cover image Starlight


Mark Millar and Goran Parlov . Image, $14.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-63215-017-2

Duke McQueen had a great adventure on the alien world called Tantalus, but no one believes him, not even his own kids. Years later, he gets the chance to relive his greatest moments when Tantalus requires his help again. The story's inspirations are obvious%E2%80%94from Flash Gordon to Adam Strange, classic tales of heroic white men as saviors to alien planets%E2%80%94but it gives that scenario a modern context. Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted) opts to explore this classic protagonist's expansion into the roles of good husband and father, and makes these qualities inseparable from those of the intergalactic hero. It's a gentle approach that allows an examination of mortality and love, but the backdrop for the adventure suffers. The world-building is weak, which is too bad, because it would be enlightening to give the antiquated view of alien worlds the same sentimental analysis as the hero of the piece gets. Parlov's art is champing at the bit for that sort of detail, but it never functions as much more than exotic window dressing, alluding to what the story doesn't offer. (Feb.)