Stargirl: The Lost Children #6 review

When last we joined Courtney and the dozens of forgotten sidekicks from the Golden Age of Heroes, former Justice Society colleague Hourman had turned up and, apparently, turned bad.

The android from the future has come to help freaky old bird the Childminder prevent the kids, led by Stargirl, escaping the weird outside-time island they’ve been held on for, in most cases, decades.

While Courtney appeals to their friendship, the reprogrammed Hourman has no choice but to turn his chronal energies on her.

Help comes, though, in the form of fur.

It’s junior Time Master Corky Baxter’s best pal/hat Crockett! Of course raccoons can counteract tricky time effects.

It’s nuts, but so much of this series has been weird, in a joyful way. Writer Geoff Johns and artist Todd Nauck have kept things going at a cracking pace. The action scenes are big and bold, the character moments land beautifully and at the centre of it all is one of DC’s best characters, Stargirl. Before becoming a superhero she was a top teen gymnast and we’re reminded of that here as Courtney teams with star sceptre Cosmo to leap and tumble into trouble across a joyful four-page sequence of panels.

Nauck really is at the top of his game, with this issue’s extra-length story again showing what a fantastic storyteller he is. And he’s George Perez fearless in terms of how many characters he’s happy to take on.

And that’s not just for the one big Hero Moment, every page features numerous kids, mostly so new that Nauck likely had to consult reference constantly. Whatever he’s being paid, he deserves more – I’ve not enjoyed looking at a book this much in ages. There’s one spread towards the end that immediately earns the term ‘iconic’.

And Matt Herms also deserves loads of praise for laying down a heck of a lot of gorgeous colours, giving us special effects by the bucketloads. Letterer Rob Leigh does as wonderful a job as ever, with his big moment coming on yet another splash page; I won’t show it here because it’s a page turn shocker that’s best appreciated in context. All I shall say is >eek<.

There’s a heel turn, a heroic sacrifice, a bittersweet ending… expect surprises galore as Johns continues with his New Golden Age project. DC have already announced a mini-series starring first Flash Jay Garrick and his newly rediscovered daughter Judy, aka The Boom.

While not all questions are answered – why is the original Air Wave with the teenage heroes, he was always an adult character? – I’d say that of all the limited series Johns has given us over the past decade or so, this is the most satisfying. There are threads aplenty to be followed up on – most immediately in his current Justice Society book – but he sticks the landing, fulfilling the promise of the series. As well as the Young Justice Society we get back the third Hourman, a terrific hero who’s been out of comics for far too long, and already other writers are grabbing him for their stories. Plus, there’s the return of an old team, while the creation of the new one, the aforementioned YJS, involves one of my favourite comic book tropes – choosing the team with photos.

I don’t think that, bright as she is, Courtney gets the concept of ‘only so many hours in the day’ and ‘sleep’. No wonder stellar stepdad Pat Dugan is looking askance. Still, as a hero transported from his original time period – he’s Stripesy of the Seven Soldiers of Victory – he’s well-placed to help the mob of Forties super kids stuck in 2023 settle in… I suppose someone will set up a school.

If you’ve been sleeping on this series for some reason, go back and read it from its beginnings in last year’s Stargirl Spring Break Special, it’s all up on the DC Infinite app and it’s all wonderful. Then join me in demanding – DC, I am DEMANDING it! – a Young Justice Society series. These children have been lost for too long, it’s time for them to take their place in the sun.

28 thoughts on “Stargirl: The Lost Children #6 review

  1. This wasn’t on my radar, but I’m going to give it a read. I’d like to see Johns do a Superboy (Clark Kent) and the Legion of Super-Heroes series.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I read it and liked it. I don’t know what Johns has done to become the designated trolling spot for some readers, but it’s clear that he has better understanding of what makes the DC Universe work than most of the writers currently at their respective helms. He can actually write kids, with them all being Damian Wayne.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very pleased to see Matthew Tyler/Hourman back – and returned to heroic status by the end as well (spoiler?!). There’s something painfully ironic about my likeable android amigo declaring he was one of the forgotten as it was David Goyer and a certain young fellow named Geoffrey Johns who wrote him out/”killed” him off in JSA. Now Geoff has redeemed himself (for that, if not for such silliness as eviiiillll Martin Stein, eviiiiillll Alex Luthor, Black bloomin’ Adam, Hal Jordan as the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, and “there are three jokers” among other atrocities. *snickers*).
    Your description of this miniseries as “weird…in a joyful way” made me check that this was indeed written by Mr Geoff, it was the “joyful” part that tripped me up! Sardonic commentary apart that is a pretty apt description – even if a little of the retconning enters into the land of the stupid (and not good-stupid) – this is one of Johns’s better works since he stopped writing JSA/Justice Society of America. Nice review, Martin. It was great to see Hourman III in Flash as well. Woo-hoo!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But who should get nul points? (Poor Mae Muller. She *didn’t* get nul points but was treated poorly. And I’m not even a Eurovision fan! Just a fan of fairness. *makes peace sign*)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Johns actually ended a series with finality. What it introduced may go to other books but we don’t get the conclusion in another mini that also wouldn’t end but be continued in a third. He also curbs his blood lust for a change.

    I’ll probably never like Nauk’s art but here it does service the story well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t like Nauck’s art, but conversely it took me decades to get Humberto Ramos… his Spider-Man looked like Peter Porker.


  4. Really enjoyed this.
    The page featuring the JSA relaunch team from the late 1990s really put a smile on my face.
    I give Johns a lot of credit for using whatever pull he has left at DC to bring all of these characters back. I’ve lamented the fact that no other writers seem able or willing to take up the mantle and write the Justice Society/Golden Age characters. But if it’s a choice between none at all and Geoff Johns bringing them back again, I’ll be happy with the latter.
    Martin (or anyone else), I’ve got to ask, were you really all that clear on the plot here? Some of the sidekicks were lost in time and so adult Corky felt they should be kept in limbo because they’d destabilize things.
    But then we have the wrinkle of Wing and Corky Jrs mission to put him back so he could sacrifice himself.
    But THEN adult Corky, through Childminder and Hourman, kidnapped a bunch of other sidekicks. Why? I’m thinking because he resented their better lives as child heroes. But what do you all think?…
    Also, seriously, what the heck with the Childminder? Did we ever really get an explanation about where it and the island came from? Did adult Corky create it/the island?
    I’m willing to gloss over this stuff because the story really was a joyful return of all these great old characters and introduced some great new creations. But I do feel like the plot upon close inspection was kind of a mess…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Am I clear on the plot? I thought I was last night… for about two minutes. I broke off while writing the review to go back and reread all the bits about who was wanting the kids, and how they were taken from Rip and co, and what’s the deal with the glittery beach… at which point I realised I’d never read #5. I think that must have been the time I realised I could get it ‘free’ on DC Infinite Ultra… but because it wasn’t in my ComiXology library, I forgot to read the thing. Great issue! As I think I understand it from Stargirl #4, the kids were tossed out of time by Flashpoint, Rip rescued them before they could be lost to Limbo in the hope he could reinsert them into time once it settled down again (except in The New Golden Age #1 Time Master Jeff Smith says they removed ‘the Thirteen’ from time in the first place – maybe he means Limbo). But a non-specific attack on Rip’s Lab allowed ‘time scavenger’ Childminder to steal them. She wanted to sell them to the Mystery Buyer who turns out to be Hourman. He initially says he’s here on behalf on Tylerco, then a couple of issues later he’s working for Adult Corky, who seems to be there to encourage Corky Corky to fulfil his mission… I guess he’s his Wing man! Hourman says Old Corky manipulated him, it seems O.C. wanted to keep the kids outside of time, so maybe he was there to collect them from Childminder, giving her her youth back in return for their safe passage back to the lab.

      Yes, how come there were two different groups of kids? I’m guessing ‘the Thirteen’ must be the gang along the bottom of the opening spread of #5, after Emiko’s headshot, but what the different is between them and the other sidekicks is, I do not know. Perhaps someone else can explain things. I don’t think the Childminder was created by O.C. given how Corky refers to her in #5… other ‘scavengers’ might include Barter from Hawk & Dove, and, well, Scavenger from Kesel and Grummett’s Superboy.

      Oh the heck with it, did you know I’m a Baxter, it was my Mam’s maiden name. I’m basically a Time Master. Wonder if I can wind one of my cats around my head…


      1. I hope you use your time traveling powers responsibly!!!
        Thanks for the effort at the summary. Again, I enjoyed this title and am pleased to have all these great characters running around the DCU. But I think Johns could have simplified this story a bit and still accomplished his goal. Wayyyyyyyyy to complicated plot to get a bunch of Golden Age sidekicks into the modern DCU.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. And lastly, does this series make anyone else feel old? I loved that splash of the JSA from the late 1990s, and then realized that comic premiered 24 years ago!!!!! There are times when DC doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge its past, and then there is Geoff Johns, who writes like the New52 never happened and the JSA and Stargirl and Hourman titles have been regularly published for the last several years…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A really fun story, with what I agree is a great visual moment at the climax. I’ve underrated Todd Nauck long enough. He’s an incredible talent.

    And the colorists who take on projects like this, or any Perez book, deserve oodles of praise (and money) for all the work they do to differentiate all the costumes and backgrounds and textures on the page. Way to go, Herms!

    And Geoff Johns — this is probably my favorite thing he’s written in comics for ages! Stargirl brings out the best in him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This series was an absolute blast! Like you, I also hope that there are serious plans for the Young Justice Society, as I’ve become a fan of all of these new characters!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Future plans all depends on Johns committing the time to writing and whether some other flavor of the month supplants him again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’d be happy to see someone else take them on… it’s not like he was the initial writer on the JSA book that really made his name. Give a newcomer a chance! Or even a talented veteran.


  8. I loved this! I hope they use the name Infinity Inc. instead of Young JSA.
    Courtney says that she is already on 2 teams so a 3rd won’t be hard… Other than the JSA, what other group is she in?

    Liked by 1 person

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