Trade Paperback Tuesday: ‘Starman Omnibus Vol. 1’

Everyone knows that Wednesday is new comic book day. While picking up your new issues consider looking at some of the trade paperbacks and hard covers of past issues and story lines. But which ones should you choose?

That’s why every Tuesday, The Flickcast will recommend a collection of comics that are just as good, if not better, than the issues you are currently buying. Books that deserve to be read, and bought the next time you walk into your local comic book store.

“I mock the costume. I mock my father — his life. I am a fool.” – Jack Knight – Starman #1

Everyone can relate to having problems with your father. No matter what you do, you always believe you’re not living up to his example, but imagine if your father was a superhero. A famous superhero that has saved the world several times, and is one of the most amazing inventors ever. How hard would it be to live up to his example then? That’s what this Trade Paperback Tuesday’s pick is all about.

The Starman Omnibus Vol #1 collects Starman issues #0-#16. Written by British writer James Robinson, and illustrated by Tony Harris, Starman was a series that followed the adventures of Jack Knight, son of Ted Knight, better known as the legendary hero of Opal City, Starman.

Jack wants nothing to do with the legacy of Starman. His older brother David worships the legacy of Starman, and comes to blows with his brother when he demeans it.

Everything changes when in the first issue, David Knight is killed while on patrol as Starman, and Jack’s father asks him to take on the role to avenge his brother’s death. Thus begins the reign of Jack Knight as Starman.

He rejects the gaudy red and green costume. Favoring a black jacket and wearing goggles instead as his superhero costume. Jack stumbles through his first few battles while trying to protect Opal City. Meanwhile, an old villain, The Shade reforms and offers to become Jack’s mentor. Setting up a beautiful friendship that lasts until the very end of the series.

Starman was a series filled with detail on every level. The writer left no stone unturned. Every character is layered and complex. Most importantly, every character talks and acts like a real person, and it is very easy to feel for them. This is surprising for a book set in the crazy, cosmic DC Universe.

James Robinson put so much detail into this book that Opal City comes across as a real breathing city. With the help of artist, Tony Harris, the skyline becomes familiar and recognizable. Buildings are mentioned, described, and shown in more than one issue so by the end of the first ten issues, a reader could feel like he could walk the streets of Opal like a map.

This book is a hardcover; it’s thick and pricey. Do not let that discourage you from reading one of the best series that DC Comics has published in the last twenty years. DC collected the entire series into six volumes, and this is the first part of a brilliant story.

Starman was all about the relationship of Jack Knight and his father. How the son tries to live up to the father’s legacy, and as you grow older your father can become a real person. All the stories and legends you heard growing up fade away. When that disappears, your father becomes a real person, and maybe, just maybe your friend. Plus, if your father is Ted Knight, he can build you a staff that can make you fly.

Starman Omnibus Vol. #1 is book worth checking out.

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