Tuesday, January 4, 2022

One Star Squadron #2 Review

Minute Man Is In Pain, And So Are We

Written by: Mark Russell
Art by: Steve Lieber
Colors by: Dave Stewart
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover art by: Steve Lieber, Dave Stewart
Cover price: $3.99

One Star Squadron #2 follows Minute Man on his desperately drug-addicted attempts to make some spare cash to fuel his Miraclo pill habit and get the public respect he insists he deserves. In the end, we witness a has-been hero rapidly spiraling toward rock bottom.

Was It Good?

I'm going to use a word I don't like. It's a word that gets used, overused, and abused on social media too much on an hourly basis. It's a word invented by uneducated, mentally inadequate malcontents who lack the wherewithal to open a thesaurus to avail themselves of the wonders of the English language. It's a word that feels like it sounds without actually being an onomatopoeia. It's a word I actively avoid because readers like yourself who take the time to read these reviews deserve a thoughtful, well-worded review.

In this case, however, there is no word that fits exactly how I feel about this comic. 

That word is "cringey". 

Everything about this issue is cringey from front to back. One Star Squadron #2 is a Minute Man-centric issue where we follow his daily exploits trying to score cash to feed his Miraclo pill addiction (for the uninitiated, Miraclo is the drug that gives him superpowers for exactly one minute). What readers are presented with is a man scratching and clawing for scraps of dignity as he tries to desperately keep himself in the public eye as a hero.

You get it all. A birthday party appearance that goes horribly wrong and a comic con appearance that also goes horribly wrong. Minute Man is painted as beyond pathetic, and you can feel your intestinal core clenching with cringe with every page turn.

"Wait!" you implore. "Maybe it's cringey on purpose. You know. Like awkward humor from The Office". Oh, my friend. Oh, no. You see, underneath the awkwardness of uncomfortable moments in properties like The Office is a genuine sense of humor and relatable, heartfelt moments. 

There's no heart here. The depth of Minute Man's non-stop succession of floundering failures is just plain ugly. And if there's meant to be some humor here, it probably requires a pre-consumption of one or more recreational drugs. The only apt words that come to mind to describe Minute Man are pathetic and sad.

When you combine this parade of cringe with nonsensical character placements (why is Firehawk working for a dollar-bin hero for hire temp agency?) and the cherry on top of Mark Russell making a guest appearance in his own comic, it may take a week for you to unclench your intestinal core.

Bits and Pieces

One Star Squadron #2 is the comic book embodiment of the word "cringe" is all it's painful glory. It's not cute. It's not clever. It's not funny. It's not charming. It's not even good in a so-bad-it's-good sort of way. It's simply a painful chore equivalent to watching a stranger get kicked in the crotch for 20 minutes straight. On the plus side, the art is quite good.


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