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Paperback Starman Vol 01: Sins of the Father Book

ISBN: 1563892480

ISBN13: 9781563892486

Since the 1940s, the people of Opal City have always been protected by Starman, their local superhero, a man with the power of flight and the ability to direct cosmic energy, using the awesome power... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

up there with Moore and Busiek

Almost everyone in comics got the wrong message from "Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight Returns." Rather than learning that superhero comics could be about more than adolescent fantasies they simply embraced the violence of those books and created comics that catered to a darker set of adolescent fantasies than the old Superman or Spiderman comics did. Comics didn't grow up; they just went from being geeks to juvenile delinquents. I say almost everyone because there are a few notable exceptions where people have written superhero comics for grown ups, or to use Neil Gaiman's words comics that are "about something" (about something other than muscles, spandex, and maiming and killing "evil doers" that is). Kurt Busiek of course, and strangely enough Alan Moore himself are the examples everyone knows about. Unfortunately, James Robinson's work often falls between the cracks, and that is a shame, because "Starman" is a comic that is truly about something. Aptly enough a good bit of what the comic is about is growing up. Early in the series Knight mocks things like family, duty, and honor, but Jack coming to embrace those things as well as responsibility is the heart of the whole series. Spiderman and Superman are great metaphors for adolescence, "Starman" is a story about coming out of a prolonged adolescence. Jack Knight isn't an obsessed Rorschach or Batman driven by internal demons in a near psychotic quest for vengeance. Rather, he's a self-centered hipster who gets in the superhero racket out of duty, family oligations, and loyalty to his beloved home town.But really I make it sound all stodgy and positively 19th century Prussian, and it isn't. As well as being about something the series is a lot of fun. Robinson clearly loves all those old guys in tights and all the baggage that goes with them, but in his hands it really isn't baggage. You get explosions, evil plots, crime waves, superhero team ups, and everything you expect in comics, but you get meaning too. On top of that Robinson has a knack for creating characters and enough attention to detail to bring them to life. The O'Dares could have degenerated to Irish-cop stereotypes, the Shade a mere metropolitan killer, or Knight a hipster with superpowers, but none of them did. They all seem like living breathing people, and that's not something you can say for characters on a good many acclaimed television shows. "Starman" was one of the best comics of the 90's and the best place to start is at the beginning.

This Book Introduced Me To The Golden Age Of Comics!

I grew up reading Marvel Comics. Time was when comics meant seeing characters in colourful costumes spouting macho nonsense and punching each other out. This book here showed me otherwise. And introduced me to new worlds of reading and the imagination!The original Starman is Theodore (Ted) Knight. He appeared in comics around 1941. This here story, however, is about his sons, David Knight and Jack Knight. David inherited his father's costume and took over the family superhero business. Jack is cynical about his roots and moved on to become a junk-peddler! An old nemesis of the Starman, the Mist, shows up with his own children and waged war on the Knights - injuring Ted and killing David. Jack is then forced to reluctantly take up his father's mantle.This first volume of the Starman paperbacks help the reader get into the setting of Opal City (beautifully designed in an art deco style by artist Tony Harris) and its many residents - the Knight family, the O'Dare family of cops, the Shade, the Mist family, a fortune teller, etc. The reader does not need any background knowledge of Golden Age comics to enjoy this - although, like me, you may want to track down the old comics in the Archive Editions just to get more into the history of it all. After all, Starman is ultimately about history. History and family. This is, to me, the most human comic in the world. You'll laugh and cry with the Knights. And you'll grow with Jack. And speaking of Jack...James Robinson has done an absolutely amazing job creating Jack Knight. In many ways, James IS Jack - and in other sense, we all are Jack (we, as in, all those who grew up in from the materialistic '80s into the cynical '90s). Jack is about finding the old values without looking campy or sounding corny. Jack is about making being a hero without necessarily having to wear spandex. Jack is about clinging on to everything you love - whether it be junk or family legacy. Finally, Jack is about romance - the romance of chivalry and standing up for what's right.Read this book. Get the rest of the volumes. And let's revisit the Golden Age.....

Gen-X superhero for those who both love and hate superheroes

Re-reading Sins of the Father (the first of the many Starman collections), I'm struck by what a jerk Jack Knight is. Yeah, he's not a typical hero. He has a smart-mouth, and I remember when collecting view-master reels, old t-shirts and records were far more important to Jack than fighting crime. But it's amazing just how much he did grow up in the series. Starman is about many things. It's about a man -- Jack Knight, son of a retired superhero, brother to a hero that's just been murdered. It's about the Starman legacy -- not just through the Knight family but the unrelated heroes who have used that name. It's about Jack's home Opal City, a city which doesn't exist on any real world map but with in a few pages, becomes a real as any city you know. It's about the junk that Jack collects. Little snippets of history. Dealing his father's greatest enemy who is out for revenge, Jack has to put aside his junk collecting business and fight crime. And deal with the far worse emotional burden of Jack coming to terms with his own family. For decades, Starman was pretty much a cypher. A costume, a "cosmic rod" (or gravity rod, as it was once known) and very little else. But within this collection, writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris have given the Knights a history, home and supporting cast as rich as Batman or Spider-Man. Yes, there's lots of action. But the real heart of the story is emotional. Jack is a very real character, his concerns and feelings are true to life -- even if you or I can't fly. The shadowed, angular, highly stylish and stylized art of Tony Harris perfectly complements this story. Jack Knight doesn't wear his father's red and green tights. He favours antique WW II anti-flare googles and a worn leather jacket decorated with a Crackerjack sheriff's badge and an zodiac star design. Jack's a very modern guy, but one obsessed with things of the past. (Although oddly he intially rejects his own personal history.) This book charts a new direction, but also celebrates superheroics. So, I think it will appeal to those who both hate and love superheroes.

Story and Art Work Magic

The is a perfect example of great collaboration. Writer and artists work together to create a sum which is greater than the parts. Character development is equally weighted with action and plot. If anything there might actually be too much emphasis on Jack Knight's reluctance to play the hero. But that's a minor quibble. There's a great balance between Jack as a regular guy: brother, son, and small businessman; and Jack as Starman: soaring through the beautifully depicted skies of Opal City and mixing it up with the bad guys.Opal City looks fantastic, and is a distinctive environment for Starman to flourish. Robinson and Harris have created their own world here, separate from our own. Opal City works on a similar level as Astro City works for Kurt Busiek's excellent series, and Gotham works for Batman. There are several panels where Opal City is featured, without the benefit of any of the stories' characters. This effectively enhances the impact and depth of the Starman saga.The initial story arc included in this collection is phenomenal, introducing us to Jack and presenting his origin as Starman. The middle bits, including a few intriguing epilogues and prologues, hint at larger story arcs to be pursued in later collections. The final story detailing an encounter between the two brothers is both entertaining and insightful. I look forward to reading the second installment in this series of graphic novels.

The best and truest of the Gen-X HEROES

With the ill-conceived and pitifully executed "Zero Hour," the DC comics universe was left with little good to work with. Some new characters were created, some current characters were killed off, and other currents were "re-worked." After all the huss and fuss, only two re-worked post-Zero Hour characters have earned any real following, and only one has earned a consistent following. Green Lantern's mailbag is mixed - there seem to be just as many readers who hate the current GL as those who love him.And then there is Jack Knight, a character that has earned a true cult following. We Starman fans are legion, but we are a quiet although enthusiastic bunch.Why is Jack so popular? My personal take on it is that he is the only Gen-X'er DC character with a regular book who truly personifies heroism. No fancy trappings, no hidden agendas, no driving psychoses...Jack Knight is a hero of the Superman and Hal Jordan (Silver Age Green Lantern) vein - motivated to do good because it is right to do so. At first, it is a fight for survival and a reluctant duty, but by the end of this collection, we begin the see little hints that perhaps - just perhaps - he's beginning to enjoy his new-found role.Jack is also the most human of all the DC heroes...not only do we see his heroic role, but with later books, we see more of his personal life than those of other heros...not just his relationships with women, but his day-to-day interactions. While he fights, he enters a sort of Zen mode and his thoughts often wander to other things in his life - usually to aspects of his job and hobby as a junk/collectibles dealer and scout. At love with the past but comfortable with the present (althought a little nervous about the future), our man Jack is a person whom I believe many of us would like to be, if only for a short while. His easy-going nature lends an air of light to his earthbound side, and his concrete sense of responsibility is tempered with a good sense of humor. He is a contemporary person. And he is a human being, first and foremost. Jack also has (as you will see in later volumes) a bit of the old hero in his makeup - a Knight clad in black leather jacket and night-vision goggles as opposed to the traditional armor.In this first volume, we are introduced to the relationships within the Knight family and some of the histories which have caused a strain on the family ties. We are also introduced to The Mist and his family, and by the conclusion, we see the creation of who I feel to the most devastatingly cunning and psychotically diabolical villian in DC's current lineup - Nash, the new Mist. In addition, the rest of the cast and company begins to take shape in the form of Shade and the O'Dare family of law enforcers.Robinson's writing is top-notch, as usual, with flowing dialogue and engaging internal monologues. However, it is the artwork of Harris and the inking of von Grawbadger that hooked me in initially
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