Millar World continues this week with Starlight #3, and boy does it expand. From two planets to possibly many more. But is it good?
Starlight #3 (Image Comics)
Last issue saw our man Duke jump into a spaceship with a young boy who is not from Earth. He’s bringing him back to the planet where he became a hero, only it was 20 plus years ago when he was young and spry. Since then he’s lived an average life on Earth with his wife and kids, but his wife recently passed and his life has lost any meaning. This boy however has brought it all back, especially since the planet he saved (ala Flash Gordon) has been taken over by evil forces. The first two issues basically felt out Duke’s headspace and whether or not he should jetset to go on another adventure, but this issue kicks in the action.
Maybe he should take up origami.
There is a bit of exposition to be had here, largely because we finally get to see who the big bad threat is and why he’s taken over the planet. Horned and huge, the man has been mining all the resources from the planet to use for baubles. He’s making a point on how pointless he sees this planet and what he thinks of it. Millar adds enough flavor to this villain to make him unique. This is mostly because his intentions seem to be much more complicated than being bad for bad’s sake. It’s not all villain focused though, as Duke gets a chance to show off that he’s worth a damn. It’s a nice moment and actually gives the reader hope he’s not just an average human being, but a guy who has some heroics and powers. Consider the first two issues spent a lot of time of him self loathing and you’ll see why it’s so empowering to see him kick ass here. There’s also a fun moment where we find out Duke was known for getting out of sticky situations with minimal resources ala MacGyver. Cute touch, Millar.
Fun fact: he also hates doors because of his stupid horns.
The art by Goran Parlov is quite good here with a very loose and open feel to it. It might be due to the wide angle he’s got on the panels—most panels spanning across the page—but it helps give an epic feel to pages. This is particularly helpful in the exposition heavy-moments as there’s more to take in while Millar fills us in on the politics of the world. He renders the action sequence in a very exciting way by drawing no backgrounds. Instead it’s all white, which make the characters pop and focus in on the action. It’s a cool way to make our hero, who we all aren’t quite sure he’s still got it, show off his stuff.
It’s all about lighting when it comes to torturing for the camera.
Is It Good?
After a so-so second issue this series kicks back into gear with an excellent issue. The villain is finally defined and our hero kicks some ass too. We are now aware of the ramifications and limitations of the characters which means we’re locked in for anything and everything with the rules defined. Bring it on!