Writer: Mark Russell
Art: Steve Lieber, Dave Stewart, and Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: December 7th, 2021
Fans looking to dive into ONE-STAR SQUADRON #1 searching for action, adventure, and suspense have certainly come to the wrong place. Yet, readers looking into a Mark Russell title should already be adverse in his style and thematic reputation. Thus, before cracking into ONE-STAR SQUADRON, comic fans need to be aware that this isn’t your normal run-of-the-mill comic book. Russell commonly provides a satirical look at the formalities involved in current society, as well as in Superhero comics, and creatively blends the two in a masterful look at many of the foundations that drive human achievement. Well, ONE-STAR SQUADRON #1 by Mark Russell and Steve Lieber does the very same but with a DC COMIC Superhero spice that’s been missing since Russell’s WONDER TWINS rodeo that began back in 2019.
For those curious in the ONE-STAR SQUADRON endeavor will find a dejected and dysfunctional group of past-their-prime heroes willing to be hired for just about anything money can buy. Led by an extremely humanistic RED TORNADO, this band of bushed headliners is willing to render their services for Bar Mitzvah’s, Birthday Parties, and possibly even Bachelor Party appearances!! Technically, it appears as though you can literally retain HEROZ4U for just about any price and just about any crisis.
Now, some of the faces will look shockingly familiar and make you scratch your head as to why they’re in this comic, especially with a crew that comes across as down-and-out. For example, why is POWER GIRL headlining this group in a new power suit?
Well, you’ll have to read to find out. Nevertheless, the rest of the cast appears to be more second and third-rate characters that have been sprinkled throughout the DC COMIC landscape from yesteryear. And, they’re certainly more fitting for the genre and tongue-in-cheek take on Capitalism within the Super-heroic terrain.
Steve Lieber’s art has always been less Superhero body types with extra muscular definition and more average joe, everyday man, vigilante meets blue-chip 1920s boxer. When you say realistic, that’s exactly what Lieber’s illustrations are: realistic. His renderings look as if you or I put on a Supersuit… and I absolutely love it within the context of the story. Now, I don’t want my X-MEN looking this way. But, a Mark Russell story is perfect for this artistic blend.
Nevertheless, as much as I’m digging the take, his RED TORNADO came across as especially humanistic… almost too much. So much so that I think people would assume he’s human if it wasn’t stated prior. Moreover, I wasn’t a huge fan of the POWER GIRL take either. She really didn’t come across as very… powerful. Yet, as much as I wasn’t intrigued by those two character artistic renderings, it still didn’t take me out of the comic AND it fit well within the story as well as the satirical elements involved.
ONE-STAR SQUADRON #1 has a ton of heart, compassion, realism, and loads of subtle humor. Russell shines when focused on the relatable, especially as he slaps you in the face with the mockery. I’m excited to see RED TORNADO in comics again, however, this isn’t the same character you remember nor is POWER GIRL. Nevertheless, readers need to be reminded as to what they’re stepping into before reading this comic. If you’re expecting in-continuity comics involving suspenseful twists and turns, you won’t find it here. Granted, this may be in continuity… Readers will find something more along the lines of Russell’s earlier FLINTSTONES work, which I highly recommend. ONE-STAR SQUADRON #1 packs a great punch, just not the type of punch you’re anticipating. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!