Welcome to another edition of “Give It a Shot!”, our bi-weekly column where Moar Powah’s staff tell you about cool but often overlooked aspects of popular culture. Today, I’m here to tell you about an absolutely awesome comic: James Robinson and Tony Harris’s Starman.
Starman is a series that’s all about legacy. The original Starman, a Golden Age (i.e. 1940s) hero by the name of Ted Knight, has retired. Opal City, however, needs a protector. Jack Knight, antiques dealer and reluctant hero, assumes the role and brings his own brash, punk vibe to the mantle.
Why is this comic awesome? Well, firstly there’s art from Tony Harris, who has a shadowy style that I find entirely dissimilar from any of the other “gritty” comic artists I’ve seen (Frank Miller, David Finch, and Travel Foreman, just to name a few). Harris’s work can at one moment be somber and unnerving, while at the next totally psychedelic. I found myself studying individual pages for a few minutes just to take in all the intricacies and beauty of the art. It’s really something you need to see for yourself.
Another great thing about this series is Robinson’s writing. This is not your traditional superhero comic. We see Jack spending just as much time talking with his father, buying antiques, and chatting with his “friend” The Shade as we do seeing him battle villains. Jack’s internal monologue is one of the best in comics as well: he often thinks of things he should or shouldn’t say, but doesn’t (such as complimenting his father). During battles, Jack also reminisces about random minutiae, which is interesting, realistic, and hilarious.
All in all, give Starman a try. The whole series is collected in 6 omnibuses which, while not cheap, are definitely worth the price give not only their large pages and durable binding, but also the extra tidbits of information about the series Robinson throws in the back of each volume. Even if you have never read a comic before, give Starman a shot!
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