe loses something. It’s more creepy body horror, and it adds another threat in a comic that’s starting to fill up with them.
Because Vep doesn’t have any friends. This sets her apart from both Deku and ol’ Mr. Potter, where friendship is a running theme. They had fallbacks, people to trust, and she has acquaintances. She’s still isolated, still alone. The monsters aren’t eldritch, but they’re still monsters. That theme hasn’t gone, though I still prefer how the first two issues handled it.
Plotwise, this book is starting to take turns I’ve seen before. I won’t spoil anything, but if you’ve been to magic school or read any other YA property before this one, you won’t be surprised. It does come back to that coat of paint though. This book is gorgeous, a kaleidoscope of flesh and color. It’s an art style that turns into world building, and for scifi fans, there are some really neat concepts on board. Even the magic school mundane is pretty, a mix of flowing, gross, and bright colors. It’s a real treat to look at.
The artwork also lends itself to unconventional action scenes. Vep isn’t much of a hero, and when the fighting happens, she isn’t much of a winner, either. The artwork suits that idea well, with panels and colors blending together like spilled ink. Up becomes down and left becomes right, and it all becomes very disorientating in a way I really appreciate. It’s another step away from My Hero Acadamia and Harry Potter, which are fairly clean in how the fights operate. You know what is happening, and in general, you know who is going to survive. Here, not so much.
Part of me is still disappointed we’re devolving into magic school instead of something a bit more philosophical and strange, but the philosophical and strange haven’t left. And with a gorgeous art style and a character devoid of plot armor, I’m certainly going to stick around for more. This is magic school, but there’s something refreshingly alien about it. I do, however, hope for a few more twists and turns before we’re done.

Prism Stalker #4

7.8

Final Score


7.8/10

Pros

  • Gorgeous artwork
  • Magic school with teeth
  • Vep's isolation is a nice change of pace given the plot

Cons

  • It still IS magic school
  • I still don't like the magic system



About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.