Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Javier Pina w/ Filipe Andrade
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Lettering & Design: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Covers: Carmen Carnero & Jesus Aburtov; Rahzzah
Release Date: March 25th, 2020
When last we left Star, she was face to face with the dragon of the cave of horrors she and Scarlet Witch had battled through. Will the duo be able to tame the beast? If so, will the Black Order be waiting on the other side? Lots of things to discover in Kelly Thompson’s STAR #3, so let’s get to it!
The issue begins with the reveal that last issue’s whole cave ordeal was just in Ripley’s head. Wah-wah. It seems when Wanda showed up Ripley unknowingly created the cave reality, and that tracks with her having no clue of how to use the stone in her chest. The “dragon” she saw at the end of the cave was a twisted version of herself, detailed in a cool one-page spread by Javier Pina. Pina’s art throughout has never looked better in this short series.
Before Ripley can explain to Wanda what she experienced in the dream (Vision? Warped reality?), Captain Marvel busts through the window of Alias Investigations, which btw is where we’re still at. Poor Jessica Jones better have some good insurance! Carol’s appearance sets Ripley off, literally, as she blinks herself away to her apartment. There, after some weird William Shatner pause/stuttering dialogue, Ripley passes out to Flashback Land.
Once again, Filipe Andrade’s flashback art is what it is, and if you enjoy it, good for you. It’s not that it’s bad, and a complete book of it could be something different in a good way, but it’s so dissimilar from the main art that it’s more of a distraction than a complement. Kelly Thompson kind of saves the day here with some great inner narration from Ripley, fleshing out her increasing hatred of superheroes, Carol Danvers in particular.
Star awakens in her apartment and goes nova (ba-dum, tss), alerting members of the Black Order to her whereabouts. There’s a bizarre moment with Black Swan and Ripley that hints at a possible Swedish Chef appearance in the future, so that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime the ladies at Alias are discussing the best course of action for dealing with the new would-be reality-bending baddie on the block, but it looks like Captain Marvel thinks she knows how to best handle Star by the end of the book.
STAR #3 builds upon the previous issue to become the best of the short series. The resolution to last issue’s main ordeal may feel a little cheap, but Kelly Thompson explains it in a believable way. The main art throughout is consistently great, and while the flashback art is off-putting in its stark difference, the narration within hammers home Ripley Ryan’s motivations. STAR is a series that has improved with each issue, and hopefully the trend continues.