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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Review: Rising Stars Compendium

I tried to find Rising Stars after reading Straczinski's autobiography, and to my surprise it wasn't available from the library. Fortunately, it was available through Comixology Unlimited program with a 30 day free trial, so I checked it out that way.

Good Superhero books are difficult to write: all the tropes have been explored at this time, and the giants of the field, Watchmen and Miracleman (both written by Alan Moore) have yet to be surpassed even decades after Alan Moore has left the field.

Unfortunately, Straczinski's Rising Stars doesn't come close to any of the giants. It's not even as good as Frank Miller's run on Daredevil collected in Born Again.

The premise of the story is that a single event caused the birth of a hundred odd kids with super powers, and of course the government gathers them together and brings them up together. The consequence of this one time event is explored. There are a few interesting twists (such as a person who's invulnerable but has no other super powers), but mostly there aren't any interesting new twists save for a single villain whose multiple personality disorder manifests her powers.

The story starts with a murder mystery, but the murder mystery is unfair (the power behind it was never disclosed to you until after the fact), and the resolution to it is unsatisfying. Then the last third of the book gets really hokey and unbelievable. You might think that this is an unreasonable  expectation for someone reading a comic book to expect believability, but in this case it was so egregious it was dumb. (no, radiation poisoning is not a contagious disease!) To top it off the ending is hokey and  dumb.

I can't recommend this book. I don't understand why it got any of the acclaim it did.

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