In Review: Starfire #12

I'm standing and applauding the creators of this book.

The cover: A fantastic cover to the final issue of Starfire, courtesy of Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts. The title character is standing before several panels that contain all the people she’s encountered in this series’ run. I’m just happy to see the inclusion of pancakes! Excellent imagery and bright colors. This gives the book an upbeat feeling, even though this is its swan song. Overall grade: A+

The story: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s “Close Friends, Distant Adventures” opens with Koriand’r on the beach at night with Syl’Khee. She admits to the pet that she’s enjoying being around her new friends, but “sometimes we attract a bad kind of attention. The kind that can get them hurt…or even killed. I could never live with myself if that happened.” She makes a decision about what to do and she confides to her fuzzy friend, “It still…How does Stella say…? Sucks?” The book flashes back to “Then”, as Stella is going to work in a dreadful mood thanks to it being Fantasy Fest, where the locals are “happy and drunk.” Atlee bids farewell to the pair as she goes back to the world under the Earth’s surface. Sol tells the two women that his and Stella’s Aunt Angie has moved in with them. Her Multiple Sclerosis has gotten worse and she can’t live alone. While the two women were gone on their adventure underground, he moved her into the pool house and arranged for day care. It’s not going to be easy, but he feels they have to help her. Stella agrees, “Her place is with us. We can make this work.” This is a pretty serious issue for the final issue, but it shows readers that lives go on, even after heroes leave and that family can be just as heroic as superheroes. Kori then goes to work and does something long overdue for her friend Beth. While she’s doing this, Stella listens to Sol tell her about his relationship woes and where he feel his heart is. The climax of the book is a farewell party Kori throws to say good-bye to her friends. Naturally, all doesn’t go according to plan, but things end well. There’s even a visit from a certain Man of Steel who tells Kori she has friends that care for her in Key West, but if she feels the needs to need to be around people more like her she can see him in Metropolis. There’s one finally good-bye on Page 19 and, for those who’ve been following this series since the beginning, it’s a real tearjerker. This is a perfect ending for a book that ended way too soon. Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals on this book are by Elsa Charretier and they look great. The opening page is a full page splash and it shows Kori being thoughtful on the beach with Syl’Khee. Her hair, one of the most striking features of this book since it’s beginning, looks great as it trails into the starry sky. The pain with which she’s reached her decision on Page 2 is evident on her face, but the final panel on the page shows her looking forward to new adventures. The third page starts the flashback with what led her to her decision and Charretier has done a great job in showing the Fantasy Fest festivities. Kori’s scenes with Beth look terrific, with Page 7 having Beth look amazing — that smile speaks volumes. Page 8 is even better, if that’s possible, with the joy on everyone’s face contagious. Page 12 has Kori taking flight and it’s a shot that upcoming artists could learn from. The first panel of the “Farewell Food Fest” is a great Who’s Who of the characters who’ve graced this book, and one character’s reaction continues to make me choke up. Yes, the dialogue is terrific, but combined with the visuals it’s killing me (Page 14, last panel). Page 18 has some great costume work by Charretier in the second panel. The final page actually made my spirits rise with all the sadness the previous pages produced. Starfire’s final appearance in the book dispelled any misery I had in this book’s closing. Overall grade: A

The colors: A strong contributor through this title’s run have been the exceptional colors by Hi-Fi. Every issue of this series and every panel of this installment matched the warmth of the story and visuals. The opening page is warm with the gorgeous orange colors coming from Starfire’s hair. The festive shards of paper being tossed about for the celebration are a wonderful mix of bright joyous colors. The bright yellow streak of hair constantly falling in front of the heroine’s face symbolizes the light that’s constantly coming out of her. Beth and her friends were life-like with their realistic coloring. The best page by Hi-Fi is 18 with all the amazing vibrant colors on the party goers. An exceptional job in the beginning and an exceptional job at the end. Overall grade: A

The letters: Corey Breen creates scene settings, the story’s title, creators’ credits, dialogue, Syl’Khee’s musical responses, each chapter’s title, sounds, narration, a yell, and a thank you to the readers. I was going to say that this issue’s SHOOOM was the book’s highlight until the final script is shown in the thank you to readers. It’s a simple basic script, but it made the words so sincere. Overall grade: A 

The final line: There were a million reasons for this book to end on a sad note, since it’s ending too soon, but this is the best farewell a series could have. I actually felt glad for Koriand’r and the decision she was making. This is how every series should go out: with the character and the reader upbeat. “Now, let us see what new adventure is in store for us!” I’m standing and applauding the creators of this book. Overall grade: A

To find other works containing Starfire’s adventures go to http://shopdcentertainment.com

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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