In the world of
5 of 10
‘The new Watchmen’.
‘The best comic ever’. Surely hype like that puts tremendous pressure on the
team behind a book, and it usually causes readers and critics alike to judge the
book on a much harsher level. That said, let’s turn our attention to one of
the most over-rated, self indulgent comic books in recent memory.
concept? If there were super-powered beings in the real world, how would they
act? Would they hide their powers? Use them for good/evil? Become like superstar
athletes trying to get the big endorsement deals? And what happens when these
super beings begin dying at the hands of one of their own? Who do they trust?
7 issues down in an apparent 24 issue story, Rising
Stars seems to have lost its focus. The killer has been revealed and it was
anti-climactic at best. We didn’t have enough time to care about the
characters, let alone try and mourn the dead and guess at the identity of the
one who was killing them off. Now said killer is working with the authorities,
and hunting down the other ‘specials’ in another conspiracy driven story.
are being taken in a war between the Specials, and after too slow of a start,
the action is beginning to heat up.
Michael Straczynski is a very talented story teller. His Babylon 5 television
show was a cult classic and there are moments of greatness in Rising Stars, but the problem is they are few and far between. The
dialogue between the hero of the series and one of the other Specials assigned
to bring him in was crisp and real, and seemed to be much more akin to the epic
story line we were promised than the 6 issues of drivel that we’d seen so far.
problem lies in the art as much as the writing. Comics are a visual medium, and
the writing and art have to not only work together, but be able to support each
other. They need to be on an equal par for the book to work the way it’s
Zanier and Ken Lashley just don’t seem to be the right art team for this book.
With all of the teeth gritting the characters do and their grotesquely tiny
ankles, I feel like I’m looking at a Rob Liefeld book.
Rising Stars improve? Certainly. Will
it be ‘The Watchmen’ of 2000? No.
But then again, it wasn’t fair to make the comparison in the first place.
Standing on its own merit, I still don’t think that Rising
Stars is a solid book yet. As I said before, there are flashes of greatness,
and perhaps things will flow together more solidly as the story progresses. But
for now there is too much of a ‘been there/done that’ type feeling while
reading the story and waiting 6 weeks to read a story chapter that basically
goes nowhere tends to get old real soon.
with time, Rising Stars may be able to
come into its own, and not be overshadowed by the hype of a 15 year old classic.
Available every 6 weeks through Top Cow
Available Monthly from Marvel Comics
Copyright©2000 Andrew Goletz