Thus far, Star-Lord’s current solo series has been a comical romp with enjoyable character moments. Does the latest issue continue the trend?
Star-Lord #4 (Marvel Comics)
The issue begins with a flashback of Daredevil foiling an attempted robbery by the Silver Bandit, a.k.a. Edmund Allen, the old man Star-Lord has been visiting to fulfill his community service hours. We then flash forward to the present, with Star-Lord and Daredevil standing in Edmund’s apartment, asking him questions about his criminal past. Daredevil grills Edmund about his past actions, just to have Edmund denounce Daredevil’s credibility in a series of very satisfying panels.
Edmund then recounts the story of how he gained his high-tech thieving equipment, to include how his brother sacrificed himself to save Edmund from being killed by A.I.M. agents. It’s a serviceable backstory that answers some necessary plot questions and helps further endear Edmund’s character to the reader, but it still feels somewhat rushed. The flashback doesn’t pack enough of an emotional punch to make the death feels as moving as it could, and the issue’s quality increases considerably once the focus shifts back to the present.
After some more delightful jabs at the hypocrisy inherent in Daredevil’s methods, we get an unexpected but humorous team-up between Star-Lord and one of the supervillain patrons of his bar. Star-Lord then comes face-to-face with the big bad of the story arc. The issue’s ending scenes do a good job of building up momentum and generating anticipation for the next issue. With that said, the issue’s pacing still feels a bit wonky throughout, and Chip Zdarsky’s writing isn’t as funny as it was in the first three issues. There are still some amusing one-liners and remarks, they just aren’t as plentiful as usual. Kris Anka’s artwork is good as usual, with humorous facial expressions and panel design choices that strengthen the issue’s comedic effectiveness.
Ultimately, Star-Lord #4 is an enjoyable issue. Its comedic moments are effective even if they are less frequent than expected, and Zdarsky and Anka continue to flesh out a great supporting cast for Star-Lord’s earthbound adventures. Edmund Allen and Daredevil’s banter is especially delightful, and the supervillain bar setting is inspired. The issue’s main problems are with its pacing (which isn’t bad, just flawed) and its comparative lack of humor. Hopefully the next issues will resolve this storyline as strongly as the first issues established it.