Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5-Star

Starman Volume 4: Times Past: written by James Robinson; illustrated by Teddy Kristiansen, Craig Hamilton, John Watkiss, Russ Heath, Matt Smith, J.H. Williams III, Lee Weeks, Phil Jiminez and others (1995-2000; collected 2001): Robinson and company tell tales of the history of the various Starmen who've borne that name over the decades, from Golden Age hero Ted Knight to his son, and eponymous current Starman, Jack Knight. Amoral occasional hero, occasional villain The Shade narrates in a series of prose pieces. A nice gateway volume for the series, and an eclectic mix of artists. Recommended.

Starman Volume 5: Infernal Devices: written by James Robinson; illustrated by Tony Harris, Mark Buckingham, Steve Yeowell, Wade Von Grawbadger, and others (1997-98; collected 2001): Starman Jack Knight must save Opal City from a truly mad bomber and a couple of super-villain henchmen. And he's got a new girlfriend, Sadie, whom he's totally in love with -- and who has her own secret reasons for first meeting him. Thankfully, new heroes are rising in Opal City to help out. Or new-old heroes, anyway. And the mystery of eternally resurrecting monster Solomon Grundy, who's been a great guy in this incarnation, is finally revealed in all its weirdness. Recommended.

Starman Volume 6: To Reach the Stars: written by James Robinson and David S. Goyer; illustrated by Gary Erskine, Gene Ha, Peter Krause, Steve Yeowell, and Tony Harris (1998; collected 2001): With his girlfriend Sadie's secret revealed, Jack Knight contemplates a trip into space in search of a lost and until now presumed dead hero of the 1980's and early 1990's. But first, we get a team-up of Starmen now and during World War Two with Fawcett Comics heroes Captain Marvel and Bulletman. And Bulletman is awesome. Also, he must have an incredibly hard head beneath that bullet-shaped helmet. Recommended.

Starman Volume 7: A Starry Knight: written by James Robinson and David S. Goyer; illustrated by Peter Snejberg, Keith Champagne, and Tony Harris (1998-99; collected 2002): Starman Jack Knight and former Starman Mikaal, a blue-skinned alien who fought crime during the disco era, take to outer space with the help of anti-hero The Shade and the Justice League on the basis of Starman's fiancee Sadie's belief that her brother, another hero formerly known as Starman, still lives somewhere out there, despite having been seen dying in battle with the dark god Eclipso several years earlier. Along the way, Mikaal and Jack will meet up with DC's space-faring heroes such as Adam Strange, old frenemies like Solomon Grundy, and an entire planet terraformed by a space-travelling Swamp Thing back during the 1980's. Meanwhile, back home in Opal City, something dark is rising. Recommended.

Starman Volume 8: The Stars My Destination: written by James Robinson and David S. Goyer; illustrated by Peter Snejberg, Keith Champagne, Stephen Sadowski, John McCrea, and Tony Harris (1999; collected 2003): Starmen new and old team up with assorted science-fictional comic heroes to overthrow a murderous dictator -- and solve the mystery of whether or not fallen Starman Will Payton still lives. Meanwhile, back in Opal City, things are starting to look very, very bad for everybody. Opal needs Starman Jack Knight back! Recommended.

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