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STARMANWriter: John Robinson
Artists: Tony Harris, Wade Von Grawbadger
Synopsis: The classic (?) DC superhero Starman is reborn in the person of Jack Knight, son of the original Starman.
How Is It?: Interesting idea, but I'm not exactly blown away by the execution. It seems like it becomes a classic later on, so I'll reserve judgement.
Sins of the FatherSynopsis: Starman is a traditional cape-and-spandex superhero who protects the mythical Opal City with the power of his Cosmic Rod (oh, stop sniggering). When the original Starman retired, the mantle was assumed by his son, David Knight...until David was gunned down by a sniper's bullet. Now it's up to his brother Jack (who narrowly dodges an assassination attempt himself) to determine who's trying to get revenge on their father. But Jack hates the idea of being a superhero; he'd rather stick with his job of being an antique and collectible dealer.
How Is It?: The trouble I have with this series is the writing; specifically, the dialogue. Robinson's characters talk in a way that's alternately stilted and florid, and in no way resembles human speech. Hey, it's almost like if Ray Bradbury wrote a superhero epic. Thankfully, the basic ideas of the story are quite original. In essence, Jack Knight is a grouchy and obsessive collector of memorabilia, kind of like the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons. Most of the situations he gets drawn into involve some ancient artifact that also happens to be a kitschy collectible (such as the Hawaiian shirt that opens portals to new dimensions). So he's kind of like the Antiques Roadshow superhero, which is amusing, and then there's the undercurrent of responsibility and family that propels the normally self-absorbed Jack to start fighting crime. It's also neat how Robinson brings in some obscure but interesting characters from the fringes of the DC Universe and enfolds them into his story. But like I say...that dialogue is a bit of a headache at times--characters shout their motivations at each other and are way too blunt, whereas Jack's interior monologues are way too purple. And the art also has an elusive quality that's also frustrating; the use of colour and layout is fine, but the inking's too flat and undetailed for my taste. There are indications that they were attempting the sort of colour-seperated, stipply art that you see in old-fashioned comics, and when it succeeds it looks cool, but for some reason they drop it most of the time for more of a boring flood-fill look. There are indications that both art and writing were improving towards the end, and a lot of people swear by this series, so I'll give it another chance when I can.
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