Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Starlight #1 (spoiler free)

Reviewed by Brian Howard

Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Goran Parlor
Image Comics
March 5th 2014

Starlight is written by Mark Millar who is most famous for his creation of the title Kick-Ass. But this time around he scales down the ultra-violence of urban streets in exchange for a much more sentimental least for now. I'm sure there will be plenty of violence to come.

 In Starlight, Millar launches his much anticipated Millarworld Universe with the introduction of intergalactic superhero Duke McQueen in this brief 6 issue series. The protagonist's tale has been described as Buzz Lightyear meets "Unforgiven" and it has also been described as Flash Gordon meets "The Dark Knight Returns." I think that both are fair comparisons.

The story begins with a flashback to Duke's glory days as an intergalactic hero on a distant world that summarizes his campaigns there. We then flash forward 40 years to a retired man on Earth who has recently felt the tragedy of losing his wife. He is a humble and loyal husband who feels lost without his soul-mate. We experience more flashbacks. This time they are of his marriage. The flashbacks are throughout the funeral giving an intimate glimpse of his relationship with his wife. The current environment is a stark contrast between how the rest of the universe viewed their unparalleled hero compared to how his grown children and community pity this lonely, "crazy" old man. We have all seen the plot device of grown children feeling burdened by their aging parents in plots before. But here it seems to reinforce the tone that Duke is truly alone, taken for granted and unnecessary in the world he returned to. You begin to immediately like Duke because he never regretted his choice in returning to Earth and starting a family. His moral character exemplifies that of a humble man despite his fantastic heroics. 

We all know of course that there is a twist. As the solicits state, Duke is about to be pulled out of retirement for his greatest adventure yet, in a distant galaxy. This once great hero is now an old man. Will his newest adventure be his eulogy? What could possibly be the catalyst that pulls him from retirement? 

We will soon find out and if the hype is to believed in the fan's belief in this creative team and title, many will be along for the ride. How much hype is behind this title already? Prior to this issue hitting the market, Latino Review reports that Fox has already shown interest in developing the title, hiring Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg to adapt the story for a movie. That is a good amount of hype for a 6 issue series that just began today. It is too early for me to determine one way or another if it is justified, but so far I am willing to continue on Duke's last great adventure with him.

Rating: Buy it

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