Star #4 Review

by Charles Martin on May 20, 2020

Star #4 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Javier Pina with Jay Leisten & Filipe Andrade
Colourists: Jesus Aburtov with Chris O'Halloran
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Star #4 delivers the Captain Marvel confrontation its cover promises, but the presence of the Black Order adds an "enemy of my enemy" team-up to the mix.

Kelly Thompson's script devotes a fair amount of attention to the Order's point of view, and that works well in both practical and thematic terms. On the practical, plot-development side, what we see of the Order teases out the mystery of their plans for Star. 

When it comes to theme, the time spent on the villains creates a counterpoint to Captain Marvel's presence and neatly traps Star in the middle. She's stuck between heroism and villainy -- and she remains sympathetic enough for us to be invested in where she chooses to turn.

I think that's all the detail I need to give on the script. Characterization, plot, and pacing all remain tuned to the extremely high standard established in the series' prior issues. This is a rewarding payoff to the groundwork laid so far.

On the visual front, the artists focus their attention on the characters. The settings may not be memorable, but the people within them are impressively real. There are enough different designs in play here -- the members of the Order have very different looks from the Earth heroes -- to challenge any artist. Javier Pina and Jay Leisten meet the challenges effortlessly, rendering each character distinctively while still combining them all into believable conflict.

Jesus Aburtov and Chris O'Halloran manage the colours deftly. The nighttime setting calls for high contrast between shadows and zappy powers, and they build up a nice balance between Star's hot red powers and the colder blues and yellows thrown by the Order and Captain Marvel.

Filipe Andrade is still on board for Star's flashbacks, and he delivers another gem this time around. I've gushed before about how well the flashback structure suits the change in art styles, and it's still working to great effect here. 

The flashback scene does oblige me to touch one more time on plotting and characterization. Even though Star is a very new character, there's remarkable complexity in her relationship with Captain Marvel. This issue tucks a strong revelation into the flashback, and it does a great job of explaining Star's antagonism to Carol.

Star #4 brings its protagonist into conflict and then collaboration with Captain Marvel. A satisfying amount of backstory is revealed, but questions (and a doozy of a fight) remain for the finale. This chapter upholds the series' reputation for consistent excellence, and it should have no trouble delighting readers of the previous issues. Marvel's plans for the Infinity Stones remain mysterious, but it looks more and more likely that the Star series will go down as one of the first great highlights of the saga.

Our Score:


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Again, Swedish?!