Rising Stars 1: Born in Fire

rising stars volume 1 born in fire cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Interesting concept

Generic characters and art, derivative of other better work, not a big fan of J. Michael Straczynski

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Rising Stars

Publisher:  Joe’s Comics/Top Cow/Image

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski

Artist:  Keu Cha/Christian Zanier

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2000


Rising Stars #1

Reprints Rising Stars #1-8 (August 1999-June 2000).  An unexplained flash occurs above Pederson and those in utero are discovered to be born with powers.  The Specials, as they are known, grow-up…but something sinister is happening.  Someone is killing the Specials, and the world is about to find out how dangerous the Specials can be.  With each Special death, the Specials powers are dispersed among the surviving Specials…and the power is limited and the desire for power is growing!

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Rising Stars Volume 1:  Born in Fire was published by Straczynski’s line of comics called Joe’s Comics under Image’s Top Cow line and features art by Keu Cha and Christian Zanier.  The collection contains the first five issues in addition to the three part “Things Fall Apart” storyline from Rising Stars #6-8 (April 2000-June 2000).

I’m not a big fan of J. Michael Straczynski’s writing but Rising Stars is definitely the most palpable of his stories (Amazing Spider-Man started out ok but fell apart, and I never liked his Thor).  The concept of the story is interesting and the delivery is fun, but it still has problems.


Rising Stars #8

The idea has merit thought it is kind of derivative of aspects of Watchmen and other comics.  The concept of a limited amount of power spread between a number of superhumans, and this power moving into the others when one of them dies is interesting.  I don’t find many of the characters compelling or different, but the comic is still solid.

The art for Rising Stars is good, but like its story not very inspiring.  While it is solid and better than many comics, I once again find it rather derivative of other comics.  I don’t entirely blame the artists for this because they are working with generic superhero types and generic visions of these heroes can be expected.

I don’t mind Rising Stars, but it isn’t the best or most original comic book you’ll ever read.  Stories like Watchmen or even something more modern like Powers do a better job telling a new post-modern superhero story where “good” and “evil” are skewed.  I see Rising Stars as almost an intro to better comics by introducing readers of standard comics that concepts are capable of more, but don’t take Rising Stars as the highest echelon of what comics can be.  Rising Stars 1:  Born in Fire is followed by Rising Stars 2:  Power.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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