Saturday, May 5, 2018

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #3 Review

Star Power

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Max Fiumara
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy

The first two issues of this Black Hammer spin-off (part of the Hammerverse...Hammer time!!) I actually found pretty touching. It depicted the rise of Doctor Star and his growing need to explore the galaxy. His wanderlust came at the expense of his family though, and his distance is extended considerably as he goes to rescue a group of peaceful aliens and save them from a mortal threat. In doing so he strayed too close to a black hole, and on return, the time had passed at different rates back on earth. What seemed like a few hours for Star, was 18 years back on earth. Think Interstellar.

The tragic element of those lost years away from his family is really explored more fully in this issue. We see the aftermath of that absence, the distance from his son and family, and it is a festering guilt and sadness that triggers Doctor Star's latest mission in his old age - namely to go back into space and find a cure for his son's terminal cancer.

And what an adventure it is. We get the Hammerverse's equivalent of the Green Lantern Corps and they are awesome. The issue also sees Lemire ruminate on the passage of time, the aging of superheroes, all wrapped up in a lovely Silver Age bow. He really has created a wonderful little world here with Black Hammer and its spin-offs. I really think it is a fantastic achievement to have given us a very well realized fictional universe in (by my count) 21 issues across the Black Hammer titles, this title, and Sherlock Frankenstein.

The art roster in this series is helmed by Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, and there is a deliberate shift from the more Golden Age leaning Black Hammer series to this series which has more of a Silver Age feel to it. Certainly, the next issue seems destined to really hammer that angle home (forgive the pun), and the Fiumara style compliments this well. Dave Stewart resumes his usual high-quality work on colors.

Bits and pieces

This was a good issue, but I felt that the first two installments were much more poignant. That said this issue had a great bar scene where the old wartime heroes meet up to drink away the day in, and there is a bit of preparation necessary to tee the story up for the fourth installment with the debut of the Star Sheriff Squadron. A fun issue then, with a little bit of reconfiguring going on to lead us in smoothly to the next installment.


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