Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Love Affair with Jack Knight Knows No End...

More great gifts for the holidays: The wonderful Starman Omnibus Volume 1-3. These babies retail at $49.99 each. Volume Four will be shipping in February. Here is the page count for each volume: 1 has 448 pages, 2 has 416 pages, 3 has 432 pages as does the forthcoming volume 4. Quite impressive tombs. These Omnibus collections are the perfect way to start your very own Starman library or to recollect your Starman issues.

I just finished all three Ominbus volumes. I hadn't read my Starman floppies for many years, so this was a real treat. I love, love, love Jack Knight. If he was a real person, I would SO have a crush on him. His tats, his jacket, his toys, and his goatee all look mighty fine. I've been SO in lust/love with the character of Jack Knight for SO long that I've been planning on getting some ink in honor of him, and that time is coming very soon. I've been hoping to get the Starman symbol on my lower back forever now, but I'm glad I didn't. I've decided to get the Starman symbol on the back of my neck now, which is a much better idea. I'm coming up on 40 fast, so I don't really need a tramp stamp on my lower back, do I?

Ok, back to why James Robinson and Tony Harris's creation of Jack Knight/Starman is so great. James did a bang up job of taking ALL the Starman characters from the Golden Age through the present and somehow managed to make it all make sense. I never gave a crap about any of the Starman characters before this series, but because of the ongoing Starman series I now have a special place in my heart for all of them. Ted Knight, the original Golden Age Starman is Jack's father and plays an important supporting role in the series. In face if you are any kind of Golden Age fan, you should really read this series because Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman, also plays a role. There are also numerous references to the Golden Age JSA. Trivia that only came to light in the Starman series: Ted Knight (G.A. Starman) had a short-lived affair with the G.A. Black Canary. Oh yeah, you get all the dirty details of the Golden Age in this series. The original artist Tony Harris also played a big part in making me love this series. The character of Jack Knight, his likes and dislikes, is pretty much based on James Robinson, but the LOOk of Jack Knight is based on Tony Harris himself. I think the tattoos that Jack has on his body throughout most of the series were the same or close to the same ones that Tony had on his. So Jack Knight is the combination of these two great creators in more ways than one. Tony also designed Opal City for the book, from scratch if I'm not mistaken. I believe he and James talked at length about how they wanted the city to look and feel and then Tony made it come to life. Opal City is Starman's homebase, has always been his home base, from Ted Knight to David Knight (Jack's deceased older brother) and of course Jack Knight also calls Opal home. Opal City looks fabulous, art deco/noveau inspired beauty as far as the eye can see, in every panel on every page. Even the colors on this book were pitch pefect. From issue to issue, from cover to cover, Starman is one of my ALL TIME favorite super hero books, EVER.

The only real complaint I have about the collections is the lack of letter column reprints. DC chose a smattering of letters pages to reprint, but man back in the day how I loved to read the letters column in Starman. So damn entertaining! It was great. You have to remember that this was back before the internet, so things were different for collectors then. If you collected anything, vintage records, old Fisher Price Litte People, Hawaiian shirts, comics, whatever collectible you could think of, you couldn't just go to Ebay because Ebay didn't exist! James, at least back in the day, was a huge collector of all kinds of fun stuff, so he would write all about different type of collectibles in his letters column. It was awesome. He would even ask his readers if they had a certain collectible he was looking for and people would write in to ask questions about collectibles or to offer James something he was looking for. Yes, I know I'm dating myself here talking about the days before Ebay, but just THINK about how crazy that time was.

I can't wait for volume 4 of the Omnibus! There will be a total of 7 volumes all together and they would look GREAT on any bookcase. The Starman Omnibus volumes, make great gifts for your friends or hell, treat yourself to some fabulous reading this holiday season.

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