Galaxy: The Prettiest Star

Galaxy: The Prettiest Star is a graphic novel written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Jess Taylor. The novel was published by DC Comics on May 17, 2022. It tells the story of Galaxy, a teenage alien princess, who is forced to hide on Earth when her home planet is conquered. To hide herself from her enemies, Galaxy uses alien technology to present herself as a human boy.

Galaxy: The Prettiest Star
AuthorJadzia Axelrod
IllustratorJess Taylor
CountryUnited States
GenreGraphic novel
PublisherDC Comics
Publication date
May 17, 2022

Publication history edit

Galaxy: The Prettiest Star, created by writer Jadzia Axelrod and artist Jess Taylor, first appeared in a Special Edition #1 released on Free Comic Book Day 2022.[1] Days later, the graphic novel arrived in stores on May 17. As of April 2023, the book's initial run was announced as "nearly sold out" by Axlerod herself, with DC meeting demand with a second print run.[2]

The titular character, Galaxy, would become a supporting character for Axelrod's upcoming run on Hawkgirl.[3]

Background edit

Jadzia Axelrod first pitched several ideas to DC Comics when she was approached by the company through her agent. According to Axelrod, they were looking for "writers who are familiar with the DC stable of characters, but who have an unusual point of view", and one of the concepts she pitched was about the character that would later become Galaxy.[4]

DC Comics liked Axelrod's idea and had her work on a script with Sara Miller, their editor of young adult content. After the script was finalized, Miller showed it to Jess Taylor who "instantly fell in love" for it.[5]

Axelrod's idea for Galaxy came from her desire to tell a story in which the character was not "metaphorically queer or metaphorically trans", but openly queer and transgender.[5] Since she transitioned later in life, Axelrod had to research stories and narratives of trans teenagers.[4]

Reception edit

Publishers Weekly gave the novel a starred review, in which they call it a "vulnerable and thought-provoking graphic novel about gender identity". They also commented on Taylor's illustration, noting their use of "sharp lines and flowing, vivid colors" as matching the atmosphere of the story and its characters. The reviewer also praised Axelrod's writing when describing the experience of being transgender.[6] Kirkus Reviews also praised the art, saying it "features expressive figures highlighted against abstract backgrounds" and ended by calling Galaxy a "fantastical allegory that lends itself well to the graphic novel medium".[7]

Writing for The Booklist, Peter Blenski says that, although the novel initially "follows a classic YA format", Galaxy's allegory "serves as a fresh and thoughtful spin on trans stories". Blenski noted the art added "some humor" to the novel, which helped during moments that deal with heavier themes, such as suicidal ideation.[8] In a review published on Comic Book Resources, Ben Bishop talked about how using the power to shapeshift is now a common trope for stories about transgender people, but praised Axelrod's take on it, saying that "Galaxy is a completely different trans allegory and one which is far more accurate to the trans experience than similar stories".[9]

References edit

  1. ^ "FCBD 2022 GALAXY THE PRETTIEST STAR SPEC ED #1". Previews World. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  2. ^ @@planetx (April 5, 2023). "I have been informed that Galaxy: The Prettiest Star has nearly SOLD OUT of its initial print run, and DC is doing a SECOND PRINTING!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ @@planetx (March 10, 2023). "Galaxy is absolutely a supporting character in HAWKGIRL" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b Kaplan, Avery (June 2, 2022). "Interview: Trans Celebration with Jadzia Axelrod & Jess Taylor on Galaxy: The Prettiest Star". The Beat. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Gullickson, Lisa (April 5, 2022). "YA Free Period: Jadzia Axelrod and Jess Taylor talk Galaxy: The Prettiest Star". Comics Bookcase. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  6. ^ "Children's Book Review: Galaxy: The Prettiest Star by Jadzia Axelrod". Publishers Weekly. May 17, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  7. ^ "Galaxy". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  8. ^ Blenski, Peter (June 2022). "Galaxy: The Prettiest Star". The Booklist. 118 (19–20): 56.
  9. ^ Bishop, Ben (May 20, 2022). "DC's Galaxy: The Prettiest Star Is a Beautiful, Smart Allegory for Being Trans". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 17, 2022.