Written By Greg Weisman
Art by Domo Stanton & Jordan Boyd
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 16, 2015

Starbrand and Nightmask. Both one word.

This series is quite literally, at least in terms of the story, starting with a bang. Starbrand and Nightmask are imbued with cosmic might and just trying to find a way to fit in with humanity. After a surprise enrollment in college, they are just barely getting the hang of things when a couple of nasty familiar faces pop up. Both Kevin and Adam are quick to action, ready to take care of the baddies.

This series is going to survive based on how Kevin and Adam relate to each other, and Greg Weisman meshes them extremely well. They have differing personalities, but they work well together. They are both able to banter and make jokes at the other’s expense. Weisman does a great job of writing this duo and establishing their personalities. I’m excited to see how he brings in guest characters, especially one familiar face in particular.

The art of this issue was, in the words of Utada Hikaru, simple and clean. One of the first words that ran through my mind was ‘fresh.’ Domo Stanton and Jordan Boyd did a great job infusing something lively and vivid through the issue. The art fits the lives of two people who are, pretty much, college age and I’m glad it matches their youth. It’s not over done, it’s a little rough, and Stanton and Boyd are able to convey varied skin tones and expressions, all of which are a perfect fit for this series.

Imani was an excellent addition to Starbrand and Nightmask #1. I love that she is a disabled woman of color who is the object of someone’s affection without being objectified. There’s no ‘I love her despite her disability’ or ‘She’s cute with her assistive device.’ Kevin has a natural reaction to her that does not focus on loving her in spite of her disability. I hope she will remain a permanent fixture in this comic and have some agency of her own.

I recommend Starbrand and Nightmask #1 personally because it fits what I like to see in comics. Fresh and slightly stylized art, familiar characters, and snark. I’m glad I took a risk on this series because it’s one that I will definitely be looking forward to every month. We have a new lead who is a person of color, disability is represented without infantilizing or objectification, and the reveals at the end of the issue promise something explosive, especially in the next issue. If you want something fun and light, definitely check out this series.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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