Review: “Starlight: The Return of Duke McQueen” by Mark Millar

This comic caught my eye within the store, I had no knowledge of it and simply bought, without even opening the inside because of my love for retro space heroes. As I turn the pages I instantly felt back to those days of reading Adam Strange and picking up a water gun and making “phew phew” noises, of cardboard boxes and fish-ball helmets to mimic the swashbuckling actions Flash Gordon. Sorry gents, but I seeing to gone to that bygone era of the science heroes.

With that I welcome you to our last vestige of those glory days.

STORY: Duke McQueen is at his wife funeral, his world seems turn upside down, his kids are absent and his the laughing stock of the town and all because he claims to have fought and alien menace. But that all quickly changes when young boy comes from the stars looking for the hero who free his people, beaten but not broken Duke takes to the stars once again, but can he at his age defeat the evil empire?

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Our hero at his prime

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Legends never die

ART: The art is gorgeous blend of animated colors and rapid actions, just the sort of thing that works perfect in this sort of setting. Much of the light and chemistry of the art works on harking back to the days of Flash Gordon, yet it no imitation, it inspirations. I wish many retro style comics when for something as catchy as this.

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No words need mention in this amazing scene

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Darn that a fight scene

DIALOGUE: The intro my gosh, can you say just perfectly human. At all times I could identity with Duke’s feelings, from his anger to his frustration, sadness and love. Just amazingly well crafted. Others characters are obviously over the top villains or tropes but with Duke leading the assemble who cares!

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Science moves forward

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The many adventures of our hero

Continues in: Limited series

CONCLUSION: My hat off to Mark Miller, in this short series he prove to be two things; yes you can have a trip to those eras that filled our childhood and they don’t need to be silly, second you can make and aged hero the center of attention, so many times we want a young man or teenager, not a seasoned man. But I want someone character Duke is able to overcome all that is against him, from age to a world who don’t believe him.

I am so shock don’t even know where to star, Miller writing a light hearted tale of an aged hero? No way! And in space of all places? Absolutely no. But tell you here, yes and yes. He did magnificent job and not only that, he shock everyone including million other people who review this book and called what many saying Gran Torino meets Flash Gordon, and they are not wrong it all.

That the next part, this story is told in such excellent way, that both the universe in which it exist and the characters are given very little explanation but you don’t need to, you know the tropes, and you just need to know there been using again and turn in their heads.

As one the most excellent scenes as to be Duke riding into the colosseum in a 72 Mustang and getting and smoking a cigar, yes his bigger than life. And that what love about this tale, which touch on earlier. You see there many Batman fans who want to go back to the days of wacky and fun, sorry kids, the car in motion we can’t go back. The way of progress is forward and that means we can visit those days, but we got add a punch of black and shade morality and you know what? It just fine, because when I was 9 reading Flash no that not what wanted, but now I want Flash to mature and Duke was a mature older Flash. Pulp heroes, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, John Carter and Adam Strange is a pop-art celebration of comics, serials and retired superheroes.

As far picking up this story, yes you should, it limited series meaning that there no more, easy to access for anyone and great themes, the ending just awesome.



2 thoughts on “Review: “Starlight: The Return of Duke McQueen” by Mark Millar

  1. Agreed on all counts. I also especially loved those various one-panel flashbacks to earlier adventures, making this truly feel like it was the grand finale to some long-running saga.

    I recall when this series ended, and people were asking if there would be more stories, Millar speculated about the possibility of doing prequels, actually telling some of those previous adventures. But I think that’s unnecessary, and it’s better to just leave this series alone as a stand-alone series, leaving those previous adventures to our own imaginations.

    1. I similarly agree with you, those moments in which we see the old Duke are amazing, because not only do we see how he has change but also how the entire comic industry has gone from this overly colorful fun adventures to series life tackling issues.

      I don’t know, from one hand sort of wish we had more, but not. Like wish Miller would produce concepts like this, yes that right. Take Tarzan, Doc Savage and maybe even Prince Valiant and give them the same treatment

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