By: Chris Roberson (writer), Khary Randolph (art), Mitch Gerads (colors), Ed Dukeshire (letters) & Bryce Carlson (editor)

The Story: Benjamin & Tara continue trying to escape from the supposedly bad aliens that have descended upon Earth.

What’s Good: I said in some other recent review that strong art is vitally important to a comic book because it can help the comic remain interesting when the story hits a lull.  Stories are going to do that because that is simply how drama works and strong art is what keeps you from saying, “Boring!” and possibly dropping the series (especially in this brutal comic sales environment where there are too many series chase a shrinking pool of readers).

That’s a round about way of saying that the art is (again) a very strong point for Starborne #3.  In reviews of the first couple issues on this site I’ve spoken about the strength of Khary Randolph’s loose, cartoony style.  I think it is more effective for this series when the characters are running and jumping, but it still works pretty well even when the characters are standing around more (as they are in this issue).  So, let’s take a second to talk about Mitch Gerads’ colors.  Starborne is a cosmic book and coloring is very important to putting the reader in a “cosmic” frame of mind.  The action going on in a story like Starborne is a level of non-realism that is well beyond a typical superhero book, so normal color palates aren’t going to cut it and there are a few panels in this issue where Gerads just kinda cuts loose with a whole spectrum of colors to emphasize the fantastical nature of that element of the story.

What’s Not So Good: In this case, “not so good” shouldn’t be taken to equal “bad”, but the story in this issue is nothing very special.  Mind you, the overall concept for Starborne where our protagonist Benjamin learns that he is some kind of alien who has been raised by humans, but that he is really some important piece in a galaxy-spanning war is a cool story.  We just didn’t get a lot of that story in this issue.  This was mostly him and his protector Tara on the run from the bad aliens.  It is hard to fault Roberson too much for this story taking a lull because the chase is part of the story.  I’m sure we’ll get to see Galatic HQ in a few issues and that will be very interesting.  And other things that can be used to pass the time during the chase, such as the inevitable romance between Tara & Benjamin, would be out of place in issue #3.  Maybe there should have been more fighting?

Conclusion: This remains a very promising series, but this issue was a bit slowly paced.  Strong art and coloring from Randolph and Gerads keeps me from even considering dropping the series.  Starborne remains the best of the three “Stan Lee” titles at Boom!.

Grade: C

Dean Stell