Today’s Super Comic — Starman #44 (1998)

Starman would occasionally take a detour into the past, in a recurring feature labeled “Times Past.” These stories would foreshadow upcoming storylines, fill in details about Opal City’s history, or show us the original Starman (Ted Knight) in action in his prime. It was a great idea for world-building, and it placed the weight of history behind the current Starman (Jack Knight).

Issue #44 takes us back to 1944, when Ted Knight protected Opal, but he’s more of a supporting character this time. This issue reintroduces us to the Phantom Lady, one of the earliest female superheroes, and it establishes her as the cousin of Ted. We also learn she was the one who became a superhero first, and she helped inspire him to do the same. That’s a nice reversal of how things usually go in comics.

The Phantom Lady (Sandra Knight) makes a good first impression here. Not only is she tough and skilled, but she also comes across as a happy hero who genuinely enjoys the work. She makes a welcome addition to the Starman family.

Writer: James Robinson

Penciler: Mike Mayhew

Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

Cover: Tony Harris

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Starman Omnibus vol. 4 (HC)

Appropriate For: ages 14 and up