Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 review

How’s that for a cover! As grabbers go, it’s a winner by Todd Nauck, taking the actual tenth issue of Flash Comics and inserting the new character Judy Garrick. For comparison, here’s the original from 1940.

If you’re been reading this series, or other recent Geoff Johns-written DC comics, you’ll know that Judy is one of the ‘lost children’ of this mini-series’ title. These kids debuted in Golden Age comics (allegedly!) but for some reason they were taken out of time. This issue, tiniest Time Master Corky Baxter explains it all. It began with Barry Allen’s ill-fated rewriting of the universe that came to be known as Flashpoint. While that was quickly undone, someone else brought it back for their own selfish reasons. Batman.

So if I have this straight – and do tell me if I don’t – when Flashpoint was undone Dr Manhattan from the Watchmen reality stole five years as an experiment. That was eventually also rectified but Batman bringing Flashpont back – not as a rewriting of his own timeline, but a separate, self-contained reality – caused teen heroes to vanish, not all of them from the Golden Age. Rip Hunter and his Time Masters, who travel outside of time, were aware of all the shenanigans.

Now most of the lost children are on an island locked away from the rest of the world. Some are with the terrifying figure called The Childminder. Two of the children have come of their own free will, 2022 residents Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl, and Emiko Queen, Red Arrow. While Emiko has been captured by the Childminder’s weirdo egg droids, Stargirl is with the crowd listening to Corky, who’s out to prove to his fellow, absent, Time Masters that he’s as important as any of them, by freeing the Legion of Super-Sidekicks.

Also captured by the Childminder – who believes that in selling the children on to a soon-to-arrive ‘Foster Father’ she’s actually protecting them – is long unseen Young Justice member Secret.

The off-panel voice belongs to Judy Garrick, The Boom, whose super-speed is being tapped to power the Childminder’s time warping tech. The noise and rumblings of the temporal portal brings the massed sidekicks running to her castle, led by Corky, who’s so arrogant and needy that he only shares information if people kowtow to him. Somehow, I think Stargirl is going to be more of a key player in the resolution of the situation. She’ll help the kids get back to their proper times… but she has qualms.

Because Wing, the Crimson Avenger’s partner – a pre-existing Golden Age hero – wasn’t forgotten by history. The records say he was killed in battle, saving his partners in The Seven Soldiers of Victory. Reinserting him into his original time period would surely mean his end?

There’s not time to mull over the dilemma, though, as the mysterious Foster Father arrives – and Judy recognise him…

As do readers who picked up one of the best DC series of the Nineties I won’t give his identity away, but I will say that I can’t see him bearing ill-will to the children. Could the Childminder really be an angel in disguise?

We should find out in the next couple of issues. As for this chapter, I loved it; yes, there was a heck of a lot of exposition, acres of convoluted explanations, but that little creep Corky was telling me things I wanted to know. And it’s not like Johns denies us action, with some lovely moments in the latter half of the book as the kids battle egg droids to reach the Childminder’s castle.

While more of our title hero would be great, this Courtney-lite chapter was necessary, and I’m sure Johns will give her plenty of panel time next month. I hope he’s communicated with other DC writers, and editors, to ensure that at least a few of the lost children will be used in near-future issues across the line; there are some fun creations here deserving of exploration.

And if any of them happen to be drawn by Todd Nauck, I will be very happy – the storytelling verve Nauck brings to the pages, the drama he draws from the script, is pure superhero comics goodness. Unlike many artists he can draw convincing kids, something pretty important for a title full of ‘em. He also draws a fantastic antagonist in the Childminder, and as for the last page arrival, they’ve rarely looked so good.

The pages are superbly coloured by Matt Herms, with primary coloured young heroes popping out of the panels. And the letters of Rob Leigh are a joy.

I hope this book is selling because I want to see more of Courtney and her world. Issues like this have me grinning from ear to ear, and I want more smiles in my life.

10 thoughts on “Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 review

  1. This is my favourite series at the moment.
    As if Corky’s appearance last issue didn’t leave me agog and excited, this issue’s last page sent my head in a spin!
    Todd Nauk is at the top of his game, and keeps on delivering page after page.
    I’m still a little worried the grand finale might end up a grand guignol, especially with Corky involved, but I’m hoping Johns sticks the landing and gives us a fun, and more importantly, happy ending.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would take one of Bendis’s petered out endings (fifty percent I’d put that at) than Johns not ending stories (ninety-seven percent). I am also sick of Johns constantly effing up comic book/sci fi rules! Barry did nothing wrong! The villain changed history by killing his mother and Barry did what every hero is supposed to do and saved her. Every comic character that lasts over five years does this type of thing and restores the timeline. Instead, it further changed things which A) Barry’s mother being alive previously didn’t cause and 2) it changed things that happened before she died as well as events she in no way could have had an effect on! He also proved in Legion Of 3 Worlds he doesn’t get alternate timelines and instead put the Legions on separate worlds in the multiverse.

        Okay, enough ranting. It is a nice story generally, even if I don’t much like Nauk’s work. It just doesn’t service the entire DCU in a positive way. Who needs this many retcons all at once? It muddies thing so much that while I’m enjoying it, I hope every other writer treats it like it’s radioactive. And if Hourman is a villain now, it just further reinforces my belief that while Johns says he loves DC and its characters, he has never understood what makes the DCU tick.


  2. A delightful book, with much thanks to Nauk’s art. He’s really the best choice for these characters, and the amount of work he must be putting into this is impressive.

    I don’t understand much of the exposition. The kids were already safely outside of time, in the Time Master’s lab, from where they were stolen at the end of Flashpoint Beyond. (A strange place for that to happen, as it had nothing to do with the Flashpoint Beyond story itself. It wasn’t the only unrelated epilogue element thrown into that book.) So they were stolen and then stuck somewhere else that is also outside of time?

    And, did the Time Masters actually “stop” Batman? Corky says so, but I didn’t think so. Maybe Corky is just blustering. I thought by the end of Flashpoint Beyond, the re-established Flashpoint universe continued – it literally says in there that the globe stabilized with a “living paradox imprisoned inside.”

    I don’t really get why Boom is continuously chained to the treadmill or what she’s doing on it. Is she being forced (somehow) to maintain the island outside of time? Here, she seems to be forced into opening a portal to the island.

    So, I just have to ignore all of that and enjoy the kids and the fun retro flavor of it. With a kid pulling up the rear and calling out “Wait for me….! (something I was always calling out as a kid to my older brother), and a dated idiom like “When I do get out, me and Sparky will give you what for,” who can’t love it?

    The Divine Continuum must be “DC.” The D and C letters are even circled and written with the same font that is used for the DC logo these days. The real world? Seems similar to the concept of Earth-33, but perhaps Earth-33, inside the Multiverse, is only a world where the rest of the earths seem fictional, as it’s certainly also a world invented by actual writers. So “DC” is where all of it, including Earth-33, is written. That is my theory of the moment. The only problem is, just as some members of Justice League Incarnate actually visited Earth-33 recently, the Time Masters have spent time in the Divine Continuum. Which tells me there must be a Supra Diviner Continuum even higher than that!

    Also, I thought the Omniverse was much more than just the regular Multiverse vs. the Dark Multiverse. I should certainly stop thinking!


  3. On first read thought Pinky and Sparky was dialogue between Judy, Secret & Childminder. Just realized that they’re the respective sidekicks of Mr. Scarlet & GA Blue Beetle. As their mentors’ existence is something of a grey area in current DC guess the off-panel cell is far as they’ll make it into the story.


  4. I finally gave in and started buying this and the new “Justice Society” title and so far am loving both.
    I do still think this is all kind of … weird …
    DC hasn’t published a regular JSA title in about 12 years, and for the most part those characters have all been in limbo.
    And now the guy who helped revive them over 20 years ago is back, and writing them as if they never went away.
    I remember when this kind of stuff was better managed editorially. The JSA was “retired” following “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in an actual special, “The Last Days of the Justice Society.” And when they returned, it was some years later in the “Armageddon: Inferno” event.
    Then there was a very brief series showcasing a mostly elderly JSA, then many of them were killed off in “Zero Hour” and THEN some years after that Johns and James Robinson launched a new title with the generational approach, mixing some originals and some legacy characters.
    So there may not have been an actual plan in place, but there was this over-arching storyline/continuity that fans could follow over the years.
    In this case it’s just asking everyone to pretend the last 12 years never happened and Johns is just kind of picking up where the JSA stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! I hadn’t been reading it as ‘if the JSA had never gone away’, I’d actually like that more thuan this version, which reads like yet another ‘getting all our ducks in a row’ job.


  5. And Steve, totally in agreement with you about Flashpoint. The overall premise wasn’t necessarily an awful one. I kinda liked Thomas Wayne, for example. But it was twisted to make Barry the selfish bad guy. Zoom was the one who messed with history. Barry tried to fix it which, obviously, would save his mom, which is a super bonus. But instead Barry is the one who shoulders the blame. It also sucks that Barry’s origin now involves the death of his mother and the arrest of his dad. None of that was needed to make him “cooler” but it’s even been translated to TV and the big screen, which is a shame.

    Liked by 3 people

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