By Tim Seeley, Carlos Villa, Juan Vlasco, Gerardo Sandoval and Carlos Lopez
It hard to figure out who gets a miniseries at Marvel and why, but this week, we get Shatterstar #1. Shatterstar is a character that has been out of the spotlight since his days on X-Factor, but was recently seen in Extermination with X-Force. He can be viewed in many different ways, but he’s grown a lot since his debut in New Mutants #99. Tim Seeley is at the helm of this series, and if he can’t make you cool and relevant, then no one can.
As mentioned above, the words and plot for this book is handled by Tim Seeley. This is a surprisingly good debut issue, mostly due to Seeley’s take on the character. To many casual fans, Shatterstar was a hot headed swordsman from the 90’s X-Force series, but Seeley shows us his crazy side as a landlord for time-displaced individuals. Seeley really brings Shatterstar or Ben Gaveedra as he’s called throughout this book, down to earth. We get to see a side of him that we don’t get to see too often; his days as a swordsman are behind him, now he cares about his tenants. Seeley shows us what a good guy Ben has become, whether it’s cleaning up after Pug-Smasher or getting medicine for a time displaced Night Thrasher, Ben has really taken to being out of the good fight. Seeley also gives us a small glimpse of the fallout from Shatterstar and Rictor. We don’t get much, but it is a peek into why they aren’t together anymore. There is also a few flashback pages of who Shatterstar used to be, the bloody gladiator, thrown in by Seeley to show us how far he’s come as a character. These are effective and serve as a reminder that Ben didn’t always use to be a nice quiet landlord. This was a fun and impressive first issue from Tim Seeley. If this is any indication how the rest of the series will be written, we’re in for a wild ride that will also serve as a great character study for a long overdue 90’s character.
The pencils this issue are handled by Carlos Villa, with inks by Juan Vlasco and colors by Carlos Lopez. The flashback sequences are drawn by Gerardo Sandoval. The first page of the book is one of Shatterstar as a gladiator, he’s bloody, his swords are above his head and there is a body beneath him. Sandoval’s exaggerated art works in these flashbacks and is a good change of pace from the regular pencils laid down by Carlos Villa. Villa, with the helpful inks of Juan Vlasco, has a smoother and cleaner style, this can be seen as Ben sweeps up his property in Villa’s first page on art. A clean close up of Ben’s eye, followed by a panel where he honestly kind of looks like James Franco. Villa’s work is also great as we go around the building meeting all the residents, whether it’s Tina Cooke, the enthusiastic superhero fan, or Goldon and Crimzor. There is a sweet page where Ben with a resident after they get attacked from some villains. Villa draws the expressions on both Shatterstar and the resident’s face perfectly. The colors work fine on this book. As the villains attack, Lopez uses some blues to cool down the pages and set the tone for the attack. It funny to go from the first page, where the sky is a gorgeous red and yellow to the pages of the attack where things are blue and dire. The art really helps this story pop. Villa and Sandoval have two different, but fitting styles that makes Seeley’s story look as good as it sounds.
Who would have thought Shatterstar #1 would be such a fun book? You can never count out Tim Seeley on writing duties, he is just a great writer, no matter who he touches. The artists, inker and colorist all shine in this issue as well. There isn’t a bad thing to say about this first issue of Shatterstar except that we have to wait another month for the next installment.
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