Stargirl: The Lost Children #4
CHAPTER 4: LOSING TRACK OF TIME
Courtney and the missing sidekicks are on a mission to bust out their friends from the Childminder's stronghold, but a plan is hard to come by. Have no fear, Hypertime's greatest protector is here to lend a hand: Corky Baxter, Time Master! Meanwhile, Emiko learns the secret history of Judy Garrick, the lost daughter of Jay and Joan Garrick!
Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 starts with a very summarized explanation of Geoff Johns’ important DC works leading up to this point: Flashpoint, Rebirth/Doomsday Clock, and Flashpoint Beyond. This all ends up being a long winded explanation for how we’ve ended up here, why the children are missing, and how Corky Baxter fits into all of this. Inside of Childminder’s stronghold, Emiko learns that Jay Garrick’s long lost daughter, Judy, is being used as a battery to allow a mysterious buyer to arrive and buy the children. Stargirl, Corky, and the rest of the kids storm the stronghold only to realize the mysterious buyer, revealed to be the android Hourman, has already arrived.
Todd Nauck continues to deliver in spades with art here. His art reminds me of the way that Patrick Gleason draws Superboy, with a huge emphasis on the character’s eyes. This helps highlight the jovial nature of these characters which works really well since this book is all about children. This also gives the issue a Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, which helps make the large chunks of exposition more palatable. It’s also fun seeing Nauck’s interpretation of events like Flashpoint and Flashpoint Beyond, which are very visually striking on their own. Overall, Nauck’s art really elevates the narrative here, helping ground an otherwise mind bending story.
I have a feeling that people will look back on this series as Geoff Johns jumping the shark. This issue in particular felt very self-indulgent and almost “Morrisonian” in the way Johns chooses to deliver exposition. Johns seems to view the DC universe from a specific lense in each of his stories, practically ignoring everything else that’s going on. By the time you read this series you’ll need to have done your homework on Hypertime, the Divine Continuum, and whoever the hell Corky Baxter is. Thankfully, Corky does explain a majority of this in the first half of this issue, but at this point the quick summary seems only important as a reminder to Johns’ long time readers, but would be unpalatable to new fans. Now, as someone who has been caught up on all of Johns’ books, this didn’t bother or confuse me. My frustration grew once I realized how dense and cumbersome this book is going to be to explain to 99% of comic book fans.
Once you get past all the homework, this issue continues to be a lot of fun. Stargirl is a very strong character and her insistence on fixing the past over correcting it is very in keeping with her character. It will be interesting to see where Johns takes these characters after this limited series is over since the impotence behind the series revolves around putting the genie back in the bottle. This all grows even more complicated when the android Hourman is revealed to be the mysterious buyer, yet another concept that ties back to Johns’s days on the Justice Society of America book from the early 2000’s. Stargirl should be very familiar with this Hourman so their dynamic will be very interesting moving forward. Overall , for an exposition heavy issue, this book ended in an intriguing way that makes the wait for the final two issues just a little bit harder.
Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 is very heavy on the exposition, which will definitely confuse readers who are not caught up on all of Geoff Johns’ books. For fans who have kept up with everything, this issue reads well as a reminder for what’s important, setting the stage for a fun finally.
Stargirl: The Lost Children #4: Time… To Figure Out What’s Going On
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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