Stargirl Spring Break Special #1 – Geoff Johns, Writer; Todd Nauck, Bryan Hitch, Artists; Hi-Fi, Alex Sinclair, Colorists; Fred Hembeck, Bonus Feature
Ray – 9/10
Ray: One of the biggest surprises of the Infinite Frontier era was this one-shot—the return of Geoff Johns to the very first character he wrote an ongoing for at DC. Courtney Whitmore was always one of the characters who defined his run, due to a deeply personal connection, and he really hasn’t lost a step by returning to her two decades later. It does surprise me just how retro this first issue is—Courtney is very much back to where she was right as that run ended, working as a rookie superhero alongside her stepdad in a giant robot suit, while trying to balance adventures with high school. But she’s not the only focus here, and this story spans several generations and brings in the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
Also a nice surprise—Green Arrow plays a somewhat significant role, as does the current Red Arrow Emiko Queen. It’s been so long since we’ve seen Emiko written as the wisecracking kid she was originally created as instead of a grim assassin, and it’s a lot of fun watching her and Courtney play off each other. No surprise with a Johns book—there is a lot of continuity going on here, and it can feel like a bit of an infodump at points. Many characters, like Vigilante and Crimson Avenger, have not had a spotlight in ages. But Johns is able to weave a compelling and plot-dense story in only around thirty-five pages, with a strong emotional core in a tragedy that the Soldiers suffered back in the day.
The choice of Todd Nauck, the original Young Justice artist, to illustrate this one-shot is excellent. His art works pretty seamlessly with all DC characters. While the story is a done-in-one, it ends with an intriguing cliffhanger that promises to lead into an upcoming Stargirl #1. By this creative team? We can hope so. There’s also a teaser for a Johns/Hitch Justice Society book in the end, as well as a surprise gag page by the legendary Fred Hembeck. Overall, this book has a nice light tone to it and feels like a return to form for Johns and his early DC work before he became the epic long-form writer he is today. As he diversifies his comic output, it’s good to see he still remembers how it began.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.