Saturday, March 8, 2014

Comic Review: Starlight #1

This week's other comic review offers up an unique spin on the classic space hero, courtesy of Mark Millar and Goran Parlov.

Duke McQueen is facing the future alone. His beloved wife Joanne has just passed on and his sons are too busy living their lives to make much room for dad. Duke also has another thing weighing on him-his past as the swashbuckling liberator of the universe, saving planets and toppling bad guys but now is nothing more than a joke to a disbelieving public. But one rainy night something arrives that will pull Duke back into his past life...

I'll be honest here that I was a little surprised to here about this series. While I enjoyed Mark Millar's run on Marvel's Ultimates line I never really got into the rest of his work (I guess a foul mouth 12 year old running around in tights didn't have much appeal to me) but when I heard about this series I thought I would give it a try. And to my surprise I enjoyed it. Opening with a more human tale of loss and growing old, Millar does a crackerjack job setting up Duke's despair and his feeling that his life has nothing else while cutting back and forth to his previous glories saving the galaxy from dictators. For fans of the classic pulp sci-fi heroes (John Carter of Mars, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers especially) it's an interesting take on the formula and the question of what happens once you saved the universe? I'm intrigued to see where Millar takes it.

Helping out immensely is the artwork by Parlov, who does a good job capturing the mundane life of modern times with the sci-fi elements. The art is particularly character driven, showing off more than the backgrounds and design but I have a feeling the cool stuff will be shown later on. This is the setup and wisely Parlov lets the characters dominate rather. Also props for Duke's costume-an obvious homage to Buster Crabbe's old outfits from his classic serials.

While some might need to adjust their expectations, I'm given Starlight a big thumbs up. So far I'm hooked and that's all you can ask for a first issue. Until next time folks.

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