Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Starman #43 (1992)

Starman #43 (February, 1992)
"Star Shadows, Part Two: Blue Moon"
Writer - Len Strazewski
Artist - Vince Giarrano
Letterer - Bob Pinaha
Colorist - Tom McCraw
Editor - Paul Kupperberg
Cover Price: $1.00

The road to #BestEventEver rolls on through Starman #43!


This chapter opens with the Main Man himself, Lobo lazily spilling his beer in his lap while listening to some alien crooners at what looks like an intergalactic airport lounge.  The barkeep offers him another drink... with a tail sticking out of it, which he sucks down and expresses his appreciation with a mighty belch.

Welp, one of the only thing Lobo likes more then beer and burping is fighting... so that comes next.  He beats the snot out of the sad little band.  Seems like an overreaction to not digging their tunes, but it's Lobo, whattaya gonna do?

As he stands over the beaten... and tied-in knots, band, Lobo takes a moment to appreciate his work.  At this point he is tapped on the shoulder.  Well, ya don't do that to the Main Man and expect to get away with it, do ya?  Lobo turns around with a mighty swing... which misses!  Ya see, the shoulder-tapper is no more than a tiny turtle using his cane for reach.

Lobo does what most of us do when confronted by a persistent turtle, he kicks the little bugger around the room.  When he comes to a complete stop, his little hand pokes out of his shell with a fistful of credits.  Well, now you're speaking Lobo's language!  The turtle presents Lobo with a money-making opportunity... one which requires he visit Earth.  His target is Eclipso, a man so troublesome he's got a one-billion credit price on his head!

Lobo's down with the gig, and hops on his spacehog to track his bounty.  Once he's out of sight, the turtle's body crumbles into dust.  From it rises an ethereal blue form... who goes off planet to confer with an ethereal green form (and later several more).  Ya see, these li'l clouds are the Lords of Chaos... and they've got a rather sizable bone to pick with ol' Moonface from his failings during the Phantom Stranger miniseries, which we've talked about in the past.

We rejoin Lobo just about where we ended last issue... with a bit of a sideswipe of Starman and Gordon's solar jet.  Lobo doesn't take kindly to anyone who "learned to drive on Uranus", and so... a fight is on!  Lobo pretty much wipes the floor (figuratively, of course) with poor Will Payton.

The fight rages onto the Moon, where Bruce Gordon is hanging back in the solar jet doing the whole "changing into Eclipso" thing.  As luck would have it, he remembered to pack not only his Black Diamond, but also his cute li'l Eclipso duds and cap!

Eclipso watches as Payton and Lobo beat the hell out of each other, and shares a bit of exposition with us.  He looks at Starman as his "perfect opposite"... okay, stands to reason.  He also reveals that he intends to use Will as a "living battery"... a vessel in which he can house energy.  Okay, fair enough.  As this goes down, Will finally goes "nova" on Lobo, blasting him full-on with a hyooge bolt... which doesn't even singe the Main Man's hair.  In fact, he seems tickled... even refers to Will as, get this... Starbaby!

Lobo continues to thrash our man, however, before he can land a "killing blow", Eclipso interjects... with a blast of dark energy from his Black Diamond.  The chapter ends with Eclipso... making a threat?  I dunno... here, you decide.


Well, this was a lot better than last issue... in just about every way possible!

We get ourselves a bit of action here with a pretty nice fight between Starman and Lobo... this issue kinda hits the "sweet spot" between action and drama... which, lemme tell ya, kinda goes away for the second half (the next two issues) of the story.  I know Lobo can be a sore subject for some, but I've always kinda dug him.  I don't think I could read more than one Lobo story in a row... but, I think every now and again it's pretty neat for him to show up.  That said... this is one weirdly-written Lobo.

I think it's pretty funny that Bruce Gordon just happened to have his Eclipso outfit stashed away in the solar jet... so weird, but it's comics, so we'll allow it.  I thought it was a pretty cool callback to the Phantom Stranger mini... which I still haven't finished, but recall digging what I have read.  I'm just a sucker for anytime one story calls back to another.

The art here was by Vince Giarrano, who is an absolute breath of fresh air after the odd mismash we saw in Part One.  Giarrano's interpretations of Starman, Lobo, and Eclipso were all on-point, and, I thought it was really cool that he used a sorta-kinda Mignola-esque (Mignolian?) style when flashing back to the Phantom Stranger bits with the Lords of Chaos (Mignola drew that 1988 mini).  Great stuff... makes me wish Giarrano would have done a ton more comic work... but, if you've seen his current art... which is ridiculously amazing, it's probably clear why he's doing what he's doing.

Overall, a damn sight better than Part One... and, for my money, probably the best chapter of this story.  Worth checking out.


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The Darkness Continues...

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