Starman: Sins of the Father
by James Robinson, Tony Harris
(DC, 1996)

Some stories are so good, it's hard to read just one 32-page pamphlet at a time. Such is the case with DC Comics' Starman.

Chances are, once you sit down to read "Sins of the Father," the first trade paperback (a collection of past issues), you will want to continue with "Night and Day," "A Wicked Inclination" and "Times Past," the other four trade paperbacks published at this time.

Jack Knight is the son of scientist Ted Knight, the original Starman of World War II. He loves old things; antiques, old movies, old magazines, you name it. The only old things Jack doesn't like are the stories of his father's adventures as a costumed hero. He scoffs at the thought of grown men running around in brightly-colored spandex costumes, and finds it laughable that his older brother chose to follow in their father's footsteps as the next Starman.

He continues to ridicule and chide, until his brother is struck down and killed by a sniper's bullet. Now, pursued by his brother's murderer, who seeks to acquire the cosmic rod, the creation which allowed Ted Knight to become Starman, Jack is thrust into the role he once found such a joke; he is the new Starman.

Despite the premise, Starman is not your basic superhero comic. The fact that Jack Knight despises the spandex scene and decides to take up his father's mantle on his own terms is a big part of what makes this title so entertaining. From my own experience talking to readers, it's possible that this book appeals as much to fans of alternative comic books as it does to hard core superhero readers.

Writer James Robinson uses great characterization to draw the reader in, and penciler Tony Harris mesmerizes same reader with one of the most aesthetically pleasing art styles in comics today -- expressive, yet highly stylized.

[ by Mark Allen ]
Rambles: 16 November 2002

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