EARTH-PRIME: STARGIRL #4/ Script by JAMES ROBINSON & PAULA SEVENBERGEN/ Art by JERRY ORDWAY/ Colors by JOHN KALISZ/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS
I may be biased in thinking that this fourth chapter of the Earth-Prime mini-series is the best so far. It is co-written by James Robinson, who in addition to being a writer on the Stargirl show, was the author of the 1994-2001 Starman series which established most of the mythology that Stargirl draws upon. Regular readers may recall Starman as my favorite comic series of all time and that the Stargirl series currently airing on The CW, was far and away my favorite new series on the short-lived DC Universe streaming service. Yes, I freely admit I may be biased, but I contend that does not make me wrong. I will note, however, that the title of this book is somewhat inaccurate, as Stargirl is set on the Earth-2 of the new Arrowverse rather than Earth-Prime.
The action of this issue, titled “Road Trip,” is set sometime after the end of Stargirl season 2. The Whitmore-Dugan family have finally embarked upon their long-anticipated family vacation touring a number of national parks, now that Courtney “Stargirl” Whitmore is finally done with summer school. Little do they know, however, that they are being followed by an old enemy from Pat “Stripsey” Dugan’s past.
It should surprise no one that the script, co-written by James Robinson with fellow Stargirl writer and comic book author Paula Sevenbergen, is excellent all around. Both writers know how to script a comic and the pacing of the story is pitch-perfect. The dialogue also captures the essence of the characters from the show and one can easily imagine the voices of Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson as they read this issue.
Jerry Ordway manages a similar trick with the artwork. Ordway is a great artist, and nobody draws a vintage superhero series quite so well. (The flashback sequences involving the JSA and a number of other Golden Age heroes are particularly fine.) Yet Ordway also takes care in caricturing the actors from the show, presenting a Stargirl and Stripsey who look more like the actors than their original designs from the classic Stargirl comics. The colors by John Kalisz are likewise bright and beautiful, as befits the story and series and Tom Napolitano does a masterful job with the word balloons and lettering.
The only real weakness to Earth-Prime: Stargirl #4 is that it doesn’t seem to advance the overall storyline of the series that much, apart from revealing the identity of the mystery villain tying the different Arrowverse series together. Ignoring that, it is a solid comic with a great story that can be enjoyed by both fans of the show and newcomers alike. If, for some reason, you haven’t given Stargirl a try, this issue is a fine place to start.