Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Genre Character of the Week: Starman

Often when writing these character reviews, I’ll say something like “this week’s genre character is definitely not someone I’d want to have over for dinner…” or “not someone I’d want to hang out with my kids” so I thought I would try for something different this week. This guy is actually someone I would happily have dinner with, and would be very interested in doing a used-book-store run with as well; the hero of Opal City, Starman, aka Jack Knight.

Written by James Robinson from 1994-2001, the comic series Starman follows Jack Knight, son of Ted Knight, who spent the majority of his life as protector of Opal City, Starman. The comic opens on Jack's brother David, the current Starman of Opal city, about a minute before he is (mild, 19-year-old spoiler) killed, and about a day before Jack decides to take up the name Starman for himself, for a limited time.

The series focuses on a type of superhero called a legacy hero, which is where different people over different generations act as the same hero, like the Nite Owl character in Watchmen. We see Jack, his father, others who took up the mantle and yes, even David all acting as Starman and while this is happening we see something happen in comics that I absolutely love:

Character development.

Jack starts out the series as a bit of a screw-up, having a strained relationship with his father and focused on his personal passion, collecting. Its funny, but with all the collectors who spend time reading comics, I think this is the first time I've ever come across a comic book character who is himself, a collector. Over the eighty issues of the series, Jack grows into a guy I really connected with, and honestly, a guy who sits right up at the top of my favourite comic book characters list, with Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Hellboy (my three personal favourite comic book characters).

If you've never given the series a shot, try it. I absolutely loved it.

1 comment:

  1. Yeee-aa, buoy!

    Also, glad you liked it. Me, too.

    Only now I'm jealous of Jack.

    Those book store trips are BFF territory, Knight! So just hop on your cosmic rod, pal.