Issue 10 Synopsis

Rising Stars 10

Review by Mike Helba

Issue 10 is a good example of a basic superhero comic book. A group of "good guys" heads to Chicago to kick out the group of "bad guys" who have taken up residence there. This makes it an accessible follow-up for any new readers who began with the recap material in Issue 9. However, like the rest of Rising Stars, the story isn't as black and white as this simple description indicates.

One of the good guys is Joshua Kane, also known as Sanctuary. He sold out the Specials in Issue 6. Another is John Simon (Poet), the lead character of the series. John is consumed with guilt because he feels he should have prevented the situation from getting as bad as it is. As much as he blames himself, he blames Joshua even more.

This issue features the return of Cathy from Issue 4. Many readers believed that Cathy was just a throwaway character designed to provide background on the major characters through a series of flashbacks. She has returned after a five-issue absence, and true to her personality she is neither a hero nor a villain. Cathy's power has some serious implications for the universe of Rising Stars.

The consistency in the art is much improved in this issue. If there is a group of people in one panel, there will be the same number in the next panel and they will be wearing the same clothes. This wasn't always true in previous issues. Most importantly, Randy Fisk (Ravenshadow) is now wearing his long hair in a ponytail. Last issue it was nearly impossible to tell John and Randy apart. The darkness in the art is oppressive and helps to accent the mood of the story.

Midnight Nation artist Gary Frank provides the cover.

The letters column returns in this issue.

Issue 10 is an excellent installment that kicks the story into high gear. The impossible ending is a complete surprise and leaves the reader in desperate need of the next issue.

The synopsis provides a detailed summary of Issue 10. It contains spoilers.