Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dreadstar and the Power of Positive Thinking

Greg Burgas over at Comics Should Be Good waxes positive about Jim Starlin's unfinished opus featuring his archetype hero Vanth Dreadstar. Along with Gerrold's War Against the Ch'torr and Harman's Refederacy Trilogy, the Metamorphosis Odyssey is the unfinished story I am most looking forward to being continued or completed.

While Starlin could for once have a hero that doesn't leave a sparkle trail like a magic pink unicorn when he flies I enjoyed the underlying concept that Vanth is a tool of greater forces, just a trigger on a great big gun pointed indiscriminately at the universe. The first part of his story ended when he facilitated a galaxy being euthanized to save it from destruction. Crazy, man.

This is one of my favorite scenes from Dreadstar from Epic Illustrated #15 (Dec 1982). It is also the story in which Willow is introduced. This is also the first and only time she was portrayed as a helpless victim.

"Nothing is impossible! No, wait!"

I like how Starlin had Vanth assert one thing only to have the actual situation become clear a moment later in the form of a giant rock poised to fall and crush everyone. Now that's symbolism! In this one page Jim Starlin shows us the difference between what we believe to be true and reality.

This would make a great poster to be hung on the wall of any reality-based thinker.

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1 comment:

  1. problems with metamorphosis odyssey: the plot can be summed up on almost all the episodes as such: fly to a planet, talk, have one touching moment with vanth and the osirian or vanth and willow the butterfly girl, or vanth and the teenage girl, get something, longshot to space, end of episode. Starlin was devoid of any editorial influence to actually make much of anything happen.

    Vanth surviving the dreadstar horn the osirian blows at the end of the mini is a set up that could have taken one text page at the front of a book or graphic novel and NOT taken a year of my life along with several precious dollars in the form of buying Epic Illustrated back in the day.

    But I loved jim's work and had to see it. so there. Just had some issues with this particular project. for a successful variation on the theme, see Cosmic Odyssey.

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