A review of Dynamite's Kirby: Genesis - Silver Star #1
Credits & Solicit Info:
Before Kirby: Genesis there was... Silver Star! The last great Kirby creation, Morgan Miller is the first of a new breed-- Homo-Geneticus. The most powerful man in the world has been living in secret for the last thirty years, but he's been busy. Silver Star secretly protects the world from the amazing super-powerful dangers that threaten billions every day. Witness superheroic war, giant monsters, and astral adventures! Get a firsthand look at America's greatest unknown superhero in this sterling debut issue from Jai Nitz and Johnny D.
Since the first issue sold out and the second print won't be out until after last week's #2, Dynamite has done a smart thing and made Silver Star #1 available on the internets. See? THIS is how you help build your new super hero universe. (Well, unless you're already DC or Marvel.) Based on this issue, I have no problem suggesting that anyone pick up #2. This is a solid super-soldier story, with some different twists, set firmly in this new Kirbyverse even as it stays self-contained.
This issue nicely spells out the history of the Silver Star program in captions while showing the hero in action. This setup does a great job of creating a sense of history while also allowing for action; adding personal voices to the captions breaks up the narrative and keeps it from falling into mindless exposition. I like that the leading military action is balanced (later) with something more in the super-hero/monsters 'n' aliens vein. It helps broaden the horizons of this world.
After the exposition, the story then flows to the present day and a possible change in the status of the Silver Star program. A new (to the cast- everyone is new to me) character is introduced and we get to see the current status quo of the program. Again, I liked how this was handled—Silver Star is more than just an augmented human like Captain America, perhaps more akin to powerhouses like Superman and the Sentry. There's even more than a hint that this level of power might cause Silver Star to be slightly unstable, making the comparison to the Sentry even stronger. All of the characters (those that get 'screen time', there are more the issue doesn't cover) are interesting and distinct enough to vary from their origins in central casting. Overall, the book does what it needed to do: establish a premise and characters that I want to come back to next month.
The art is good; it's almost a classic style (or maybe something later, like early '90s Valiant) but maybe a bit too realistic. Realism is a definite style choice in a book based on Jack Kirby characters, but I can get behind it. I doubt The King would have wanted everyone to draw his creations in only his style. After all, one of my most treasured books is a paperback collection of Kirby created & penciled characters inked by different artists. The diversity of art is only eclipsed by the diversity of characters. It's a testament to Kirby's versatility that his characters keep coming back - like now, and Topps' mid-'90s big Kirby line launch. One of the things that I like most about this issue is it feels like its own story (I don't need to read anything else) but still part of a larger universe with its own history. That, and the ability to read #1 online and then go buy #2 are smart moves.
Issue #1 of Kirby: Genesis - Silver Star #1 can be found here.
Review by: BD Montgomery