Friday, September 16, 2011
Continuing with the Stan Lee created science fiction comics at Boom Studios, this week I’ll take a look at the introductory volume of Starborn. While it shares some similarities with Soldier Zero, it’s actually a far more unique title. Benjamin works an average cubicle job, writing a science fiction story that he hopes to one day get published. His first problem is that anyone he tries to show the story to, tells him how he’s borrowing too heavily from another writer whom he’s never heard of (let alone read the work of). Meanwhile, Benjamin has been thinking of these stories since he was a young boy – so how could somebody else have written them? As if that’s not odd enough, a group of hive-mind creatures straight out of his novel show up at his work to abduct him – and it’s only by the intervention of Tara, the girl next-door, the girl of his dreams – who now just so happens to be wearing a space-age battlesuit, that he’s able to escape these creatures. At this point it becomes clear to Benjamin that the stories he’s been dreaming of all his life are actually somehow true – or he’s completely lost his mind. Either way he goes along for the ride, finding out that he may be the last living heir to an Empire. Of course the downside is, there are a lot of alien species who’d much rather not see a return of someone to the throne – and will do anything to stop that from occurring. Tara quickly realizes that the only way Benjamin is going to survive is if she outfits him with a battlesuit similar to her own, as well as a powerful gauntlet that belonged to Benjamin’s father. Even that may not be enough to help them escape the forces amassing against them including hoards of robots, beastmen and witches. And what about the mysterious man riding the flying dragon – how does he fit into all of this? It may sound more like a fantasy type story than science fiction, but despite the appearance of witches, beastmen and dragons, this is really all about alien civilizations and why they are focusing their attention on one human hiding out on Earth. There are lots of interesting concepts that only get briefly mentioned in this book, but I fully expect will be expanded upon in later story arcs – for instance this other writer who had written books about this same far reaching galactic civilization, and there even seemed to be a reference to Soldier Zero in this book as well. The artwork is a little more anime influenced than Soldier Zero was (that book was far more standard in appearance to a normal superhero book). I’m a long time fan of anime and manga, so this kind of stylized artwork is appealing to me, but it’s something the average reader may want to be aware of. But of the two books, I was actually more taken in with Starborn (though I really enjoyed Soldier Zero) and look forward to seeing where the story goes in the next volume. Another enjoyable start to a new scifi comics series that I wholly recommend checking out.
Posted by Jim Haley at 9/16/2011