15th Oct2018

‘Shatterstar #1′ Review (Marvel Comics)

by Phil Wheat

Written by Tim Seeley | Art by Gerardo Sandoval, Carlos Villa | Cover by Yasmine Putri | Published by Marvel Comics

shatterstar-1

A gladiator, a warrior, a hero…the man called Shatterstar has been many things, but one thing he’s always been is deadly. He’s not a man you want to cross or you’ll learn that fact all too well. Walk back into the darkness with Shatterstar!

OK, confession time. Shatterstar has – since first discovering him in X-Force – been one of my all-time favourite superheroes for years. Even when he wasn’t appearing in any books! Now, truthfully, that’s more to do with how much of a badass he looks, rather than his actions (one of the reasons his recent Marvel Legends figure was a day one purchase for me!) – though he has one hell of a backstory, a backstory that is covered here in case readers are totally new to the character.

Created by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld, Shatterstar first appeared in The New Mutants #99 (yes, the issue after the introduction of Deadpool to the Marvel universe). The character is a warrior from the planet Mojoworld – where he fought on TV in gladiatorial battles against other combatants, all in the name of “entertainment”. He escaped Mojoworld and time-travelled into the past, in an attempt to overthrow Mojo. He finds X-Force, at first fighting against them, before being persuaded to work with them by Cable, eventually becoming a fully-fledged member of X-Force.

Now that introduction appears in part in the opening of Shatterstar #1 – the book detailing his past (or should that be future) in Mojoworld. However that backstory here is just that. A backstory. This version of Shatterstar is now just Ben Gaveedra, landlord of a building that is home to other displaced people – be they mutant or human. And by displaced I don’t mean homeless or new to town, these people have literally been ripped out of their own universes and timelines, some trapped on Earth, some choosing to stay here. Interestingly my initial thought was that said “reintroduction” of Shatterstar in this books prologue would be totally unrelated to the story that follows in this book; and, judging by how Shatterstar #1 starts off you ‘d be right in thinking that. But it isn’t long before Shatterstar’s past catches up with him AND his tenants – forcing Shatterstar to pick up the swords once again!

Now the fact I love Shatterstar was enough to make me want to pick up this book, however the cherry on top is the fact this new run comes from writer Tim Seeley, who created and wrote one of my all-time favourite comics: Hack/Slash. Personally I’ve always found Seeley’s work appealing – in the case of Hack/Slash he perfectly blended horror and humour; and he does a similar thing here. Throwing off-kilter laughs into the mix via the eccentric occupants of Shatterstar’s “halfway house” and then also, towards the end of the book, giving readers the superhero action many will be expecting. Here Seeley is also master of the rousing cliffhanger finale – offering something of a call to arms for Shatterstar that gets me totally excited to read the next issue!

As a fan I could not have asked for a better start to a Shatterstar book: Shatterstar #1 has heart, laughs and action. Sadly this book is only a “limited series” because for me – based on this first issue – as long as Tim Seeley wants to keep writing Shatterstar I’ll keep reading. Come on Marvel, make this an ongoing title ASAP!

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