Today’s Super Comic — Starman #48 (1998)

It’s Starman…in spaaaaaaace!!!!

Had to happen eventually, and it happens at the right stage in Jack Knight’s development as a superhero. He’s become increasingly comfortable in the role, so now it’s time to take things to the next level with his first outer space voyage.

He ventures out with a clear mission: He’s searching for one of the previous Starmen, Will Payton (the early ‘90s incarnation of the brand, presumed dead until this point). Turns out, Jack is dating Payton’s sister, Sadie, and she’s not convinced Will is actually dead. So she asks him to find her brother, and how can he say no?

But he also enjoys the opportunity, even if space travel does get a little tedious after the initial excitement. Fortunately, there’s a strange blue planet to land on, a planet where things are not as they seem. It’s all very Star Trek.

Accompanying Jack on this voyage is another Starman predecessor, an alien named Mikaal, as well as a hologram version of his father, the original Starman, Ted Knight. So the “Starman family” feel carries on even into the depths of space. Forty-eight issues in, and to its credit, the book remains focused on that generational theme.

This particular storyline, though, is just kicking off. And it’s off to a great start indeed.

Story: James Robinson and David Goyer

Writer: James Robinson

Penciler: Steve Yeowell

Inker: Keith Champagne

Cover: Tony Harris

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Starman Omnibus vol. 5 (HC)

Appropriate For: ages 14 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Starman #27 (1997)

starman_vol_2_27Well, this was good timing. My read-through of Starman happened to coincide with a Christmas issue just in time for the holiday.

Admittedly, #27 isn’t one of the best issues so far (the quality has been consistently high to the point that the competition for “best” is fierce indeed, so that’s hardly a dig). But it’s a solid Christmas issue that shows us quiet moments with the ever-evolving cast, and it ends on a heartwarming note.

The plot is highly suitable for the holidays: Jack encounters a sad, homeless Santa Claus and helps him reclaim a lost memento, even though doing so makes him late for Christmas dinner with family and friends. He gets to be the selfless superhero in a smaller way than usual—the fate of the city is not at stake, but Jack’s help means the world to this man who’s hit hard times.

Impressively, writer James Robinson gives the homeless man quite a bit of development for a single issue, elevating the character beyond any cliches.

So basically, the book does exactly what a Christmas issue should, making it a great read this time of year.

Writer: James Robinson

Artist: Steve Yeowell

Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

Cover: Tony Harris

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Starman Omnibus vol. 2 (HC)

Appropriate For: ages 14 and up