REVIEW: Starfire #1

starfire-1These days, any time Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are given a female lead they can’t go wrong. They can add Starfire to the list.

I’ll admit, I’m not really a long-term fan of the character. I’m entertained by the silly alien interpretation of Starfire that has been on Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans animated series. And I’ve really grown to like her, since I enjoyed how she was used in the recently ended Red Hood and the Outlaws series.

Conner and Palmiotti somehow manage to combine both of those versions into the same character. Kori is done (for now) being a super hero and has relocated to Key West, Florida.

They’ve build a new world around her, consisting of the local named Stella, as well as an elderly landlord and her grandson. The issue has the same kind of feel as a sitcom, with our lead character being a very happy go lucky fish out of water trying to make a good impression on the town around her. She doesn’t completely understand the people around her in a comedic way, much like the aliens on Third Rock From The Sun. It’s very silly, but the reader never feels insulted. The first issue ends with Kori experiencing her first ever hurricane.

On the art end, Emanuela Lupacchino’s art is very expressive. If they keep the more emotion, character driven story going, this will only make the series better. Put this in your buy pile.

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Midnighter #1

midnighter-1

Midnighter #1

I’ve always thought that Midnighter was a cool super hero for years. If you’re not aware, he’s basically a more bad-ass version of Batman (it’s true!). And as much as I liked the most recent Stormwatch series, at times it read a little too complex for my personal taste.

So the new Midnighter series by Steve Orlando definitely got my attention. What I liked about this first issue was how much it focused on Lucas, the man behind the mask.

I think this might be the first time where I read the character being vulnerable. I mean, as far as the combat scenes were concerned, he completely kicked ass. The fight sequences by artist ACO look like they were inspired by Mortal Kombat. Anyway, Midnighter’s vulnerability is on display as we take a glimpse into his dating life. He has met a guy online and the first date is ruined by a group of terrorists running amok in the restaurant that they just happen to be eating in. Comics everyone!

But as the issue goes on, Lucas starts getting attached to his new love interest and goes as far as embeds him with an emergency communications link. And just as his personal life starts coming together, he’s whisked away to the God Garden to save his spiritual benefactor the Gardener.

Midnighter looks to take a complex character and put them into an even more complex world, balancing his romantic life with his super hero responsibilities. But what makes this stand out from the million of other similar themes is the fact that he is gay and ultra-violent. Midnighter is just a fascinating character and I can’t wait to see where this goes. This is definitely the type of series that lends itself to binge reading (or trade waiting), as there is just a lot of stuff going on. But don’t let that scare you. It’s good stuff.