Review: Starlight #4 – A New Dawn
A legend performs miracles, survives great peril and overcomes insurmountable odds. Writer Mark Millar hits on these factors in this month’s issue of Starlight, by showing why people will follow and believe in a legend, even after their adventures end. A legend inspires hope.
Starlight #4 keeps the series rolling with a mix of swashbuckling, high octane action and appealing humor that keeps this comic captivating and enjoyable throughout.The issue picks up with Duke McQueen, the young space boy Krish and the rockabilly styled alien Wes, imprisoned by The Kingfisher’s forces. Duke’s entertaining demeanor is underscored by his fiery protective nature over Krish when the malevolent right hand of The Kingefisher, Admiral Pindar, comes to question Krish about the location of the rebels.
The pacing of this comic shines especially well here. The reader gains some insights into Krish’s back story and personal tragedy that relates to the introduction of Pindar. From here the comic never hits a lull and snaps into a rousing breakout scene of our 3 captives by the aforementioned rebel alliance. Jetpacks, laser guns, giants and rocket ships. That is the kind of fun, imaginative stuff we get in this issue, which to it’s credit pays homage to old Buck Rogers stories while keeping everything fresh with the continuing adventure motif.
Duke, Krish and Wes safely arrive at the base of the rebels and as it turns out, all of whom were waiting for Duke to lead them against The Kingfisher. A big part of the appeal of this comic is the concept of an older hero coming back to save the day, and the issue of his self doubt working as one of his biggest challenges. While Duke comes to terms with what he is, and how he can still be the hero he once was, there is a sequential series of panels illustrating the past glories of his youthful adventures before our story takes place. This was done very well and was just a great way to condense what is going on in Duke’s mind. My only minor fanboy complaint was that because these glimpses of him fighting Robot Kings and Ice Apes were so cool, I wanted to see more of his old adventures. But to the creative team’s credit that isn’t what this series is about. It’s about Duke realizing that he is still is the hero to the people of Tantalus no matter what his age is.
Overall the art (as usual) was very good in this book with a few distinct standouts. Goran Parlov’s pencils are crisp and expressive in a cartoony but classic style. What makes me like his approach is how he manages to fit in little, easily overlooked humor into facial expressions into the book. Cross-eyed faces with their tongues out or astonished scowls give off a very charming aura despite the danger present in the narrative. Along with the pencils, the layouts are really well thought out and fit the cinematic and recollective tone of the issue. The panels flow seamlessly together and there is never a question as to how the scene transitioned to what is depicted. With all this good in the art department I believe my favorite aspect are the colors by Ive Svorcina. Their is such a diverse spread of colors in this book but they all make the art pop off the page. Certain things are very crucial when making a comic into the complete package and one of those things are the colors. Starlight has really great colors.
The comic concludes with a great cliffhanger that has me eagerly awaiting next month’s issue. Starlight #4 is the continuation of a stellar title from Image. It’s a fun read for anyone looking for a different take on an adventure book with laughs along the way. I highly recommend this issue.