“I’ve been in enough fights to know when there’s no advantage to fighting.”
Dreadstar #43 is a bit of a romp. Dreadstar and company go shopping at a bazaar, and run into Izak, a five-armed bounty hunter that senses that Vanth doesn’t want to be found, so he figures he’ll capture him and take him to whomever he doesn’t want to be found by. I rather like that idea, actually: a bounty hunter who just randomly latches onto people and finds the client after capturing the quarry. He proves to be an imposing physical presence and the gang gets away, seemingly just barely. It’s not a thoroughly developed fight, but it does raise an issue that floated on the backburner throughout the entire run of Dreadstar…
What matters more: the amount of power you have or the use of what power you do have?
It’s similar to the argument people will have when debating Superman versus Batman. Superman is more powerful, but Batman is a better strategic thinker and more capable in a fight. When Dreadstar fought the Lord High Papal, I’ve longer wondered why a seasoned warrior with the amount of power at his disposal, like Dreadstar, wasn’t more successful against the Lord High Papal, who, while powerful, had nowhere near the combat experience as Dreadstar. What element of their power matters most?
Here, Dreadstar has issues with Izak because of his size, speed, number of arms, and his skill. Part of it is that Vanth has no strong desire to fight him. He’s mostly trying to get out of there with as little hassle as possible. And Izak’s true advantage may well be that he’s fought many bipeds with two arms, while Dreadstar has never fought a giant with five arms, giving him a slight learning curve to overcome. But, he’s also a warrior we’ve seen go through hordes of enemies like they’re butter. Except, now, he’s weaker than before. He has less power. Is it simply the contextual elements I just mentioned or is it genuinely that a rule of this comic that power in and of itself is the determining factor? It would be consistent with most superhero comics where so much of the ‘versus’ argument revolves around who is stronger, not who is more capable (except when Batman, Captain America, and Black Panther are involved, oddly).
Here, Izak isn’t developed enough as a threat to settled anything, but that question nags at me nonetheless.
This is actually the issue where we learn names. Iron Angel is named Claudia and Izak knows her despite her being new to this galaxy. And the baby’s name is… Skeevo Junior. He also kills a psychic with his mind. Seriously, Claudia was right about that kid.
Tomorrow, I think I’m going to have to address the elephant in the room: namely, that this is a run that works well cumulatively on the larger scale, but, on an issue by issue basis, it seems… less than.
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