Archive for the ‘Darkstars’ Category

The Darkstars: Issue #7 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

 

 

“Fall From Grace!” was cover dated April, 1993 and released March 2, 1993 (Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics).  The issue was written by Michael Jan Friedman.  Travis Charest pencilled pages 1-20 while Jim Balent did breakdowns for pages 21-24, and those pages were finished by Scott Hanna.  The Inkers were Scott Hanna and John Lowe.  The letterer was Bob Pinaha and the colorist was Tom McCraw.  Ruben Diaz was the assistant editor and the editor was Brian Augustyn.

 

We open on an alien planet.  The ruler and his underling, Skamich are discussing the security systems.  The systems are set up to prevent anyone from entering the palace after all the ruler’s life is at stake.  The ruler laments that he treated Torquin no differently from his other conquered people’s.  Apparently he created resentment by destroying some relics and staged some public executions.  Nothing to get overly excited about.  Skamich believes that the destruction of the procreation facility turned the public opinion in the quadrant against the leader.  An assassin now has been hired to kill the ruler. 

 

Back over Earth.  The slave ship is making a return landing.  Colos is at the controls with a wounded Douglas, Hawkman and Carla all on the bridge.  The alien pilot is being held captive as he tried to set the self destruct sequence and Colos would rather he a novice pilot bring the ship in instead of a suicidal pilot.  They successfully land after a sizable jolt and Hawkman and Colos shake hands and maybe they may cross paths again.  I personally hope so.

 

Back in the alien palace, the assassin has gained access by breaching the shields.  The intruder is able to elude the sensors as well as the defensive measures set up and crashes into the throne room.  The guards rush in.

 

On Earth, Colos and Douglas marvel at Hawkman.  They see him find Hawkgirl and embrace.  It seems that the two are more than partners.  Colos turns his attention to Flint.  Flint disobeyed Colos’s orders twice.  Carla interrupts Colos.  She wants to thank Colos and then offers her help.  Colos starts to decline then asks if she has any space she is not using.  Carla thinks that he is referring to outer space but Douglas clarifies that Colos is looking for office space since their “headquarters” is “out of town”.  She gives the Darkstars a card and asks them to call her later, she may have the space they need.

 

In Flint’s apartment, Flint is grumbling.  He feels he blew the mission and he does not know that the others are back on the planet.  Unfortunately he has started drinking again.  His self pity party is interrupted by an angry Colos on Flint’s communicator.  Colos tells Flint to stay put and he will find him as they need to talk.  Flint throws the can and we see that it is a soda can not a beer can.

 

The guards open fire on the assassin.  It appears that he was vaporized but Skamich is not so sure.  It is strange that he escaped all the defense systems but was destroyed by a simple pulse barrage.  The assassin is not dead after all.  He takes out the guards leaving only Skamich and his King.

 

On Earth, Carla and Douglas are in the new Darkstar planet side office.  The guy who developed the place owes Carla a favor so it is rent free to the Darkstars.  There is not a high demand for office space in Dallas as the supply is too high.  Carla told the developer that the group is a not-for-profit operation that could not afford a place.  Douglas says that the back story is perfect.  The place is large enough for all of their equipment and a couple of cots.  Douglas and Colos, both homeless can sleep there.  Douglas is musing that he is going up in the world. 

 

The assassin continues his assault.  The only thing standing between him and the despot is Skamich.  Skamich is willing to try but he is killed for his bravery.  The assassin grabs the liege-lord.  The assassin identifies himself as K’lassh.  This is the last time we see this liege.

 

Colos meets Flint who has changed out of his Darkstar uniform.  He figures that Colos is there to fire him, which he is.  Colos does admit that this is not easy.  Flint does say that he is a maverick like Colos and he thinks that he might have made a better Darkstar than a deputy.  Colos thinks that Flint is right and takes off with the uniform.  While he leaves he thinks that he has not seen the last of John Flint.

 

Elsewhere the remaining alien drug cartel assemble with their human allies.  They are discussing what to do about Darkstar.  Twice he had interfered with their profitable operations and that has to stop.  How are they going to stand up to a being they believe is as powerful as Superman.  Mister Daniiki, the green alien with stringy black hair speaks up.  He is surprised that the Darkstars are now patrolling Earth But he has an idea.  In the past he has found one counter measure effective.  Daniiki pushes a teleported and we see K’lassh appear.

 

This issue was basically an epilogue issue.  The heroes all return to earth safely and the Hawks are briefly reunited before they fly off.  Colos fires Flint.  Douglas and Colos with Carla’s help start to set up a planet side base of operations.  The villains lick their wounds and bring in a new weapon, the assassin K’lassh.

 

The side plot of the liege was effective here as it’s showed the power of K’lassh which is what you want to see in comics, not just telling how good he is in exposition.  As a matter of fact, we do not get any exposition here, we only see how good this assassin is and it makes me want to see him go up against Colos. 

 

I like that we continue to see Carla White.  I expect that since Flint was fired, she may become the new second deputy.

 

I give this issue a 4.5 out of 5 power rings.  We do get a brief mention of the Green Lanterns when Hawkman says that Earth is protected by them and they say that they are the only intergalactic police force.  Colos says that they think so and that is all we get about a rivalry of the Darkstars to the Green Lantern Corp in this issue.

 

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The Darkstars: Issue #6 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

 

Issue Six of Darkstars was cover dated March 1993. According to Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics, the issue was released on February 2, 1993, Groundhog’s Day. Michael Jan Friedman was the writer with Travis Charest pencilling, inked by Scott Hanna.  Bob Pinhaha was the lettered and Eric Kachelhofer was the colorist.  Finally kickin’ butt and making change was Brian Augustyn, leaving Ruben Diaz getting’ his butt kicked and changing stuff.

 

Colos and Mo Douglas are streaking to Flint’s location. Colos is swearing that if Pappas haven’t already taken Flint apart, then he will do it himself.  Mo calls Colos out on his bitterness, saying that he can do anything he wants.  Colos just laughs at this suggestion saying that all he is good for is a little razzle dazzle, in reality he is as useless as anybody else.  Colos admits that something bad happened.

 

Colos now goes into his backstory.  He became a Darkstar because he saw Zamba, his home world destroyed by Qinorri Raiders.  The Qinorri were strip miners and they were after a mineral under Zamba’s crust.  As a result of the Qinorri mining, the planet was destroyed by earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions.  The Zambians who were a non space faring and peaceful race had no defenses.  Colos was one of the very few survivors. Days after the Qinorri destruction, a stranger fell out of the sky.  His name was Radz and he offered Colos a way to strike back.  Radz was a Darkstar and Colos joined the organization.  He rose in the ranks and found his own personal healing in being a Darkstar.  Then came Jenuwyne.  It was a world like Zamba, peaceful and naïve and it was in Colos’s sector and therefore his responsibility.  Jenuwyne was attacked by raiders more savage than the Qinorri.  Colos failed to stop the raiders and Jenuwyne was destroyed, killing all the natives.  Colos ends his story to focus on the present.

 

In the present, Hawkgirl and Hawkman are still fighting the alien slavers.  Carter sees that the hatch to the ship is still open and flies strait to it.  He enters the ship just as the hatch closes leaving Hawkgirl outside the ship and Hawkman alone on the ship.

 

Hawkman recounts how they became involved with this slave ring.  Carter and Shiera (Hawkgirl) were enjoying a night listening to Shiera’s favorite nightclub singer.  But after the performance the singer was attacked by the alien slavers in her dressing room.  Carter and Shiera discovered the Immanites attacking the singer when they went back to meet her after her performance.  The two were able to beat the Immanites and rescued the girl.  The Immanites are well renowned slave traders and after Carter’s form of persuasion, they found the base in Dallas.  The two went into action as Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  Now Carter finds himself alone in a ship filled with captive humans and alien slavers that is taking off.

 

Colos and Mo arrive just as the ship crashes through the warehouse.  Colos recognizes the ship as a slaver.  Colos blasts his way into the ship and he and Mo enter.  Colos notices a problem, the section they busted into should have been guarded and it isn’t.  He soon finds the guards and they are fighting a Thanagarian (Hawkman).  Colos and Mo not understanding why a Thanagarian is involved move in to help Hawkman against their common enemy. Hawkman thanks the two but then streaks off saying that this is his fight and he will finish it.  In his fight, one of the slavers gets the drop on him and he is saved by Colos.

 

Back on Earth, Hawkgirl is in a fight of her own.  Flint sees that she is alone and he helps her by taking out the slavers.  Hawkgirl asks if Flint can make up his mind whose side he is on.  He tells her that he can’t make up his mind whose side Hawkgirl is on.  The two quickly dispatch the remaining slavers then turn their attention to each other.  Hawkgirl notices that Flint is a Darkstar and slaps him.  She and Hawkman are members of the Justice Society of America and they were looking for some missing friends but the Darkstar turned a neat and efficient search into a circus.  We see Pappas hiding in some rubble with an alien that reaches for a gun behind Hawkgirl.  Flint sees the threat and screams for her to watch out and tackles her.  Shiera recovers and shoots the alien with a crossbow and Flint blasts Pappas with is masers.  Flint wants to leave to preserve his identity but all Shiera is concerned about is Carter, not knowing that he is not alone but is with Colos and Mo.

 

Colos questions why Hawkman is fighting slavers when he thought that the Thanagerians were slavers themselves. Hawkman admits that he is not Thanagarian and he cannot stand slavery, it goes against his grain.  Mo sees more guards approaching and he raises the alarm giving Colos and him a chance to blast the new guards.  Colos finds that they are not far from the slave hold.  Now Mo inwardly questions why he is here now but decides that this is not a time for doubts but a time to give his best shot in helping people again.  The three bust into the hold. Carter tells Colos and Mo to keep the guards busy while he heads for the Bridge.

 

In one of the cells we see Carla now dressed in a grey jumpsuit.  She is seeing Colos fighting the guards and surmises that he is not dressed as the others and he is fighting for them.  She sees that Colos’s partner is human but she does not know who they are.  She suddenly realizes that they were the same people involved in the bust at Allen Pharmaceuticals and they were called Darkstar.  She decides to lend a hand in the fight for her freedom.  She jumps out of the cell after it goes down and rallies the other prisoners to help.  She grabs a gun from one of the downed guards and joins in the fight against the guards. The other prisoners join in the battle.

 

Colos realizes that the humans are giving him the opportunity to give Hawkman a hand and he and Mo head for the Bridge leaving Carla and the others fighting the guards.  The two arrive to find Hawkman in a hand to hand struggle with the Bridge crew of the ship.  Hawkman sees the Darkstars and just asks what took them so long. Colos retorts the same question, a couple of the crew was still left standing.  Hawkman reverses the ships course to earth leaving Colos to return to the slave hold.

 

Carla also was successful in her fight.  The humans are the only ones left standing, until Colos shows up.  One of the former prisoners sees him and raises his gun to shoot but Carla lowers it saying he helped them to freedom.  Colos looks into Carla’s eyes and she asks him if he is all right. Colos says he is fine but he is thinking that she is just like Mo and Flint.  She too wants to make things right.  He does not understand the qualities of humans but he has found three with the selfless abandon to help others.  Colos moves to free the other humans.  The ship should set down on Earth is less than an hour.

 

This is my favorite issue of this series so far.  It has everything I like:  action, character development, the Hawks, and strong female characters.

 

The action here is terrific.  We get Hawkman on the ship and Hawkgirl in the “hangar” both fighting the aliens with their new allies the Darkstars.   The action here was fluid and gripping as we saw multiple battles in multiple fronts.

 

We get the back story of Colos here.  We learn of his planet of origin, Zamba as well as what sent him off to become a Darkstar.  We also get a glimpse of his failure that eventually got him assigned to Earth’s sector.  We also see that Colos is beginning to believe that’s the humans are not as barbaric as he originally thought they were as he has seen three humans exhibit the qualities of a Darkstar. Perhaps Hal Jordan is not so unique after all.

 

Of course we get the Hawks.  I know that their continuity is confusing and I am not going to get into that here.  The Hawks here are not Thanagarian but are humans using Thanagarian weapons.  We do see the viciousness of their fighting style as they are prone to use Medieval weapons in their battle. We see a little bit of their relationship which is one of the draws I have to these characters.

 

Finally the strong female character.  Carla is not a sexualized damsel in distress as we are prone to see a lot of in comics.  She is attractive but she is smart and strong. She can rally the other prisoners including the male prisoners to join in the fight and she does not shrink from Colos but looks him in the eyes.  She is to be sold as a slave but the attire that the prisoners are forced to wear is also very modest and not overly sexualized.

 

I will give this issue a 5 out of 5 power rings.  It was terrific and recommend tracking this down as I have noticed that the Darkstars series is being released on Comixology.

 

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The Darkstars: Issue #5 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

 

Issue 5 of Darkstars was written by Michael Jan Friedman, pencilled by Travis Charest, inked by Scott Hanna and colored by Julianna Ferriter.  The lettered was Bob Pinaha and edited by Ruben Diaz and Brian Augustyn.  This issue was cover dated February 1993 and was on the stands January 5, 1993 (Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics).

 

   “Slaves and Other Prisoners” opens with Colos and Mo handing over Evil Star to the authorities.  Mo is in awe that he is in space and as the two return to earth, Colos muses about Mo’s obvious awe and thinks that he is working out better than he expected.  Flint on the other hand who is not with them is another story entirely.  Colos now decides that he needs a base of operation on Earth so he does not have to hop back and forth to his ship.

 

   Meanwhile, Flint returns to the Dallas Police Department.  The chief asks Flint where he has been for the last twenty four hours.  Flint insists that he has not been drinking, but he is unable to give a better excuse for his whereabouts.  The chief thinks that Flint had been out drinking and used mouthwash to hide his breath. 

 

   The chief puts Flint on a kidnapping case connected with Pappas, the Loco kingpin.  A foxy black woman was seen with Pappas in a warehouse and she did not look happy about it.  The police was  able to get a warrant to raid the warehouse and Flint is to lead the bust.  While the chief is talking to him, Flint decides to go ahead in his Darkstar gear to prevent any officers from getting killed if they run into aliens like the last time.  Flint however answers his chief by saying that he is not sure he can lead a team basically admitting that he had been on a drinking binge.  Flint now leaves the office saying that he will get his life together.

 

   At the warehouse, Pappas is with Carla and some thugs.  Pappas is going to give Carla to the aliens as a slave for spilling champagne on him in the previous issue.  Carla continues to fight.  Carla however thinks that Pappas is selling her to a Middle Eastern sheikh.  An alien comes up and tells her that she is really going off world.  The aliens take her to cargo bay delta.  Carla thinks to herself, wandering if it would have been better to ignore the truth and be a good lawyer.  She decides that she did make the right decision and self pity will get her nowhere.  She decides to fight and find a way to escape.

 

   Flint returns to Colos’s ship to gear up.  He is unable to get in contact with Colos so he programs his suit to broadcast his message every hour regardless of his condition.  He is going after Pappas alone to prevent his fellow Dallas police officers from stumbling into a group of highly armed aliens.

 

   Later Colos and Mo discover Flint’s message.  Colos tries to raise Flint to no response.  Colos and Mo take off tracking Flint’s path to try to bring him back in one piece.  Colos grumbles about Flint’s decision but Mo says that he chose to do this to save the lives of others and he thinks that is courageous.

 

   In the warehouse, Flint discovers the alien’s ship wondering what is going on.  Out of the corner of his eyes he sees someone approaching and opens fire with his masers.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl are the two that Flint attacks and they scatter.  The two return fire on Flint and the battle gets the attention of the aliens who open fire on the Hawks as well.  Flint sees this and questions why the aliens are fighting among themselves and wonders if he blew it by attacking the Hawks without getting the information first.  The Hawks move in to fight the aliens.  Flint also attacks the aliens still questioning which side the Hawks are on.  The launch sequence of the ship is initiated and the ship takes off.

 

   This issue transitions from the Evil Star subplot back to the Pappas main plot.  One of my favorite moments in comics is not just the action and adventure but the character beats.  This issue is full of them.  We mainly get insight into Flint here.  We find that he was so embedded in his job that he sometimes decides to go above the law to bring the criminals in.  His constant failures even drives him to drink and now that he has the weapons and the power to make a difference, he cannot wait for Colos.  Mo even defends Flint’s actions to Colos.

 

   The other element I like is the appearance of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  I am personally a fan of these characters and it was fun to see them show up here.  I would like to see a team up with the Hawks and the Darkstars in the next issue, which I have not read as of this writing.

 

   For the character beats I give this issue a 4 out of 5 power rings.  It was a little slow but the cliffhanger makes me want to grab the next issue.  See you next time

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The Darkstars: Issue #4 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

Darkstars issue #4 written by Michael Jan Friedman, penciled by Travis Charest, inked by Scott Hanna, lettered by Bob Pinaha, and colored by Julianna Ferriter.  The Editor to the Stars was Brian Augustyn and the Stellar Consultant was Robert Greenberger.  The cover date is January 1993 and according to Mikes Amazing World of Comics the release date was December 1, 1992.

 

       “Star Wars” begins with Evil Star and the starlings attacking the city in hopes of luring Green Lantern out.  The police arrive to stop the mayhem but to no avail.  Flint attacks one of the starlings after some officers are killed.  Colos and Mo arrive to face Evil Star.  All Evil Star cares about is that the two are not Green Lanterns.  Evil Star attacks Colos when he attempts to convince Evil Star to surrender.  Evil Star orders the starlings to attack the Darkstars as they are not worthy of his attention.  Suddenly Evil Star has a crisis of conscience and questions what is it that he is doing and leaves to give himself some time to think leaving the Darkstars confused.  Colos orders his ship’s computer to analyze what just happened in hopes of gaining some important Intel.

 

            Now we catch up with Carla.  She is leaving a taxi but is soon kidnapped by two goons.

 

            The police in attempting to learn about what is going on are attacked by Evil Star who is just looking for some time to think.  The Darkstars continue their pursuit of Evil Star and his starlings.  They determine that the starlings are headed for an abandoned junkyard which gives Colos time to get the data he requested from his ship’s computers.  Flint however goes rogue and attacks Evil Star.  He is attacked and grabbed by the starlings,  prompting Colos to intervene.  He attacks and kills the starlings but is attacked himself by Evil Star.  The Darkstars withdraw but are pursued themselves by the starlings.  Colos surmises that the starlings are just trying to scare the Darkstars off and when they fly off the starlings stop their pursuit.

 

            Colos scolds Flint for his reckless actions.  Colos declares himself as the one who calls the shots and Flint is not to go off on his own again.  Flint agrees saying that he got carried away.  After this the three settle down to watch and wait.

 

            We get an interlude in deep space.  We see the Controllers for the first time.  They approach Administrator Jeddigar in order to answer some questions.  They are contemplating the distribution of Darkstar forces in sectors two through six.  Their concern is that they are venturing too far from the sphere of the Controllers concerns.  The administrator just says that this was not a question.  The Controllers admit that they are not accustomed to verbal communication.  The administrator then responds by saying the the sphere of influence the Controllers are talking about is not far enough to adequately protect them.  The Controllers then question Colos’s posting on Earth saying that they do not see the relevance of this position.  Jeddigar answers that Earth is extremely relevant.  Earth has been tagged by an organization in Sector Four.  The Controllers insist that Colos should then be replaced as he has had problems in the past so he should not be in such and important post.  Jeddigar announces that he alone makes the decisions.  Jeddigar ends the conversation saying that he has a staff meeting.  The Controllers on leaving complain about the administrators arrogance.  They decide to wait for a confrontation but admit that sometime they must confront and remove Jeddigar because in time he can become a greater threat to the Controllers.

 

            Back on Earth, Carla slowly wakes up from the chloroform and discovers that she has been kidnapped by Pappas.  Pappas kidnapped her because in his mind, she is still his lawyer and he just wants Carla to hear him out.  He hopes to buy Carla’s services as his lawyer.  Carla answers by throwing a glass of wine at Pappas.  Pappas says that she will be sorry for her actions.

 

            Back at the junkyard Evil Star and the starlings take off prompting the Darkstars to prepare to engage.  Colos finally gets the information he ordered from his ship’s computer.  It seems that the brainwave restrictor used on Evil Star was a prototype that actually spurred unconscious brain activity.  The restrictor allowed Evil Star to unknowingly awaken the starlings to steal the Star-Brand.  This seems to answer why Evil Star was running from the starlings in the beginning as well as his current actions.  Consciously he is terrified of the starlings and as a result he is experiencing an internal struggle for control.  Colos leads the Darkstars to follow Evil Star but only to distract him from a narrowcast from his ship’s computer using the same frequency of the brainwave restrictor.  Colos plans to flood Evil Star’s mind with six million reminders of his genocidal crimes.  This brings the internal conflict in Evil Star’s mind to a head and makes Evil Star to fall into unconsciousness.  Colos removes the Star-Brand and the starlings go inactive.  Colos now plans to melt a dense metal down with their masers and mold it around the starlings to prevent Evil Star’s mental commands from reaching them.

 

            We now find Carla in Pappas’s limousine.  He threatens that if she does not shut up, he will do worse to her that Pedro Montoya, the man Pappas was accused of killing.  If she does shut up she will live and maybe even like where she is going.

 

            It was good to see Colos use intelligence in defeating Evil Star.  Instead of just fighting him which he learns is next to impossible, he formulates a strategy based on the Intel he was able to discover about Evil Star and win the day with this strategy.

 

            We get our first look at the Controllers.  They are pink just like the Guardians of the Universe but instead of being short like I am used to seeing the Guardians,they are normal sized.  They appear to have turned over complete command to this Administrator Jeddigar.  A man that they even admit to not liking or trusting.  We still see that the Controllers are more concerned about their own welfare than anything else and the Darkstars were created not to police the Universe but instead protect the Controllers and their interests.  I personally do not see much to like about this people.

 

            We do get more Carla in this issue and her arc is the continuing story to be looked at next issue.  I give this issue a 4 out of 5 Power Rings.  It was intelligent and action packed at the same time.

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The Darkstars: Issue #3 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

Issue three of Darkstars:  “A Little Help From My Friends” written by Michael Jan Friedman, penciled by Larry Stroman, inked by Scott Hanna, lettered by Bob Pinaha, colored by Juliana Ferriter, and edited Brian Augustine.  This issue is cover dated December 1992 and according to Mike’s Amazing world of DC Comics, this issue was released on November 3, 1992.

 

        We open in the kitchen of attorney Carla White.  She has the news on and we hear a report about the Allen Pharmaceutical drug bust of the night before.  Police say that Allen Pharmaceuticals have been the headquarters for the Loco drug ring.  Unconfirmed sources even identify the involvement of aliens.  This gets Carla’s attention.  The report includes that Frank Pappas, Carla’s client has been charged with directing and financing the operation.  This surprises Carla.  Carla leaves the room as a report that one of the aliens was on the humans side and that alien’s name was Darkstar.

 

        We now go to an interlude in space.  We catch up with the fleeing being from the previous issue.  He has come across a Darkstar cruiser.  The being reports that he is being pursued by hostile entities.  The captain of the Darkstar ship questions the assertion that the beings are hostile.  While this discussion continues the crew of the Darkstar ship discovers that the pursuers are traveling without a ship.  The pursuers fire on and destroy the Darkstar ship.  The pursued being continues his run but he remembers another hope a green warrior who comes from a green world.

 

        In orbit of earth, Colos, Flint and Mo discuss Colos’s orders.  Colos gives his backstory including the first mention of a race called the Controllers that set up the Darkstars.  Colos gives a backstory of the Controllers.  Their first theory was that they could insulate their own world from the scum of the universe.  After about a thousand years, they discovered that they could not be just reactive.  They decided that they had to meet the problems at the source and to do that, they created the Darkstars.  This way the Controllers could still keep their hands clean while they send agents to do the hard stuff.  Flint notices that this is not an endorsement of the Controllers.  Colos just says that it is not.  Colos became a Darkstar for himself and what he could accomplish.  Colos admits that he doesn’t tell this story to anybody, he has plans for Flint and Mo.  He is allowed to pick two local deputies to help him in his patrols.  He offers these positions to Flint and Mo.

 

        Prigatz contacts Colos.  He has another assignment.  He is to hunt down an escaped prisoner only known as G-111 but he calls himself Evil Star.  Evil Star was originally apprehended by the Green Lanterns on earth.  Evil Star is returning to earth for a rematch.  Since the Green Lantern Corp is in disarray, the Darkstars need to deal with Evil Star.

 

        We learn that G-111 was denouncing his identity as Evil Star.  The problem though rests with his henchmen, the Starlings.  The Starlings were activated and they stole the Star-Brand which gives Evil Star his powers.  When the Starlings arrived at the prison, G-111 stole a cruiser and escaped during the ensuing chaos.  We see that G-111 is the being we have been visiting the previous issues.  Prigatz tells Colos about the destruction of the Darkstar ship.  Colos has two hours and forty-four minutes to outfit and train his new deputies before Evil Star arrives.

 

        Carla walks into her father’s office.  This is the law firm that Carla works for.  She questions her father on Frank Pappas.  The father heard rumors about Pappas but it is not their job to incriminate their clients.  Carla questions the decision to defend Pappas in the first place.  Carla quits her position just as Pappas calls her for legal advice.  She just tells him to drop dead and walks out of the office.

 

        Pappas is meeting with some aliens.  The aliens question Pappas about the events of the previous night including the Darkstar raid.  Pappas says that he needs a new lawyer as his old one has quit.  The aliens now decide to minimize their dealings with Pappas in the future.  They are throwing him to the dogs.

 

        The three Darkstars are in training in the skies of Dallas when they see G-111 ship and the Starlings enter the atmosphere.  The Darkstars move to intercept but are attacked by the Starlings.

 

        G-111 realizes that Green Lantern is not on earth as he would have tried to stop him by now and the Darkstars proved to be no match for the Starlings.  G-111 looks at the Star-Brand and says that he could jettison it before it takes control of him.  But that power must not be wasted, it must be exercised, he must become Evil Star and we see Evil Star in the last full page spread.

 

        Okay, I see why I should care about this blond alien running from these strange pursuers without ships.  I did not know that this guy is Evil Star.  I admit I do not know much about Evil Star but I find it interesting that the Star-Brand actually appears to be the the evil influence, however G-111 did seem to don the mantle of the Star-Brand willingly in the end.

 

        This was not a good showing for the Darkstars power.  One Green Lantern was able to defeat Evil Star and his Starlings but three Darkstars could not take the Starlings.  It was interesting to hear that a Darkstar could deputized two locals to join his patrol.  I know Mo is homeless from Issue 1 but Flint is a police lieutenant.  Does this mean that Flint is no longer a cop but has been promoted to space cop?

 

        I do like the scenes with Carla in them.  She really is naïve in her understanding of Pappas but it is good to see that when she finds the truth, she acts on it.  The only thing is that it appears her story arc is leaving the Darkstars as her only connection to the main ongoing plot was Pappas and now she has quit the firm and is not longer representing Pappas.  I hope to see more of this character in the future.

 

        Now for the Controllers.  This is the first time we hear about the Controllers in this series.  What we hear is not very positive.  They seem to be selfish really only interested in their own safety and security.  It is only after a thousand years that they decided to expand their reach but instead of going out themselves, they deputized other aliens to die for them.

 

        Colos, the main Darkstar we see does get a positive characterization.  He is altruistic and really wants to do good.  He is not a Darkstar for the Controllers but for himself.  It make me wonder about the others.  Are they as altruistic as Colos or are they Darkstars because of the Controllers.
        This was another enjoyable issue and I want to start grading these issues like other podcasts and reviews so I will use a scale of 1-5 power rings.  I give this issue a 4 out of 5 power rings.  See you next issue.

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The Darkstars: Issue #2 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

Issue 2, Darkstar Rising, written by Jan Michael Friedman, penciled by Larry Stroman, inked by Scott Hanna with lettered Bob Pinaha, colored by Julianna Ferriter, and edited by Brian Augustine had a cover date of November 1992 with a release date of 10/6/1992 (Mikes Amazing World of DC Comics).  We open where the last issue closed.  Colos has arrived on the scene as Lieutenant Flint is thrown through the window.  Colos catches him in midair and lands next to Mo.  Colors questions Flint who tells him about the Loco drug and this place was identified as the distribution point.  Flint is concerned about the other officers still in the building as they do not know what they are up against.

 

            Colos crashes through the window and attacks the creature that threw Flint out earlier.  During this fight, one of the human drug dealers tries to run away.  He is tackled and beaten by Flint until Colos stares him down.  With the arrival of Colos, Flint’s focus shifts from warning his men to mopping up the place.   During this conversation, Mo notices something in the doorway and yells look out.  Just then laser fire erupts out of the door at Colos, Flint, and Mo.  One of the other drug dealers is blasted and Flint goes for a gun.  Colos warns him off saying that his bullets will have no effect on these perpetrators.  Colos blasts them with his palm masers and as a result pushes them through a wall.

 

            Elsewhere, Carla is leaving from dinner with Paul, a pro bono lawyer who works for the homeless.  Paul says that when they were in law school, Carla had principles and morals and now she works for the likes of Frank Papas.  Carla believes that Papas is a business man who may not be entirely honest.  Paul tells her about the Loco drug and that Papas is the head of the operation.  This drug is directly affecting the homeless in Dallas.  Paul apologizes for being harsh with Carla and Carla asks if he wants a cab.  Paul says he cannot afford a cab and walks off.  We are left with Carla just watching and possibly thinking about their conversation.

 

            Back at the distribution point, Colos is dangling an alien upside down over a roof.  Colos is after what he calls the big birds.  The alien acquiesces and tells Colos where the big honchos are located.

 

            Now we get a cosmic.  Interlude scene.  A person is flying a ship and we get an inner monologue.  This being just wanted to be left alone but he was discovered and now they are hunting him.  We see that his is being followed by what looks like beings flying through space without a ship.  We do not see these people and we do not know who is hunting this guy.

 

            Back on earth, Colos is flying with Mo and Flint presumably to the head honcho’s hideout.  From the air they see what looks like the shipping depot for the drug.  They land and Colos immediately breaks into the warehouse.  The aliens open fire on the three as the leaders including Papas run off and the alien leader pushes a button.  We see that a couple of giant robots come out and attack.  Colos counter attacks thinking he will not have too much trouble destroying them as he has dealt with this weapon before.  He is wrong as he is dealing with an improved model.  Flint pulls his gun and Mo also pulls a weapon and open fire on the robot to give Colos some breathing room.  Colos now with a second assault is able to take down the robots.

 

            After the battle the three now enter Colos’s ship and Colos opens a com with Administrator Prisatz.  Colos reports that the mission to bust up the Loku ring was accomplished with the help of the two earthers with him in the ship.  Colos however reports that the job may not be completed as there are a number of off worlders still on earth and a continued presence may be required.  Prisatz agrees with him that a Darkstar should be assigned to earth’s sector and that Darkstar should be Colos much to his chagrin while a smug Flint and Mo looks on.

 

            This is the second issue of this series.  It carries on from the first.  I liked the action in here as we see a little more of a Darkstars power and weapon set.  I do believe that so far I see this group as inferior in power set to the Green Lanterns but at this time there were not many Green Lanterns in the DC Universe.

 

            I liked the use of Flint and Mo here.  They do not cower at the power of the aliens and their machines, they legitimately help Colos in his fight against the villains in this issue.

 

            We see a glimpse of Carla in this issue with one scene but I feel it is a good character development or a lead in to a change in her story arc.

 

            My big question is the cosmic interlude.  Who is this guy we are seeing and who or what is after him and more importantly do we even care.

 

            I am still enjoying this comic and I am looking forward to the next issue.

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The Darkstars: Issue #1 Review by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars ReviewsIssue One of Darkstars was released on September 1, 1992 with a cover date of October 1992 (Thanks to Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics for this information). This issue was written by co-creator Jan Friedman with pencils by the second co-creator Larry Stroman. The inker was Scott Hanna. The Letterer was Bob Pinaha; Julianna Ferreter was the colorist with the editor being Brian Augustin. Robert Greenberger was credited as the consultant.

“Mean Streets” opens on another day and another dung heap. We meet Darkstar Colos as he is boarding a star ship. From the internal monolog we learn that this is an outlaw ship. We see that Colos has some self doubt about his effectiveness. Is he really accomplishing anything by being a Darkstar? He mentions a botched job on Jenuwyne. We do not know what happened. He even muses as he battles the ship’s crew that he might be suicidal. That is ridiculous. He has much to live for.

After the battles and he takes this ship, Colos contacts the Darkstar Regional Administrator Prigatz. This ship is carrying as Colos puts it, medicines. In reality this is a drug smuggling ship. Prigatz has a new mission for Colos. He is to report to Sector 109, planet 43. This planet is Earth. .

We cut to Earth, Dallas to be exact. We meet Sister Esperanza and Lieutenant Flint of the Dallas Police Department. Flint is looking for information and the Sister points him to Maurice (Mo) Douglas. Flint is looking for information on a new drug in town called Loco. The user starts out feeling good but after a while, the user turns very violent and as Flint puts it, the user “wants to go out and pick a fight with everyone in sight”. Mo has heard about this drug and he might know where the warehouse is that is being used to distribute the drug. It is located on Canton. Flint leaves Mo his card. Mo appears to be as depressed as Colos; he is not sure that Flint’s raiding of this warehouse will help with the situation, another distribution location will just pop up elsewhere.

Back in space, Colos is briefed about Earth. We learn that Earth was not known about until a confederacy led by the Daxamites invaded. This is chronicled in the story line “Invasion” published by DC Comics in 1988. Now three ships have vanished into Sector 109. Together these ships contain the cargo to provide the components of the Serian drug Loku. It is believed that the ships were headed for Earth. The Darkstars currently do not include Earth in its patrols even though another organization has maintained a presence. My guess is that this other organization is the Green Lantern Corp. Colos is to head to Earth and stop this drug from being distributed.

We now meet defense attorney Carla White and her client, Frank Pappas. Carla has successfully defended Pappas from charges that he is a member of organized crime. They have just left the court and are being mobbed by reporters asking for comments from both characters. Carla pushes Pappas into a limo which leaves Carla behind. Good thing. We meet an alien named Danik who is also in the limo. This alien is working with Pappas to distribute the Loco drug. Here we get the connection that the Loco and Loku drugs are the same thing. They are now ready to enter Phase two of distribution. We do not know what the purpose of this drug is at the moment but we learn that the violent side effects are unexpected but not unwelcome as violent addicts are a bigger headache for authorities than peaceful ones. Carla is picked up by her father and she leaves the scene as well.

On the streets we meet up with Mo. He is wandering and thinking about Sister Esperanza. He comes across a Loco drug deal. He knows that the fights will break out soon and tries to clear all the homeless people in the area. He finds he is too late and the fights break out as he fears but he still believes he can save one more woman. He grabs her and tries to run away with her but is soon attacked by the addicts. Just as Mo is about to get overtaken by the addicts Colos arrives and fights off the addicts. Mo wonders if this is another superhero as Colos fights the addicts. Unfortunately the woman Mo grabbed was already dead. Colos tells Mo that she died of a drug overdose but not Loku, something home grown. Colos makes Mo his guide.

We cut back to space where the Director of the Darkstars who is seen only in shadow is talking to Prigatz. He is not happy that Colos was chosen for this assignment. Unfortunately he cannot be replaced unless he is dead so it seems like it is Colos or nothing.

We close with Flint’s raid on the warehouse. Everything does not go as expected as we find Flint face to face with an alien who is ready to kill him.

There are a lot of characters to meet here. I had to write down all the characters names we meet in this issue. One interesting not is that none of these characters are familiar to me at all. It appears that everyone here is new and I like that. It gives the writer and artist a chance to create a whole new world here without being constrained to preexisting concepts or characters. The only reference to current concepts was the unnamed reference to the Green Lantern Corp.

I want to focus on Colos. This issue gives us a hero that we know nothing about. Even the references that are dropped either in monolog or conversation leaves a lot of holes that the reader is eager to fill. Colos is apparently a well decorated and at least at one time a much respected member of the Darkstars, but something happened to change that. Colos, himself was very confident in his job as a Darkstar but now he has lost his confidence. The only parallel I can think of is Abin Sur just prior to his death. I have not read too far into this run and I am experiencing this series as I read it so I do not know what Colos’s fate is. I would hope that this is not just another Abin Sur who will die and pass on his power to a human but only time will tell. I also do not know what a Darkstar’s power is. It looks like he can fire energy blasts and there is some strength enhancement but we do not know if this is natural for Colos or is some special Darkstar power. I am definitely looking forward to learn more about the Darkstars power set and how they differ from that of the Green Lanterns.

I found it refreshing that we are not dealing with a super villain just yet. What we are dealing with is an intergalactic drug ring and I am interested in seeing where this story will go.

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The Darkstars: An Online Review Series by Jim Remolde!

Darkstars Reviews

My name is Jim Remolde.  I have been an active comic book fan for about 5 years.  I will be writing reviews of the comic book series ‘The Darkstars’ from the 1990’s.  Why, you might ask?  I am so glad you asked that question.

I said I was not active in comics, what I should have said was that I was not active in superhero comics.  Growing up in the 1980’s, I read ‘Star Trek’ by DC Comics, ‘Star Wars’, and ‘G. I. Joe’; both licensed comics published by Marvel.  I also fell in love with the little cartoon from the 70’s into the early 80’s called the Super Friends.  My favorite season being the Challenge of the Superfriends which pitted eleven of DC Comics heroes including the then big four of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman along with Robin with other heroes like Flash, Hawkman, and the Green Lantern, notably Hal Jordan.  I, of course not reading comics, never heard of the characters of Guy Gardner and John Stewart, who were both Green Lanterns in the printed book, against the thirteen (that number might mean something, I’ll have to ponder that) of the most fearsome villains of the galaxy including a yellow ring slinging villain called Sinestro.

I fell in love with Green Lantern, but I thought there was only one, like Superman or Batman. I also had no concept of the Multiverse either. I had a lot to learn.

Sure I watched other shows and movies as the time moved on, I learned about Hal going mad with power and a new Green Lantern coming along, Kyle Rayner.  I watched the Superman animated series where Superman meets Kyle, not much of a memory of that show or episode and even then the Bruce Timm universe took a more expansive approach.

I found that in the 2000’s a new team up show, The Justice League was starting and I watched Batman and Superman begrudgingly teaming up.  I like a little dissension in their ranks but I still hold that, at the end of the day, they will have each others backs.  They both teamed up to free the alien J’onn J’onzz from a government installation and in the escape other heroes were called in telepathically by J’onn; Wonder Woman, Flash (Wally West), Hawkgirl and Green Lantern.  I knew of Wally and that he was not Barry Allen who I thought was the first Flash (sorry Jay) and of course I knew the two women, but the Green Lantern surprised me.  I was thinking that the Lantern would be Kyle, he was not.  I had just been introduced to John Stewart.

I wanted to do some research and through Comixology I got into the Green Lantern comics starting with ‘Rebirth’ and moving into ‘Blackest Night’ and I was hooked.  Of course I read about Hal and Kyle and Guy Gardner (who I first met on the show Batman:  The Brave and the Bold) but also John Stewart.  Green Lantern became my gateway drug to the rest of the DC Universe and I discovered the Multiverse as a result. So Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Helena Wayne; pleased to meet you all!

By listening to podcasts and getting into the “older” (I use that term loosely as I am in my 40’s now) comics I learned more about the back stories of characters like John.  I read ‘Green Lantern:  Mosaic’ which highlighted John as the main character.  I learned about the tragedy of Xanshi and John’s own military and architectural background.  I also learned about another cosmic force which John would eventually join that also included Donna Troy from Marv Wolfman’s run of the ‘New Teen Titans’, called the Darkstars.  A group that was led by a group of aliens related to the Guardians of the Universe called the Controllers.

In my posts I will be reviewing ‘The Darkstars’ series including their crossovers with ‘Green Lantern’. I’ve found that both Hal and Kyle had dealings with them, the ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Damage’, and ‘L.E.G.I.O.N.’.  I will be examining the Controllers and hopefully get at their motivations and why they split from the Guardians.  My thanks to Chad and Mark for allowing me to document my journey on the Lanterncast.com and I hope you will enjoy this journey as I will in taking it.  Your comments and questions, as always, are more than welcome.

Now let’s get this journey started as we travel back to a time after a reality altering Crisis where Barry died and nothing else is really known and a time before a Kryptonian died and a vigilante in a gothic city was broken by a hulking drug addict…

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