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Would U Buy It? #137: Starman, Vol. 1-2

DateWUBI? #137:View:Attached to Forum:Last Issue:
01/26/23Starman, Vol. 1-2(Blog) (Forum)Starman (1988).WUBI #136.
Starman (Will Payton)
Starman (Will Payton)

Will Payton as Starman was a pretty cool character. A beam from a satellite struck him, giving him super strength, invulnerability, flight, and solar energy powers. Basically, he was Superman without the decades of Superman's history to deal with. Post-series appearances changed him greatly, but this 1988 series has the Will Payton I liked.

Even though he's technically dead, Will Payton is still a relevant character, because James Robinson went back and retconned him into the history of his acclaimed 1994 Starman series. That and the fact that it had a respectable run that lasted just shy of four years - better than half the time of Robinson's series - convinces me that Starman 1988 deserves its collections.

The series is guest-star heavy throughout, and has tie-in issues to Invasion!, Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite, War of the Gods, and tangentially to Eclipso: The Darkness Within.

The end of this series, "Star Shadows," was a four-issue arc that pitted Payton against Eclipso. The arc and the series ended in April, 1992, just shy of the July, 1992 debut of Eclipso: The Darkness Within - the event for the DC 1992 Annuals. During that series, Eclipso tells Payton that he used the hero's eclipsed form to get closer to the other heroes, and Will eventually sacrifices himself so that his solar energy would weaken Eclipso.

I've wondered if Darkness Within was supposed to be a big spotlight spin-off for Will that stumbled due to the cancellation of the Starman series, or if that was always planned as his end. I'd say it was planned, but Darkness Within ended by spinning off into both the Eclipso series, and the Valor series. The Valor connections seems like a weird one if the point of the series was supposed to be Payton's last hurrah.

In any event, these collections aren't too complicated. I'm just splitting them down the middle into two Epic-sized volumes. Which means an alternate title suggestion for these is Impact Collection. Due to so much being out there for the 1994 Starman series though, I think I'd set these two trades apart with subtitles.

I don't know for sure how many issues can go into a hardcover omnibus. I think forty-five might be too many. If not, I could see DC collecting this in a single omnibus volume, rather than the trades.

Volume 1

Proposed Title:Starman, Vol. 1: More Than Human
Alternate Titles:
  • .Starman, Vol. 1.
  • .Starman Impact Collection, Vol. 1.
Vol. 1 Collecting 22 Issues:
Vol. 1 TPB Cover: Starman #1
Vol. 1 TPB Cover: Starman #1
Back Cover: Starman #7
Back Cover: Starman #7
About Volume 1:

The cover for Volume 1 is the easy-peasy pick of Issue #1. The back cover is Issue #7 which is also where I got this volume's subtitle: "More Than Human." It collects the first twenty-two issues.

Volume 2

Proposed Title:Starman, Vol. 2: Star Shadows
Alternate Titles:
  • .Starman, Vol. 2.
  • .Starman Impact Collection, Vol. 2.
Vol. 2 Collecting 23 Issues:
Vol. 2 TPB Cover: Starman #27
Vol. 2 TPB Cover: Starman #27
Back Cover: Starman #45
Back Cover: Starman #45
About Volume 2:

Volume 2 collects the last twenty-three issues. I picked Issue #27 for the cover, because it's the only one that has a nice shot of Starman without a bunch of guest stars cluttering the cover. For the back cover, I went with Issue #45 - the last issue, and a great Mike Mignola cover of Eclipso fighting Starman.

For the title, I considered "The Seduction of Starman" which is a four-issue arc in this volume, and "Fast Lane" which is the title of two separate issues in this volume. Ultimately though, I think "Star Shadows" - the four-issue arc that ends the volume - is the standout arc of the entire series. So, that has to be the title for Volume 2.


I'd be really geeked to see this series finally collected. But you tell me...

Would U Buy It? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading.