Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Max Fiumara
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1 is an incredible first issue of what I am hoping will be an outstanding mini-series. Jeff Lemire and Max Fiumara have crafted a wonderful tale, set both in the modern and golden age of the Black Hammer universe. One half origin story, another half family drama and 100% homage to James Robinson’s Starman and I loved every minute of it.
Dr. James ‘Jim’ Robinson (yes, Lemire named Doctor Star after the Starman creator) is a struggling scientist in 1941 while a mournful man in the present day, as the story shifts between the two time periods. Lemire uses a letter as a narrative tool, as Jim Robinson tells his story to an unknown recipient (you find out in the end, but I don’t want to spoil it for you). The contrast between the same man in the two time periods is night and day. Our present day Dr. Robinson is a sorrowful man seemingly filled with regret while the younger Dr. Robinson is adventurous and full of life. Where do these regrets come from? I’m sure over the course of the series we will find out but Doctor Star and the Kingdoms of Lost Tomorrows #1 explains how Doctor Star came to be a golden age hero. Dr. Robinson is a scientist investigating the Para-Zone, the same Para-Zone that Black Hammer’s Colonel Weird uses to travel through time and space. Tasked by the US Government to use his study of the Para-Zone to create weapons to defeat Hitler, Dr. Robinson puts his mind to work at the expense of everything else, including his family, to create a weapon, a weapon that will eventually give birth to Doctor Star.
For a man whose excitement at being a hero jumps from the page it will be an interesting ride to see how he becomes the sorrowful man we meet at the beginning of this issue. I have no doubt that Jeff Lemire has already planned out a compelling story. He truly seems to be at his best with his independent work and the core Black Hammer title is one of the best super hero titles on the market today. Max Fiumara has an interesting abstract style to his work but is still detailed and fits in perfectly with the other Black Hammer titles. His cover is gorgeous and the interior art is impressive, as are the colors by Dave Stewart as they perfectly match the dark rumble times of the ‘40s but become bright and colorful when the good Doctor uses his newly acquired abilities. All together this was a wonderful first issue and a breathtaking start to what is hopefully a great mini-series.