Today’s Super Comic — Starman #80 (2001)

And that’s the end of James Robinson’s Starman. (Spoilers ahead.)

The series wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was ambitious and distinctive. And it told a complete beginning, middle, and end. This could have been a series of novels as well as comics.

The Jack Knight on the final page of #80 is a much more mature individual than we met back in #0. The biggest indication of maturity is his decision to leave superheroics behind so he can be a father to his children. He passes his cosmic rod on to a worthy successor—Courtney Whitmore, the JSA’s junior member, formerly the Star-Spangled Kid and now Stargirl. (However, while she’s an established JSA character, it would have been nice for her to have more of a role in this series, given that she ends being the official successor to the Starman legacy. But like I said, for all its strengths, it wasn’t a perfect series.)

So in hindsight, it seems the series wasn’t so much about Jack Knight growing into his superhero role—it was about him more generally becoming the man he needed to be. He’s gained a new appreciation and respect for the family he had previously kept at arm’s length, and now he prioritizes his new family. He’s been on quite a journey, and he’s older and wiser for it.

The series is quite an accomplishment—and one I’m glad I finally got around to reading.

Writer: James Robinson

Artist: Peter Snejbjerg

Cover: Tony Harris and Andrew Robinson

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Starman Omnibus vol. 6 (HC)

Appropriate For: ages 14 and up