Thursday, June 21, 2012

Science Addiction: Star Reach #1 (1974)

Sometimes finding the long lost early works of a respected artist can throw one for a loop and blow them away. Such is the case of what happened when I first read Star Reach #1. Star Reach was an independent anthology comic book that wasn't easily found among the comic racks in department and convenience stores at the time. This was the type of book you had to mail order or subscribe for, or if you were the type, might have found in a head shop. It contained dark subject matter featuring sex and drugs within sci-fi and fantasy realms.

The importance of the first issue however is thanks to Jim Starlin (the creator of freakin' Thanos mind you, as well as many others), who back then had yet to emerge into the 'star' he is today. Starlin provided not one, but two beautiful-yet haunting stories about Death himself for this issue. Not only does the artwork exude that classic Starlin touch, but the stories are masterful as well.

The first story, "Death Building" is the tale of Steve Apollo and his acid-induced challenge to beat Death. I have a feeling this is not going to end well...Full story:

*Although the original Star Reach was in black and white, a reprint was later released in color. I scanned the color version for maximum effect*

Love how Starlin himself makes an appearance in his own story! I also wonder if acid was a real imaginative motor for Jim. The next story is Starlin's take on the birth of Death, titled well...,"The Birth of Death!". Full story:

 Starlin would go on to continue to use Death in many of his other stories, even as a love-interest for Thanos. While there are many other terrific stories to enjoy in this first issue such as Howie Chaykin's, "Cody Starbuck" series, Starlin's contributions undoubtedly steal the show in Star Reach #1.


wow! i can't believe somebody out there blogged about this issue. back in jr high in the late 80s someone gave me a copy of it which i still have today. apparently this issue was published in Hayward and printed in the neighboring town of Castro Valley (both are in the San Francisco Bay Area) which is where the before mentioned jr. high is. i don't know if i'm remembering this part right but the guy who gave it to me may have had a step father or uncle that was involved in the issue's production. anyways, the Cody Star Buck story was well illustrated but a bit convoluted from a writing stand point although i did like it's adult themed nature. on the other hand the Birth of DEATH story with it's biblical narrative interwoven with more modern day fantasy was both great visually and from a writing stand point. but here's the thing my Star Reach copy is n black n white and the cover art you have at the top of this posting is the back cover.


That barbarian fighting death(Skeletor) could even be a stand in for He-Man.


That barbarian fighting death(Skeletor) could even be a stand in for He-Man.

They flipped the covers for the later (2-4) printings.

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