Posts Tagged ‘Darkstars’

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.


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.


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 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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