Review – Starlight
Starlight – The return of Duke McQueen
Mark Millar (author), Goran Parlov (artist)
Release date(s): February 24th 2015 by Image Comics, November 15th 2016 by Fibra (reviewed) – available @ www.fibra.hr
Fibra, format (208 pages, HC, color, Croatian), 160 HRK (approx. 21 EUR)
Synopsis: Forty years ago, Duke McQueen saved an alien world from destruction. Back on earth, nobody believed his story. Now his kids are grown, his wife has passed on, and life has little to offer. Until the day a strange boy from the world he once saved makes an appearance, coaxing Duke to join him on one last adventure. Can Duke handle the leap from has-been to hero?
What happens to super-heroes when they grow old? Do they retire, have a pension fund, go to travel the world? In this Millar/Parlov comic, we get to see an old galaxy-hero Duke McQueen famous in the universe, but totally discredited on Earth. A joke in a community he lives, thinking about the old times. After loosing his wife, getting distance from his kids, a new and maybe final adventure appears in front of him. Trying to make his last run at glory, we follow him in his galactic adventure trying to save the world he saved 40 years ago.
Starlight gets a lot of tie-ins with Flash Gordon, John Carter, Star Wars, for me even Lethal Weapon at some point (I could imagine Duke going all Roger Murtaugh: ”I am getting to old for this shit”). These are more than obvious, but are not annoying as the story development is pretty fluid. Being this a short and limited series it felt like we didn’t get real depth of any other characters than Duke, but him being a main hero who saves the galaxy, it doesn’t damage the story.
The story is going pretty fast and the art by Goran Parlov is absolutely stunning. Influence of Moebius’s Arzak on development of the alien planet, Tantalus is a nice homage. Ive Svorcina colouring looked real good, so the Croatian connection was working really well.
Regarding the technical presentation, hats off to the Croatian publisher Fibra. Full colour, large format (212 x 320 mm) and the additional pages which include various sketches and drawing by Parlov provide and additional please to the reader.
Pros: not your typical superhero, art by Goran Parlov, fast pace, Duke McQueen as a character
Cons: a bit too predictable, made me want more in the end
A great Mark Millar story, paired with fantastic art by Goran Parlov. If you are looking for a great science fiction story this one is definitely worth your attention and money. Duke McQueen is a hero with a big heart, a heart that makes this comic great.