Mystery in Space #1 is the rare comic that contains two basically full stories (a 22-pager and a 16-pager) written by Jim Starlin that are both almost entirely speechifying to fill us in on exposition. With a set-up like that, then, it’s impressive to note that the issue was still entertaining enough for me to just recommend it.
The first story introduces us to Captain Comet, who has not really aged much since he was first introduced, but he has a new younger body anyways, consarnit!!
Much of the issue involves Comet’s friends talking about him, ergo the exposition. Starlin handles it well, making the exposition flow naturally. And come on, one of his friends is a talking dog!! Talking dogs almost inherently rule. When the other friend, who is called Eye (which seems cruel, as she only has one eye – NOTE: My pal Cayman pointed out to me that, if you look closer, she has a second eye that floats outside her body – I do not blame myself, I blame Shane Davis! Always pass the buck!) beats up some bad guys, the dog pees on them. Twisted, but amusing. What I didn’t like, though, was that Starlin goes out of his way to pay attention to almost every minute detail of Comet’s history (including a funny teasing of his original origin), but decides to totally whitewash his L.E.G.I.O.N. days. That annoyed me, because I really enjoyed his L.E.G.I.O.N. days, and when you reference the Secret Society of Super-Villains, but NOT the L.E.G.I.O.N.? Annoying.
Almost the whole story takes place in flashback, but it’s annoying, because Starlin has a flashback IN THE FLASHBACK! That’s not good narrating.
The idea of a big capitalistic world is neat, and it’s a good setting for future stories (NOTE – My pal Cayman ALSO told me that, apparently, this bit is from a mini-series Starlin did in 1998 called Hardcore Station. I am astonished, as there are very, very few comics from DC that I am unaware of, and yet, I had never heard of this comic before today. I think I will blame Shane Davis for this, as well!).
I was not thrilled with Matt Banning’s inks of Shane Davis, as it makes the whole thing look like one of those Top Cow knock-off books that were all the rage circa 1995 (and heck, I bet Banning inked more than a few of those).
Still, there was enough good character moments and good ideas for future stories (like the commerical planet) that I would recommend giving this a shot.
The back-up story stars The Weird. The Weird getting brought back is about as likely as seeing a Droids ongoing again, which is to say, not very likely, so it is exceptionally weird seeing the character again. His last appearance was almost twenty of years ago.
The opening had waaaaaay too much speechifying, informing us of the Weird’s background, but once it got moving, the basic idea of the Weird being trapped on the same commercial world I mentioned before was handled well, and looks like it’ll be good fodder for future stories. The story also ties into the first story in a very nice way, I thought.
And it had a really nice ending bit with the Weird realizing where he was.
All in all, I think it was a good issue. Jim Starlin’s art in the Weird bit was quite good, I thought.
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