Shooting Star #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Shooting Star #4 Creator(s): Sean Taylor (ed)
Publishers: Shooting Star Comics LLC
From: USA
Price: $4.95(US)

No small press publication has the right to look this good. Good grief just holding this comic makes me feel good. There, that should make it crystal clear that this anthology is visually very impressive. In fact visually it reeks of professionalism. The question is, do the comics contained within the lavish covers measure up? Well the stories themselves do not necessarily break much in the way of new ground but that does not means that there is not plenty of innovation to be found in the latest Shooting Star Anthology.

The first story is a case in point. A crossover story based around the first meeting between two of Shooting Stars regulars, Fishnet Angel and Aym Geronimo. The story is split into two halves that bookend the anthology. The first part is in the hands of the Fishnet creators the second half is created by the Aym Geronimo team. Nothing particularly new there but innovation is certainly present. By having each half related by the respective principal character there is a nice duality of perspective. The fact that the point of view transition occurs while Aym is plummeting to earth after having fallen out of a plane is a masterstroke.
The contrasting art styles compliment this duality of point of view nicely. The story itself has a female Indianna Jones feel, the fact that one of the female characters is really a man just adds spice to the relationship between Fishnet and Aym,. See I told you innovation was abundant. The art in the first part of the story has touches of Paul Chadwick about it [this is meant as a compliment]. The only aspect that does not work is the flying scene towards the end of the first part, otherwise it’s a well worked, well constructed, well executed comic.

Two of the comics have a strong link to computer gaming. “Bedbug in Game of Death” is a comic twist a plot [called a critical path adventure here] which means the reader moves on to various frames in accordance to decisions they make. Incorrect decisions lead to Game Over while correct choices will eventually lead to winning the game. Great fun, but the decision making process does tend to dominate, to the detriment of the storyline. The second video game influenced comic is “Video Game Gals”. Extremely well drawn Manga influenced art combine with a masterful use of movement lines to produce a visually stunning comic. The movement lines and exciting use of frame shape successfully create the movement of a video game but here the storyline still dominates the gaming aspect. All this plus short skirts and cleavage.

Things get serious with ‘The Klansman is Dead” A thought provoking comic where a racist crime fighter saves the life of an Afro American president. The issue to be dealt with is, who has the moral high ground? Impressive stuff. My personal favourite is ‘Melvin & Marvin – Time Meddlers.” Any comic that includes Shakespeare getting addicted to the video game Doom has got to be a winner. I must confess though the ending lost me a bit, I could just be thick I guess. Like so much of this anthology the art work is really tight.

The above mentioned stories are the ones that particularly impressed me, this takes nothing away from the other tales. A crime fighting man of mystery tale or the retelling of the Greek Myth or• In any other publication they would scream quality, here they should be happy to add to the whole, and what a whole it is. You can read it, you can play it or you can just look at the cover, personally I’m happy just holding it.

In a Word: Gratifying.

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