Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Monark Starstalker timetable:

I suppose keeping a big robot falcon perched on it all day, would be one way to keep that pimp hand strong.
1976, cover date October: Howard Chaykin's creation, Monark Starstalker, debuts in Marvel Premiere #32. Whether successful or not, or whether Chaykin planned on another story or not, this is Monark's only appearance. I was probably five years old at the time.
Seriously, no idea. Was it in a quarter box? Did I swipe this from someone?
1986, cover date July: Portions of Marvel Premiere #32, along with numerous other examples of his work, appear in an Gary Groth interview with Chaykin in the Comics Journal #109. Starstalker is referred to, in editorial captions not directly from Chaykin, as "an abortive Marvel strip," but the reasons for its demise are not given. Even with illustrations, it's a thirty-three page interview.

Some time later, probably during the nineties: I somehow got a copy of Comics Journal #109. I have no idea how; I think I've maybe read the Journal in print twice in my life. That has nothing to do with the quality or attitude of the Journal, it was simply never readily available for me at comic shops or newstands. By the time I got this issue, I would've already been a fan of Chaykin's from the American Flagg! graphic novel Hard Times, his Blackhawk miniseries, maybe even Midnight Men for all I know.

June 1, 2009: I get a copy of Marvel Premiere #32, during a sale at the Comic Book Shop.
This is about as much of an origin as we've seen so far for Monark.
June 16, 2009: In Comic Book Resources' preview of Marvel's September 2009 solicitations, Monark Starstalker appears on the cover of Nova #29 Per the solicit:
NOVA #29
Penciled by Kevin Sharpe
"Starstalker" part 1 of 2! How has the aftermath of the War of Kings affected the newly reborn and viciously battered Nova Corps? When the universe is changed, who is left to protect and serve the innocents? Out of the devastation--and from Marvel's cosmic past--strides a mysterious new threat...and an unexpected ally! Find out who in the latest issue of the series that ComicPants.com calls, "a consistently entertaining and enjoyable read...If you haven't been reading Nova you are missing out on one of Marvels best written books."
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

(Coincidentally enough, Howard Chaykin is in the same Marvel solicits, with a Dominic Fortune mini, a character that also appeared in Marvel Premiere and that I just bought recently!)

I'm looking forward to both of these; and I must confess, I like how Abnett and Lanning are expertly taking old Marvel sci-fi stuff like Starstalker, Bug of the Micronauts, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, and more; folding them back into the Marvel Universe proper without wasting a lot of time on continuity issues. (You do have to wonder what happened to the rest of the Micronauts, or Rocket's old crew; or how Bug got big. Still, you tend to trust Abnett and Lanning not to pull a fast one and make Bug a Skrull or something...)

Monark Starstalker's next appearance will be just shy of thirty-three years from his last one. To put that into a little skewed perspective, from Marvel Premiere's tenure as a try-out book, everyone else from Woodgod to Seeker 3000 to Alice Cooper appeared more often since then.

Weirdworld fans, don't hold your breath...


Sea-of-Green said...

Ha! I liked Bug from Micronauts. If ever there was a character from that series worth saving ...!

Tom said...

Chaykin's "American Flagg" series was incredible. Oh, how I regret selling it off all those years ago. I remember Monark Starstalker as well. Chaykin is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Monark just made an appearance in 'Wolverine: The Best There Is' ongoing series, which is quickly building up a reputation for having ridulous guest appearances, such as Harry Sykes.