"At last... the traitor revealed!"
Dreadstar #27 ("Answers!") by Jim Starlin is the comic's first issue for, er, First Comics. If you'll recall from yesterday's post, the previous issue, the last one with Epic Comics, ended with the revelation that Mezlo was, in fact, Oedi, explaining why he suddenly was concerned with rescuing Dreadstar and Company. But, how is Oedi Mezlo when we last saw them both plunge into an ocean and Mezlo be the only one to escape? Well, that and the recap of past events pretty much take up the entire issue. This is basically a 'catch any new readers up to speed' issue and suffers a little as a result.
Oedi is Mezlo, because, after plunging into the water, Oedi put on the changeling suit that he took from the would-be-assassin of the Monarchy King back in issue four and took the dead Mezlo's place. From there, he worked to put things where they are. Now, they have the experimental Omega Vessel and are ready to attack Altarax, the Instrumentality capital world. Beyond that, there isn't much else in this issue besides a full recap of the events since Oedi's 'death.' Oh, and there is the revelation of the traitor: it was Syzygy's cybernetic ear, set with a beacon so the Instrumentality could track them.
So, in one issue, Starlin explains away two mysteries: why Mezlo had been attacking strange and who the traitor was. Neither answer is necessarily a great one. Oedi back from the dead is nice, but it's also a cheat. The traitor not actually being a traitor is even more of one. I can understand not wanting to make any of the heroes into bad guys, but Syzygy's ear? His ear? It does play off something in a previous issue where the Instrumentality had footage of Delphi's death -- which only Syzygy witnessed. It's either this explains that away or it was bad storytelling.
With the move to First comes a change in colouring that's somewhat akin to the two issues in the first year that had different, darker, and more layered colouring. The new colouring isn't as full-blown as the colouring in those issues, but it is more textured and dark than the regular Epic colouring.
A somewhat disappointing begin to the book's run with First Comcis, but an understandable one. Tomorrow: the attack begins.