Dreadstar December -- Dreadstar #18

Is there a traitor in Dreadstar and Company?

Dreadstar #18 ("A Traitor Within") by Jim Starlin is a necessary issue, but one that falls flat for me in many ways. It introduces the intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying subplot of a traitor in the group. How did the Lord High Papal find them a few issues back? He just sort of showed up with Infra Red and Ultra Violet... but how? A traitor, that's how! Except everyone is ruled out right away thanks to Syzygy's magic, Willow's telepathy, and Oedi's heightened senses. And, considering what we know about the characters, only three could be traitors: Oedi, Skeevo, and Dr. Delphi with Oedi seeming like a long shot anyway. It's a subplot that tries to be intriguing, but never really works for me (and the other to the question is both clever and lame).

With that as the focus, we get the group discussing the idea, Dreadstar following Skeevo as he acts suspiciously (and is really just selling Maxilon dolls... remember that guy?), and Oedi works with Dr. Delphi to retreive some information that could reveal the traitor in the group. There's some token action scenes and not much else. Since the traitor subplot doesn't grab me, the entire issue feels a little empty and a let down after a string of better issues.

Starlin's art on display is nice. He makes the talking scenes work with some tension around the idea of the traitor. The Oedi action scene near the end feels a little dashed off and not as dynamic as previous fight scenes he's drawn. All in all, a pretty lacklustre issue that I don't have much to say about. Sorry.

Tomorrow: IT'S A TRAP!

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