The Stars, written and drawn by Kurth Belcher, is a post-modern super-powered indie title with some interesting ups and downs. The protagonist team, named for the title is a classic hodgepodge of miscellaneous characters with varying powers and backgrounds – think Avengers or The Authority. In the same way that the team is piecemeal with some cool parts, so are issues 1 and 2 of this title.
Belcher’s writing is extremely referencial to other super-powered comics. Most of his characters have are archetypes made popular by The Big 2 and Image Comics. His main protagonist and team leader, John Century is essentially John Constantine and Superman melded together. While there are some really cool moments in The Stars, like a breakdancing giant robot and the tragic demise of a sad cyborg, much of what happens was done better in other titles. The Stars also rushes through a lot – issues 1 and 2 could have been whole trade paperback story-arcs on their own.
While Belcher’s art in The Stars is extremely unique, it is a little “crunchy” at times and not always the most popularly pleasing. However, his page and panel layout is probably the best thing about this title. They are both very smart and show an inherent understanding of talented storytelling. There are several two-page spreads that both action packed and a lot of fun just to see. The cover to The Stars #2 is very smart graphic design and shows huge potential in Belcher.
While there are definitely some less developed areas in The Stars, there are some incredible pieces that make it an interesting read show that Kurt Belcher is definitely someone to watch.