Star #5 Review

by Charles Martin on July 01, 2020

Star #5 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Javier Pina with Filipe Andrade
Colourist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

So, let's talk about Marvel events. Their inevitable end-point is flooding our FLCS shelves with hordes of regrettable tie-ins and a disjointed blockbuster miniseries, loosely bound together with a few checklist pages stapled into the back of each comic.

But oftentimes, the groundwork leading up to Marvel events is fantastic. Dedicated creators labour obsessively to line up the continuity ducks and carve a detectable curve into the shared Marvel universe. It happened prior to War of the Realms; it was even done well in the run-up to Secret Empire.

It's happening again with the slow creation of a new Infinity Watch, and this cosmic groundwork-laying features a remarkable collaborative effort. First up was the debut of Hector "Overtime" Bautista in the buddy-cop yarn of Wolverine: Infinity Watch. Now the Star miniseries has added Ripley Ryan to the mix, and the future looks bright.

Taken on its own, Star #5 is a sound conclusion to the story of Ripley's momentous run-in with the Black Order. It doesn't throw any dramatic twists into her status quo; this series ends as it began: With a tormented antihero wandering the universe in possession of the Reality Stone. 

This finale features fine storytelling all around. Kelly Thompson's dialogue and character work remain razor-sharp, Javier Pina and Filipe Andrade deliver top-shelf art, and colourist Jesus Aburtov goes above and beyond to breathe spectacular life into Star's powers. 

Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this comic is its sympathetic portrayal of the Black Order. Like the team's flawed solo series, this one sketches a portrait of a villainous but intensely loyal family. The Order again strains at Thanos's leash, dreaming of striking out on its own.

Does this foreshadow the Black Order taking on a recurring role in the Infinity Watch saga? I certainly hope so!

But on the other hand, what we've seen of the new Infinity Watch so far suggests a wide-ranging melange of stories, varying vastly in terms of genre and tone. The destination remains mysterious, and it's impossible to predict what kind of stories the other Stone-holders will tell. So this may be "all she wrote" for the Black Order's hand in the wider story.

Star #5 crafts a satisfying (if unsurprising) end to Ripley Ryan's story. It leaves the door wide open for future tales of the Infinity Stones and their unlikely new wielders. At present, this issue and this series might fly beneath the radar of people who aren't Captain Marvel or Kelly Thompson fans. But I suspect that when the next Infinity Whatsis takes shape, Star will stand out as one of the best bits of groundwork laid for it. 

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
No, we never did get a concrete answer to the question "Why Swedish?"