Voices of the Dead


Rising Stars

Rising Stars is a 24-issue comic book series published by Top Cow Comics - a division of Image Comics - under the Joe's Comics imprint.

The story follows the lives of 113 people who were in utero when a mysterious "flash" hit their town. As the children grow up, they demonstrate different supernatural powers. Straczynski approaches the story from a real world perspective. What good is being invulnerable if you can't do anything else? How do you get paid if you want to be a costumed crime fighter? What if you just want to be normal? How does the government protect normal people without trampling on the civil rights of those with powers?

The story is told in three eight-issue acts. Straczynski also wrote a Preview issue, an Issue 0, and an Issue 1/2.

Joe Straczynski was involved in a dispute with Top Cow because he was locked out of the script writing process for the Rising Stars feature film. He demanded an apology, confirmation that the Joe's Comics title belonged to him, and the return of Dream Police, which Top sat on for three years without publishing. This dispute was eventually resolved, and the final three Rising Stars issues were finally released after a delay of nearly two years.

A graphic novel titled Rising Stars: Born in Fire collects the first eight issues. The second graphic novel, Power, collects issues 9 - 16. Visitations collects all of the special and stand-alone issues.


The Rising Stars Characters Section provides data on the characters of the story.


The Rising Stars Timeline tracks the events of the story.


IssueTitleRelease Date
#0 "Rising Stars" Synopsis Review
0 reprint "Initiations: A lost tale of the Specials" Synopsis Review
1/2 Synopsis Review
Preview / Prelude "Visitations & Midnight Thoughts" Synopsis Review
1 "Nova Placenta" Synopsis Review
2 "Can't Touch This" Synopsis Review
3 "Whatever Happened to Lee Jackson?" Synopsis Review
4 "Masques" Synopsis Review
5 "The World Between" Synopsis Review
6 "Things Fall Apart, Part One of Three" Synopsis Review
7 "Things Fall Apart, Part Two of Three" Synopsis Review
8 "Things Fall Apart, Part Three of Three" Synopsis Review
9 "Choices Made" Synopsis Review
10 "Reversals of Fortune" Synopsis Review
11 "What Goes Around..." Synopsis Review 08 November 2000
12 "A, B, C, and D" Synopsis Review 20 December 2000
13 "Stalingrad" Synopsis Review 07 February 2001
14 "Things Change" Synopsis Review 25 April 2001
15 "Power" Synopsis Review 20 June 2001
16 "Selah" Synopsis Review 15 August 2001
17 "Time Passes" Synopsis Review 09 January 2002
18 "Fire and Ash" 17 April 2002
19 "Terminal Error" 07 August 2002
20 "Blood Calls Out for Blood" 02 October 2002
21 "Conversations on the Hill of Dreams" 18 December 2002
22 "Phoenix in Ascension - 1 of 3" 03 November 2004
23 "Phoneix in Ascension - 2 of 3" 08 December 2004
24 "Phoneix in Ascension - 2 of 3" 02 March 2005

Other Resources

Rising Stars: Bright

Rising Stars: Bright is a three-issue spin-off series written by Fiona Avery and illustrated by Dan Jurgens. It tells the story of Matthew Bright's time living as a normal person and working as a police officer. Rising Stars: Bright has been collected into a trade paperback.

IssueTitleRelease Date
1"Bright"26 February 2003
2"Authority"26 March 2003
3"Civilian Casualties"30 April 2003

Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead

Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead is a six-issue Rising Stars spin-off miniseries written by Fiona Avery with pencils by Stanz Johnson and inks by Wayne Faucher. This story features Lionel Zerb, the Special who can commune with the recently deceased. He serves as a Ghost Interpreter to help those still living, and explores the spiritual world beyond death.

IssueTitleRelease Date
1"Voices of the Dead #1"04 April 2005
2"Voices of the Dead #2"20 July 2005
3"The House on Stansbury Lane"24 August 2005
4"Psyche"08 September 2005
5"Deals with Karma"05 October 2005
6"Echoes"14 December 2005

Rising Stars: Untouchable

Fiona Avery's second-announced, but last-to-be-published Rising Stars spin-off series is titled Rising Stars: Untouchable. This series focuses on Laurel Darkhaven's years as a CIA-sanctioned assassin. The five-issue series has finally reached publication.

Here is Top Cow's description: "Laurel Darkhaven was a girl who's power seemed pretty inconsequential growing up. She had the ability to manipulate small objects with telekinesis and the smaller the object, the easier it was for her to manipulate it. The CIA recruited her after high-school, promising she would serve her country with pride, but what she discovered in her work in the shadows was anything but honorable. Forced and blackmailed into performing wet-works operations, Laurel's one purpose in life became discovering the true identity of her dishonorable employer at the CIA for a justified revenge. This is her story, from high school to the CIA and at the end of her life, when she dies in Poet's arms after bringing the Middle East back to life.

IssueTitleRelease Date
1"The Smallest Things"22 February 2006
2"Promotion"29 March 2006
3"The Puer"19 April 2006
4"Bindings"01 June 2006
5"Starting Over"21 June 2006