Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Javier Pina w/ Filipe Andrade
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Lettering & Design: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Carmen Carnero & Jesus Aburtov
Release Date: February 26th, 2020
It seems like everyone is out to get the Reality Stone bonded to Ripley Ryan, and not knowing how to harness its powers as her alter ego Star hasn’t helped. Luckily the Scarlet Witch has arrived to help, but does Wanda Maximoff have ulterior motives as well? Let’s find out in Kelly Thompson’s STAR #2!
The issue begins with a disoriented Star following the Scarlet Witch through a darkened cave, and readers will share her pain, as this is not where the first book left off. It’s a clever trick by Kelly Thompson to help get you into Ripley’s headspace. Ripley also comes off as a lot more likable this issue, even though she still can be a pain in the ass at times.
While in the cave, on the way to a supposed dragon, the two are attacked several times by large spider-like creatures. Which is all well and good, but the main point of the journey is Wanda explaining to Ripley that using the Reality Stone all willy-nilly has consequences, not the least of which is it’s messing up Scarlet Witch’s powers. Also the whole tearing apart reality thing, so yeah, not good. Wanda offers to help Ripley learn how to use her power, and kind of does so while the two are fighting the monsters as well. To put it in Star Wars terms, it’s Obi-Wan Kenobi teaching Luke Skywalker how to use the Force, and it works. The interaction between the two is a highlight of the book, and hopefully Ripley takes up Wanda’s offer, because more of this duo would be a good thing.
Meanwhile, interspersed with the Star/Scarlet Witch action, we get more of a look into the hipster millennials who are so interested in the Reality Stone. We already knew they were up to something in the first issue, but just the way Kelly Thompson subtly throws in some dialogue that feels off tells readers this crew definitely aren’t who they seem to be. The cliffhanger reveal of who they are is both an “Oh shit!” and “Oh, of course!” moment at the same time.
Art-wise, it’s a mixed bag. The main art is gorgeous close-up, but loses a lot the further away characters get. A great example is the splash page with Scarlet Witch in the foreground fighting off a horde of demon spiders, while Ripley clumsily poses in the background. It’s hard to imagine the same person drew the same figures on the page. The flashback art, which seemed great in issue one and stood out from what we usually get from Marvel, just looked out of place here. The flashback itself added nothing to the story either.
STAR #2 is a step in the right direction. Kelly Thompson continues to grow the character, and pairing Scarlet Witch with Ripley was inspired. The art is inconsistent at distances, but at close range is at times stunning. Even without the big reveal ending Thompson delivers, STAR #2 would be a book worth checking out.