Archive for the ‘Darkstars’ Category

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.

darkstars #1

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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