PRISM STALKER #3 by Sloane Leong
PRISM STALKER #3 gives us a Vep that is not willing to give up. Although sometimes the world building seems to drag on, it's absolutely necessary for the adventure Sloane Leong is going to drop us into. The world is absolutely stunning to look at, giving us colors beyond our wildest imagination. This is definitely a story and issue that you need to pick up.
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Bright World Building

PRISM STALKER is a series that has given us a whole new world and experience. Every planet and galaxy has distinct color, shape, and inhabitants. And PRISM STALKER #3 is no exception. Sloane Leong keeps giving us new worlds for Vep and the reader to discover which are always appealing to the eye. But what exactly is this academy she’s signed herself into?

When we last left Vep, she was just at orientation to become a scout on the planet Eriatarka. The academy is centered in the city of Elefstris. Vep has been given a diamond in her hand that makes it possible for her to live on Eriatarka. The role of the scouts on this strange planet is to protect the city and people from the creatures that are native there. We haven’t seen or heard much else about what hunts the city, but the training Vep goes through says enough.

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Academy Training is Tough

PRISM STALKER #3 shows how worn out Vep is from the academy’s training. The first part is a physical training that has multiple cycles. Vep wears casts and bandages while her teacher explains why this intense training is necessary. If they want to protect the city and capture the creatures destroying it, this physical endurance test is their best bet. However, this is just a warm-up for the bigger test.

While between classes, Vep makes a stop in the mess hall. From here, we speculate a little about why the academy is looking for new recruits. However, Vep doesn’t stay long as she realizes she is late to her next training phase: psychological testing. Here, the teacher explains the three types of pneumatic combat that the scouts will face. But it proves too much for Vep and her classmates, making this the real test of their endurance. This leaves us concerned for what Vep will have to face in the future.

Prism Stalker #3
Courtesy of Image Comics

Slow-Burning Story

Each issue has been a slow burn. Leong is still building up her world, laying the groundwork for the fight Vep will be facing. This build-up can create some moments that seem a little slow, but Leong balances this by giving us intriguing worlds. Leong does a marvelous job laying the groundwork for her world and the story to come.

I often find myself asking where the story is going. I have an idea, but each issue seems to go into these worlds blind. This approach works perfectly for what Vep is experiencing, especially in PRISM STALKER #3. Vep is just as unsure and unknowing about each world as we are. I know I’m impatient and that’s part of my personal problem. I always want to know right now what is happening. However, Leong manages to keep the reader’s attention even through this world-building process. She does this by leaving us hanging with questions. These questions keep us coming back for more of the story.

Leong also gives us small cues to work with in order to understand the worlds. The psychological testing gives us an idea of how the creatures will fight and how Vep will have to fight back. However, some of the characters at the academy make us question their reliability. Sometimes, I find myself disliking and not trusting some of the alien creatures. But this may come back to bite me. There will definitely be room later to see whether or not Vep’s classmates (and teachers) are trustworthy.

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Brilliantly Blended Art

As always, Sloane Leong’s art is absolutely amazing. Her use of color, tone, and movement keep the story moving at a fast pace. This pacing balances out the slow buildup of the story, giving us an issue that will keep our attention.

Leong uses color in order to entice the reader’s eyes on every page. She tends to use one bright color and have it fade from page to page. It gives readers a real treat for the eyes as we skim down the panels. This fading can also bring anxiety, as we move from a cool, calming blue page to fast-moving, hot pink pages. The first color scheme gives readers a false sense of security. It makes us believe that, at one moment, Vep is totally safe, but then the hot pink scheme totally pulls the rug from under us to show she’s in danger.

Leong’s constant creativity with the alien lifeforms is also a major plus. She never seems to run out of aliens for us to look at. Some of my favorites are the ones who teach her how to handle psychological threats. The first teacher looks cute and innocent, until she makes you believe your whole body is melting away. It’s beautifully horrifying, and an absolute thrill to watch.

Courtesy of Image Comics

Overall Thoughts on PRISM STALKER #3

This series has caught me in its neon colored clutches. It’s giving us a story that has a direction, but could be leading us anywhere. You have a sneaking suspicion as to who you can trust and who you can’t. But those suspicions could be totally wrong. PRISM STALKER #3 sets up a world that is definitely going to have many twists and turns. Why are the creatures attacking the city? Can they really be stopped? Will Vep ever see her family gain? With all these questions, we’re going to just have to keep reading to find out.

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