STARBRAND AND NIGHTMASK #2
Written By Greg Weisman
Art by Domo Stanton & Jordan Boyd
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 20, 2016
When you can transmute trash into gold, why not go for the unlimited meal plan?
Following the explosive cliffhanger from the first issue, Starbrand and Nightmask have to use some quick thinking to quell the threat of Graviton, Nitro, and Blizzard. Managing to win the fight, they both return to their everyday lives as college students, while Nightmask begins to have his own concerns about Starbrand and their current conflict. Across the universe and back home, some astounding events herald a massive change for our duo and the world around them, promising to take the series to new heights as it continues.
Starbrand And Nightmask #2 exemplifies how well a series goes when you give obscure characters a spotlight and do a good job writing them. What I hope is that this series, and many others under the All-New All-Different banner, inspires Marvel to be more adventurous and bold. I like the sense of action and adventure, mixed with some really wonderful art, and what looks like a larger role for our title characters in the larger Marvel universe.
Greg Weisman’s use of Nightmask as the narrator was a brilliant move. Nightmask gives some excellent background for the events of the current issue and his previous adventures with the Avengers. The framing is excellent and makes some great nods to an expansive mythos. This setup has the makings of a great epic with a lot of different avenues to explore, so I’m excited to see what else we get. Weisman is fleshing out each of his characters, in particular the main two, and more of their personality is emerging. This dynamic is sure to lead to some conflict and hopefully more comedy as the series moves forward.
Starbrand looks a bit more youthful in this issue, perfect to match his impetuous behavior. Nightmask on the other hand is more reserved and seems more mature, fitting well with his growing apprehension as this issue builds. These choices from the art team of Domo Stanton and Jordan Boyd are certainly important, as they convey some qualities that are emerging through the storytelling of the series and definitely this issue.
There are a couple of really awesome double page spreads. The first is in the opening pages as Starbrand and Nightmask steel themselves after Nitro’s blast from the last issue. There’s a lot of really great detail that comes out in both Stanton’s lines and Boyd’s colors. Both of them use their respective talents for some stellar shadework, both separately and together. Stanton’s lines showcase darker spots for really cool effects, while Boyd does creates vivid and colorful depth. The second spread is of Nightmask explaining his and Starbrand’s history. I love how the images blend into each other, and how the artists create this wonderful duality between a shadowy calm and bright energy. There’s a lot of really stellar themes running throughout the page that are deftly conveyed through the art.
Starbrand And Nightmask #2 makes great use of continuity, characters, and environment, and is becoming to be one of the series I’m most excited about. It’s fun, it’s fresh, and there’s a big background to explore through both of the main characters. I hope this series sees more play throughout the Marvel universe, and I have some guesses as to how that could happen. Until then, I’m definitely on board and my body is ready for the next installment of Starbrand And Nightmask.
The Verdict: 9.0/10