The slovenly star

1994-2000 Starman TPB Vol. 1: Sins of the Father
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Tony Harris

March 18, 2017

By Avi Green

In the past, when I wanted to review a trade paperback on this website, it was usually just what impressed me.

But after all these years and various changes in opinion, as I take on a pretty different view, I think the time has come to say what I think about a series I’ve concluded was a big waste of trees.

Yes, really. I’ll admit, at one time, I might’ve thought Robinson’s Starman series was brilliant. But after a nigh decade from the time I’d bought it, I took it for a reread and…geez. I just can’t believe what a pretentious pot of stew he came up with.

The series begins with David Knight, the older son of Golden Age Starman Ted Knight, being gunned down by the son of the Mist, Kyle Nimbus (whose family name never seems to be mentioned here), as the gang led by the Mist plots to take over Opal City and cause chaos. And later, younger brother Jack, who practically insulted his father’s getup at an earlier meet between the three, is targeted by the gangster at his souvenir shop, just barely escaping with the help of a cosmic rod he kept there. He recovers and after reuniting with his father at the hospital later (he was struck by debris after his observatory was blown up), makes plans to fight back against the Mist’s son, who’s got the same personal name.

And all this time, the Mist’s daughter, Nash, when she first appears, acts stuttery. She’s also seen mumbling absurd self-referential tommyrot about being destined for rivalry. The residential burg of Opal City, where this is set, isn’t very visually impressive either.

What I found bizarre about this story is that Jack makes a deal with his dad Ted that he’ll take over the Starman role if papa uses his scientific knowledge for the betterment of mankind. As if Ted Knight wasn’t doing anything like that already! Jack and Kyle Jr. eventually have their showdown and the enemy is killed, which leads Nash to abandon her stuttering persona, and later would become Mist herself.

Jack and the ghost of David have a meeting in the last chapter of this collection, and honestly, what transpired didn’t impress me either. Because it was all just a ridiculous “nostalgia” trip that ultimately relied on some very tasteless ideas, and as a result, was nothing more than one of the most overrated products of the 1990s.

I don’t recommend this book at all. It’s all plain dull to boot, and served as a precursor to much of the damage the DCU suffered from as the 21st century was coming in.

Copyright 2017 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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