Starlord - issue 18
Regular visitors to this site will know that I am currently rereading an old comic book from my childhood that went by the name of Starlord. This is the eighteenth installment in this series of posts, and I’m planning for there to be many more to come. You can read this vintage comic book too, because scans of the entire run of the comic are available at Starlordcomic.com.
Starlord is great, especially considering how long ago it was published, but not every single issue was perfect, and this is one of the ones that didn’t quite capture the magic as well as many of the others. The cover, for example, is a horrible, airbrushed mess. After a string of strong covers it’s a real disappointment. One nice thing though is that the font they use for Mind Wars, the title of the strip that features on this comic, is so reminiscent of Star Wars it leaves you in no doubt where Mind Wars gets its inspiration from.
As usual Mind Wars is also the first story presented, and also as usual the art by Jesus Redondo is frighteningly skilled. This strip is written by Alan Hebden and is a cut above anything else in the comic this week. Mind Wars is a forgotten classic of space opera, and it looks great.
The next strip, Ro-Busters, is usually my favorite, but this week it isn’t firing on all cylinders. It’s still quite fun though, with some space action that is very reminiscent of the dogfighting between TIE fighters and X-wings and Y-wings in Star Wars. I’m not upset at the blatant plagiarism of the starship designs, I’m just enjoying how it makes the strip look so dated, really fixing it in its 7Os time period.
Strontium Dog is the next strip, and it is being drawn this week by the mighty Ian Gibson. I had totally forgotten that his work ever appeared in Starlord, so it was a nice surprise for me to see it again.
Ian Gibson is best known for his black-and-white work for 2000 AD in the next decade, especially as the main artist on Robo-Hunter and The Ballad of Halo Jones, as well as his long run on Judge Dredd. Gibson then made a name for himself in the US, drawing Mister Miracle for DC Comics. According to Wikipedia, since 2000 Gibson has mostly been drawing Judge Dredd and the revived Robo-Hunter series starring Sam Slade’s daughter, Samantha. And the Wikipedia page also says that he regularly contributes articles and rants to the Den of Geek website about the state of today’s comics industry.
I don’t like his work as much as I used to. I find his art a little bland now, and the way he draws women especially is objectifying, but there is no denying his talent. I absolutely remember liking his work a lot back in 1978.
This isn’t an especially memorable issue of Starlord, what with the week cover and mixed bag of artists, and it isn’t lifted above the ordinary by the final strip, Holocaust, that’s for sure. Holocaust is badly drawn and aggressively dumb. I’ve complained about it before in these recaps of Starlord, so you’ll be glad to hear that I’m not going to bother this time.
The back cover is number five in the series of Hardware Profiles, and it is yet another flying saucer. I have to guess that they didn’t have many photos to choose from to use for this back cover feature, because after the promise of the first one, a cool futuristic tank, and the third, a sort of jet fighter catapult, the rest have been less inspiring rockets and saucers. The model making on display has never been anything less than amazing, of course, but the models themselves need more interest and detail.
The high point of this comic was seeing Gibson’s work. It is great to remember all the good work this artist would go on to do after Starlord. He is and was problematic to be sure, but so talented.
Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy) Start Reading the Dark Galaxy Trilogy
The first book in the Dark Galaxy Trilogy, always the best place to start, is Galaxy Dog. It’s a little more old-school and fun than a lot of the sci-fi that is around at the moment. It has spaceships, robots, battles, and brave warriors rebelling against an evil empire. Click the book cover and go to the storefront you prefer to buy it now, or follow this link.
This is a universal book link (UBL) and you will be greeted with a page displaying all the places the book is available online. Just select the storefront you prefer and, if you want, also make this your default bookseller. From then on, every time you click a UBL you will be taken directly to the book you are interested in, on the storefront you prefer. The UBL even allows you to go to the Amazon store that matches your region.