Thursday, April 14, 2011

Starman: Omnibus 5

I think I have an addiction. You know, besides good bourbon. And cheap bourbon. Bourbon in general. I'm addicted to Starman. I didn't even really know about the character save for some appearances in the JSA until I read about the series on the Penny Arcade forums where it came highly recommended. So I picked up the first trade.

I feel like my eyes were opened that day, opened to awesome comics. Comics that moved past the issue to issue stories and characterization that lasted until that writer finished his run. Indeed, it was a genius story that spanned the entire run of issues, helmed by one writer, James Robinson, for that entire span. Hell, DC loved it so much they complied with his wish that nobody use Jack afterwards and let him have his retirement.

Maybe I'm overstating things. I had read good comics. I had read great comics. I had read even awesome comics. What I think I'm trying to say is that this was the first time I had read such a complete run, a complete story for one character. Not only was it the run that created the character of Jack Knight as Starman, but it defined him as well. I can't think of many writers who did that. Certainly there are runs that defined existing characters, but this was a first for me. I think it was because Jack was so relatable. He wasn't destined for greatness. Jack was just a guy who collected things. Old shirts. Old records. Old everything. He never thought that he would collect the mantle of his father in the process, learning how to use it and making some mistakes and fighting the good fight like one of us would.

For my collection, I've gotten all of the trade paperbacks available, including one I had to get while I was in Ireland as it was out of print here. I'm missing about four issues in my singles collection and I've gotten five of the omnibuses. Is that love? I think so?

Is it worth it? Yes. For one, the omnibus format is great. The trades had most of the issues, but some were trimmed and things were left out. The omnibus collection has everything, uncut and more, such as issues that weren't part of the main title's run but ones that pertained to him nevertheless, like the crossover with Batman and Hellboy or the Shade's miniseries. The art is reproduced masterfully and we got prologues and epilogues from people involved with the series.

Did I mention that they're hardcover?

In terms of value, they're great. In terms of story, they're even better. If you have any interest in comics, I beseech you to seek out the Starman series if you haven't already. You will love it. It's everything good about comics and everything a comic should be.

Now I need to get the last volume. Then maybe I can work on the Morrison JLA trades.

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