Alan Smithee

Starborn #5 – Review

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We left off last month with our protagonist Benjamin Warner climbing aboard a Demon-Class Starcraft with the fierce General Cur Talon as they were escaping Earth and the alien horde that were attempting to catch him and his shape-shifting bodyguard Tara.

This month we continue our wannabe sci-fi novelist’s travels through the galaxy and further harrowing escapes from the clutches of the aliens who want him captured. It seems that this is going to be quite the recurring theme for this book. While this isn’t inherently bad, I find myself wanting a bit more out of the story than the Farscape-styled “what predicament will we get into this issue?” that this series is inching closer to with each one I pick up.

That might sound a bit harsh, but after reading the last four issues, I expected more from this issue’s writing staff of Stan Lee and Chris Roberson. I can’t state this enough, the overall story to this series is fantastic. I love the idea of a sci-fi writer actually being an alien who had leaking memory implants. It’s a direction I’ve yet to read in so many of my other comics. My favorite scene this month would have to be the scenes where we see the wonder that Ben is feeling as he travels to other alien worlds and through the void of space.

The weakness to this story and this issue is the transparent plot of the aliens who are portrayed as evil, seeming to be the good guys while Ben’s cohorts might actually turn out to be the villains. If you complain about spoilers with this last statement, you’re obviously not reading the same comic I am. I don’t mind being able to see where a series is going, but I would hope that they might have made it a little less obvious.

I can’t give this month’s writing a high score if only for the extremely stereotypical dialogue that comes from General Cur Talon. I will however give it some serious kudos for sneaking in a poop joke and for filling us in on more of Ben’s backstory.

I absolutely adore the art for this series so far. The work that Khary Randolph does almost makes me think that I’m reading a really fine science fiction manga. The lines are precise and the colors are extremely well picked. I particularly enjoyed each page that portrayed the Demon-Class ship and the battles that occurred.

STORY: 72%
ART: 88%

Overall, this series is still one of the finest that BOOM! Studios has been putting out (besides Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and The Amory Wars). While I do suggest that you pick this issue up, I have to say that besides the backstory to Benjamin’s arrival on Earth and what happened to his birth mother, there really isn’t a ton that happens this month that left me gushing and dying for the next issue like I was with #4.

It’s good, just not ‘holy crap!’ good.

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