Stargirl Courtney Whitmore hasn’t been a star pupil of late, skipping classes to join Emiko Queen, aka Red Arrow, on a quest. They’re out to find the lost sidekicks Courtney saw in a vision in the Stargirl: Spring Break Special. Mom Barbara isn’t best pleased after the school tells her about her bright daughter’s slipping grades, while stepdad Pat reckons she’s on a wild goose chase
Courtney’s resolve is strong. She thinks twice when Emiko turns up that night with a tip… then grabs her Stargirl duds and Cosmic Staff to investigate the home of Daniel Dunbar, aka Dan the Dyna-Mite, kid partner of TNT.
A mini-adventure from the Golden Age of heroes kicks off this issue, showing us the explosive duo at their brightest.
In fact, Dyna-Mite bookends Chapter 1, with the adult Dan making an amazing discovery in his own search for the missing sidekicks on the final page.
I was shocked when this issue ended after 20 pages. It seems writer Geoff Johns has been spoiling us lately, with extra-length chapters of Doomsday Clock, Flashpoint Beyond and last week’s The New Golden Age. Still, you couldn’t accuse him of stinting on story, with this first issue of six jam-packed with mystery, character and action. The opening is huge fun, who knew DC funny animals The Fox and the Crow were secretly bad guys? And Dan’s narration provides a fresh perspective on sidekicks. Courtney and Emiko make a good team… I’m intrigued by Pat describing Red Arrow as ‘a contrarian like her brother’ (I keep forgetting that the Spring Break book established that current day Ollie is the same GA who fought as one of the Seven Soldiers of Victory with Pat). What did she do to deserve that?
The mystery of the missing kids is gaining momentum nicely, and now we know the Child Catcher… sorry, Child Minder, is female. I wonder if it’ll be an existing DCU character – Granny Goodness might fit the bill.
Also, this panel is very intriguing.
That’s one of the lost children saying ‘… before we’re sold’, presumably. But to whom? And if they’ve been in their prison since the Forties, why the urgency now? I suppose time passes differently wherever they are.
As for what caused the radio to explode, well, look who’s on Dan’s Wall of Weird.
Only a guy with powers linked to radio waves – who’s to say he couldn’t summon a slew of electricity and explode himself out of prison, landing who knows where? Mind, Air Wave wasn’t a teen hero, he was a fully-grown man, a lawyer. And last we heard, Larry Jordan had lived long enough to hand the mantle onto his son, Air Wave II, who apprenticed with Green Lantern Hal Jordan – his cousin – and later became Maser. I can’t see massive GL fan Johns throwing out all that history. So what’s going on?
Artist Todd Nauck is back from Spring Break to draw this issue and he’s producing career-best work. The storytelling is fantastic, with excellent compositions, vibrant characters and lively movement. Our heroines look terrific – I especially like that despite having been at the hero game for a few years, Courtney can still get delightfully wide eyed. The DNA and Dan sequence is especially fun, with colourist Matt Herms evoking Golden Age books via a Benday dot effect. And Rob Leigh uses a variety of fonts and approaches to aid the storytelling, as usual going the extra mile to give us an appropriate story title design… I wish DC would give him some logo work
I haven’t a bad thing to say about this comic; the nearest I have to a complaint is the fact that there’s no mention of Pat’s son, Mike, a great character. Hopefully he’ll join the story soon.
Otherwise, from Todd Nauck’s marvellously busy cover to the suspenseful ending, this is DC Comics at its best.