“Vanth? Him? You’re kidding. There’s no story there.”
And so we begin the final three issues of Dreadstar much as we began the Peter David/Angel Medina run way back with issue 41: entertained, but finding it somewhat empty. This issue is mostly a transition issue where characters are spotlighted in between Skeevo retelling the history of Vanth Dreadstar with himself cast as the hero. If you get the joke then I hope you like it again and again.
And again and again. And again.
The Skeevo element of this issue is fairly one-note and barely worth anyone’s notice. The rest of the character stuff varies with Oedi and Cookie getting married without Oedi knowing ranking near the top and Rok instilled again as emperor somewhere near the bottom. That is probably the most damning thing about this issue, once again reminding us that Vanth is only capable of focusing on one thing at a time. With the Lord High Papal back, that’s his only concern, not that Rok was clearly not a good leader and on the path to be just like his father. There’s not even a question that, perhaps, someone else entirely should take over, ending that family line ruling once and for all. Maybe Rok has learned from his experiences, but that seems somehow unlikely. Changed temporarily, perhaps? Given the long life of his race, the notion that he may revert back into his old ways isn’t far-fetched. But, with a bigger baddie out there, Dreadstar and company can’t consider that maybe it’s not always straight up good versus evil, and more evil versus soon-to-be-evil...
Even Willow inhabiting Iron Angel’s body seems to fit into this line of thinking. While Izak is concerned with this happening, everyone else seems like they’re prepared to just accept it as the new status quo despite some words about travelling to find Junior and Angel’s spirits... somewhere... maybe...?
This issue leaves the group much as they were at the beginning of the run: travelling through the galaxy, looking for adventure, on a vague quest, except with Izak in place of Iron Angel as the less-annoying voice of reason, Willow in a body, and Cookie as Oedi’s wife. It’s basically a convenient reset into terms that are even more jovial and easy for happy-go-lucky adventures. The long Junior saga is over... let the fun begin! Or something.
Tomorrow: a new era... for two issues.