Ripley Ryan was an ambitious reporter who got a dream interview with her favorite superhero, Captain Marvel. The dream quickly became a nightmare, however, as Ripley became one of several women abducted by a supervillain who had plans to build his own harem in a pocket dimension. The experience left Ripley determined to never feel weak or helpless again and made her into the perfect tool for another one of Captain Marvel’s enemies – the Kree geneticist Minn-Erva.
With Minn-Erva’s help, Ripley became the energy-manipulating superhero Star, siphoning off Captain Marvel’s powers. At the same time, Ripley ran a story exposing Captain Marvel’s heritage as a half-Kree hybrid, which ruined her reputation with the public given how often the Kree have nearly destroyed the Earth. The loss of popularity did nothing to stop Captain Marvel from rallying in the face of her waning power, however, and Star was defeated, depowered and imprisoned on The Raft; a high-tech prison for super-powered criminals.
That should have been the end of Ripley Ryan’s story, but a twist of fate helped Ripley to escape from The Raft. Because for reasons which no one can explain, the Reality Gem – one of the six Infinity Stones that control the cosmos – has bonded to Ripley Ryan, giving her the power to alter the world around her and bend it to her will.
There’s just two small problems; Ripley has no idea how to control her newfound power and she really isn’t sure what she wants anymore. Does she want to rebuild her old life as a reporter? Does she want to be a beloved hero again? Or does she want to go for broke and be the villain everyone thinks she is?
There’s also one other, larger problem – how much longer can she last, with everyone seeking the power of the Infinity Stones hunting for her, along with Captain Marvel?
Star #1 is one of the more unusual comics to come out of Marvel in recent months. While it’s not unheard of for anti-heroes and villains to get their own limited series, it doesn’t often happen with a character as new as Star. Then again, Venom was quick to get his own mini-series back in the day after he suddenly became the most popular Spider-Man villain in years. Something similar happened with Star in the pages of Captain Marvel and now her story is continuing under Kelly Thompson’s pen.
Thompson does a fine job explaining Ripley’s story so far but doesn’t dwell on the exposition. There’s a lot of great action sequences in this issue, including one where Ripley upsets the wrong super-strong villain in a bar and hurriedly tries to develop exactly what she needs to fight her. And as is typical for Thompson’s writing, there’s a lot of humor that humanizes Ripley. There’s a danger in creating a character whose power is virtually unlimited but Thompson turns Ripley into a semi-sympathetic figure as we see her fall short in using her new powers because of her failure to think outside the here and now.
The artwork by Javier Pina and Filipe Andrade is competently executed but hardly outstanding. There’s far too many forced poses and some downright goofy expressions during the conversations, as if they were afraid that people talking might look too static if drawn in a realistic fashion. This is odd given the general gritty realistic tone of the art and the dark colors utilized by Jesus Aburtov, which give the book an aesthetic not unlike that on the classic Alias: Jessica Jones books.
Despite this, there’s more to admire about Star #1 than not, and a couple of fun cameos when Star is approached by one hunter of the Infinity Gems and when she tries enlisting the help of the absolute worst hero for her to approach for help after Captain Marvel. Star #1 is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy superhero books with some humor or have an interest in the cosmic side of Marvel Comics.
Star #1 releases on January 8th, 2020!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.