Monday, June 11, 2018

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #4 Review

Funny how time slips away

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Max Fiumara
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: 6 June 2018

Yes, just like the Reverend Al Green and Mr. Lyle Lovett sang all those years ago, funny how time slips away. Mind you, if I was Lyle Lovett and had been married to Julia Roberts I think its fairly safe to say that time would slip away quickly for me too. Ahh, Julia. You are one in a million. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Dr. Star...time to get serious.

This is probably one of the most beautiful and elegant comic books that I have read in a long time. I adore Lemire's Black Hammerverse, but this title has taken me by surprise. We saw Dr. Star pop up in some of the other titles (can't remember which while typing) and I was puzzled as to how they were going to build a book around him. This, however, has been the most poignant and meaningful book, both in terms of the pursuit of knowledge, but also in terms of the concept of time.

In this issue, Lemire really does take the concept of time and break our hearts with it. If you'll allow me to be a little pompous and quote a Bob Dylan song (stop pulling that face that Woody Allen made when the girl starts quoting the lyrics of Just Like a Woman in Annie Hall), "time is a jet plane, it moves too fast". It does! With young kids of my own, I've been increasingly conscious of the passage of time, and I think it's making me sentimental. So imagine Dr. Star, exploring the frontiers of space, and facing the tragedy of not realizing the difference in the passage of time on earth compared to in space travel. That Interstellar plot twist, only without prior knowledge, arriving home and realizing that years and years have passed, your wife has moved on, your son no longer wishes to know you. This book is an ode to lost chances, lost time, lost family. Oh boy...don't read it without a tissue to hand. (I'm not crying you're crying you big baby).

Meanwhile, the art is so stately and conveys every emotion. The art is actually so personal, the characters so well defined. The scenes around Star's wife's funeral, the sense of despair when Abe Slam calls both to tell him of his wife's death and his son's imminent passing. Each scene just is drawn and colored to match the mood. I've used the word elegant above, and it is is a quality that applies as equally to the art as to Lemire's writing.

Bits and pieces

I know this site gets a hard time because we don't hand out high scores like confetti. Here's why - when an issue like this comes along we want the good score to be meaningful. I'm awarding this book the highest score I've ever given, and it is giving me altitude sickness. Nonetheless, it is deserved. This issue is a match for any comic book you'll ever read. The Hammerverse is rapidly becoming the jewel in Lemire's very well decorated crown. This is the high point so far. Wonderful.



  1. This issue actually made me cry. I've never been so moved by a comic book.