Monday, December 26, 2016

"The End" Week: Starman #45!


It's not the version most people think of, but it's the one I probably read the most issues of: from 1992, Starman #45, "Star Shadows, part 4: Starlight, Star Bright" Written by Len Strazewski, pencils by John Calimee, inks by Roy Richardson. And a Mike Mignola cover!

This was the last issue for the Will Payton Starman, who wasn't connected to the Starman from the Justice Society, even though James Robinson would connect him to the legacy later, which would retcon some of the retcon going on here: seeking help for his erratic powers, Will goes to his science consult/love interest Kitty Faulkner--a.k.a Rampage, from Superman. In turn, Kitty gets an assist from her old professor, Dr. Bruce Gordon, formerly known as Eclipso. Gordon had believed his evil alter-ego Eclipso was destroyed, he was not, and he also claims to be responsible for Starman originally getting his powers!

Previously, Starman's origin had been that he was accidentally hit by a blast of stellar energy from a satellite that an "elitist scientific group" had intended to use to give their own agents powers; but Eclipso claims to have turned the satellite on Payton on purpose, to turn him into a battery of energy he could use. In Robinson's retcon, the blast was actually the previous Starman, the alien prince Gayvn; who may have supplanted Payton. Dick move, guy.

After a scuffle with Lobo--who unwittingly had been hired by the Lords of Chaos, who wanted revenge on their failed former servant Eclipso--Starman makes a quick phone call for some back-up, which shows up in a timely fashion! How often does that happen? Power Girl arrives and she and Starman wallop Eclipso in pretty short order. (The villain would not be down for long, Eclipso: the Darkness Within was only a couple months away.) Although she had been worried he'd be more attracted to Power Girl, the issue--and series--ends with Will and Kitty together. I don't think they'd have long, though, since I think Will would die in the second issue of the Darkness Within. He'd be back, eventually; although with the question of whether Will was ever really there.


I think I read this title from start to finish: the early Roger Stern/Tom Lyle issues were probably the best. This last run was relatively straightforward, meat-and-potatoes superheroing; but I liked that Will was a nice, fairly angst-free hero. Though I don't know if his original purple and yellow costume had a lot of fans...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I liked the Mignola covers, bu then again who doesn't? The purple and yellow outfit was a very poor choice for a color scheme. Maybe black and red would've been better, like the outfit he wound up going for later on.

I didn't really give this one a try, but I've heard it was pretty good. That Robinson retcon though. One one hand it finally connected him to the main Starman lore (I think Will had a one-time team up with the original Starman right once right?), but on the other it just supplanted him for the Prince Gayvin version. Must've really sucked for any Will Payton fans.