Stargirl: The Lost Children #5
The battle for the fate of the Lost Children has begun as Stargirl leads a raid on the Childminder's castle! But who has been asking the Childminder to round up these kids, and for what purpose? The buyer has arrived, and Stargirl is not ready for him!
Stargirl: The Lost Children #5 picks up with Stargirl, Corky, and the rest of the kids storming Childminder’s castle. It immediately becomes apparent that the kids are not all on the same page, with infighting creating problems throughout the battlefield. Meanwhile, Red Arrow and Boom escape from their bondage, leading to all of the heroes meeting face to face with Childminder’s mysterious benefactor: Hourman.
The previous issue filled in a lot of the meat and bones narrative, which left room for Stargirl: The Lost Children #5 to further the plot in a personal way, which unfortunately is absent here. All of the roadblocks that our heroes run into seem meaningless in the grand scheme, and come off as filler. A large section of this issue deals with infighting between two of the kids, Cherry Bomb and Salem the Witch Girl. These characters were featured in the background previously, and for some reason jump to the forefront right as the plot is supposed to reach its climax. Geoff Johns already has spent several issues building up to this point, only for things to fall apart inorganically. Ultimately, this plot thread was just a bump in the road of filler that greatly hindered the plot.
Jumping into the stronger aspects of this issue, Johns finally puts a greater focus on Boom and Red Arrow, who have been relegated to the back burner since the beginning. Boom, in particular, is a fascinating character, being the real daughter of Flash Jay Garrick that was taken out of continuity along with the other kids. Johns is notorious for pulling deep from golden age continuity, so it’s nice to see that he can retroactively add to this instead of just retreading established ground. Boom already is a standout character in this series, setting up an excellent future for the character in whatever Johns has planned next. Because of his past exploration into newer generations of the JSA, it’s likely that Boom will join Stargirl and Red Arrow on a new team after the end of this, although a miniseries about Jay rediscovering his long lost daughter would also be fascinating.
Todd Nauck continues to deliver with the art, drawing the kids with a jovial style that fits with the theme of the series very well. Nauck also does a great job in contrasting these kids with the frightening Childminder, who is drawn as an amalgamation between a human and a chicken. She gives off Baba Yaga vibes, which seems to be the inspiration behind her character. Letterer Rob Leigh has some fun with Childminder as well, using a red and green palette for her wavy speech bubbles, giving the character a clear voice within readers’ heads. Leigh’s lettering also builds on the combat, filling pages with Childminder’s robot’s simultaneous dialogue. This cramped feeling helps accentuate the chaos of the battle, creating a seamless connection between the art and the narrative. Matt Herms’ colors tie this all together, giving each of the kids a bright and vibrant uniqueness that helps differentiate them throughout the more crowded pages. Herms’ bright use of electricity around Boom helps give her a sense of scale to her power, letting the art tell the story rather than exposition.
Stargirl: The Lost Children #5 halts the momentum with an unnecessary side plot. Thankfully the focus on characters like Boom and Red Arrow make this penultimate issue stick its landing in a satisfying way.
Stargirl: The Lost Children #5: Boom Boom Pow
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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