One-Star Squadron #1-6
Who you gonna call? One-Star Squadron! Meet DC’s superhero team where heroism meets capitalism. This ragtag group of heroes led by Red Tornado is here to provide service with a smile. All you must do is send a request via their on-demand hero app and they’ll answer any call. Whether it’s a children’s birthday party or an alien invasion, no job is too small or too big!
After finishing issue #6 of One-Star Squadron, one of my favorite quotes popped into my head: “We’re all just walking each other home.” I might be the first person to think about a Ram Dass quote after completing a series, but it feels right. We all need help in life– even superheroes. One-Star Squadron tackles a lot of things that other books may stray from, or at least touch upon, or just not get right. The series deals with trauma, substance dependency, self-respect, suicide, and so much more. These are things that readers might think all heroes are immune from.
We have apps for everything. I have multiple apps to get food delivered to my door or for a random stranger to come pick me up and drive me to the airport. If there is something that I need, I can most likely get it through a service or an app. So many people depend on jobs like these. Unlike us, the DC Universe is also filled with super-powered people, it is only natural for services like Heroz4U to exist. Not everyone can be in the Justice League.
At its core, One-Star Squadron is about people trying to be okay. Power Girl struggles to find respect as a hero, whether it is at Heroz4U or on her own. Kara possibly feels overshadowed by Superman, and not taken seriously enough at work. She needs to work twice as hard for respect just because she has “Girl” in her name. Minute Man thinks that he can’t be himself without Miraclo, a cycle that many people with substance dependency difficulties face. He ends up doing things that go against everything he stood for. The drug was making the decisions for him. Jose, once Gangbuster, is living with PTSD from years of physical and emotional trauma, but he is now forgotten by the people once fought and served for like many veterans face in our world. Jose needs peace, and Red Tornado helps him find it. Red Tornado is the one walking everyone home. It just feels right to have one of the nonhuman characters have the most empathy.
These are all very real problems we face, and Mark Russell was able to weave them into a superhero story. Russell does an incredible job making you feel for these characters. A huge part of why Russell successfully does this is Dave Sharpe’s lettering. Sharpe made each voice so distinct and perfectly represented, which is a crucial part of what makes this series so good. Steve Lieber’s art is perfect for the series. His art has humor and captures the humanity and realism of the characters. His art reminds you that heroes are just a bunch of people in costumes, without making them feel like costumes. Dave Stewart’s colors work so well with Lieber’s pencils. There are so many distinct and interesting characters in the series and Stewart’s colors do an excellent job making them pop, especially when a good chunk of the series takes place in an office setting.
ONE-STAR SQUADRON #1-6 addresses real problems and weaves them into a fantastic meditation on trauma, addiction, self-worth, and empathy. This is a series you need to read!
One-Star Squadron #1-6: Walking Each Other Home
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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