Review: Starborn #1

Published on December 10th, 2010

It’s another slow week for comics, it kinda bums me out to be honest. There is a good side to slow comic book weeks, it gives the opportunity to someone like myself to check out some books that I normally wouldn’t pick up. BOOM! Studios has this thing going with Stan (The Man) Lee where he’s been teaming up with other writers and artists on some brand spankin’ new comic book heroes. Honestly after Stripperella I’ve been pretty skeptical towards any of Stan Lee’s newer creations. Don’t get me wrong I still idolize the guy, and the fact that he’s in his eighties and still working is extremely commendable, I’m just skeptical. Although earlier this week when I went to my local comic shop I saw the small amount of comics in my pull bag, so I decided to check out some other books and noticed Starborn from Stan Lee, Chris Roberson and Khary Randolph. With a pretty sweet cover from Humberto Ramos.

starborn1So Starborn starts off with these alien guys part of a Hive Mind Collective fighting some humans on some far off planet, it’s some cool sci-fi action, but I’m already thinking this may have been a bad book to pick up, but then it turns out that this is part of a story within the main story written by the main character of the series named Benjamin Warner. Now I’m back on board with this book. So Benjamin has spent the majority of his life working on this novel, and he’s sent it out to a publishing company to sell it. Benjamin is so sure that his book will be sold, that he’s already working on a sequel, despite the fact he had a professional author take a look at his novel who told him it was practically a rip off of another author’s book. What’s weird is that that author that Benjamin is supposedly ripping off is someone Benjamin has never heard of.

Then Benjamin finds that response from the publishing company he’s been waiting for only to be crushed to find out it’s a rejection letter. So Ben heads back to his menial job to sink into depression. Oddly enough he sees Tara Takamoto in the lobby of his building. You may be asking yourself, “who the Hell is Tara Takamoto? And Why should I care?” That’s what I asked. Luckily they tell us, apparently Tara was the girl next door to Benjamin from the time they were in preschool to college. While Benjamin is typing away at his desk he’s interrupted by one of his coworkers who’s skin is starting to mutate and his eyes have started glowing. Then everyone else in the office starts changing into the crazy hive aliens from Benjamin’s book and starts attacking him. And if you thought things couldn’t get crazier Tara shows up with a bad-ass space gun and starts blasting away all the mutant paper-pushers. Tara grabs Benjamin and they head to the roof of the building, when they get to the top of the building Tara drops a nifty space-grenade and blows the Hell out of the building while she and Benjamin jump away. This ends the first issue of Starborn.

Okay, so this book doesn’t seem like the most original story idea ever. Kind of reminded me of The Last Starfighter or something, but it was a fun read. It was interesting enough for me to be willing to pick up the next issue when it comes out. In fact, I’m a little curious to pick up one of the other books that have Stan Lee’s name on it, maybe The Traveler. While the interior art isn’t as good as the cover (shocking, right?) it is pretty good. I especially like some of the alien creature designs, the first big splash page is pretty cool looking. I think the one big problem with the book is that it takes itself too seriously, there’s definitely some missed comedic opportunities that could have made this a really good comic book. I don’t regret picking this first issue up, but it’s going to have to get a lot more interesting for me to stay with it.

Ken Zeider