Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Todd Nauck, Matt Herms, and Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: February 28th, 2023
Courtney and the missing sidekicks are on a mission to bust out their friends from the Childminder’s stronghold, but a plan is hard to come by. Have no fear, Hypertime’s greatest protector is here to lend a hand: Corky Baxter, Time Master! Meanwhile, Emiko learns the secret history of Judy Garrick, the lost daughter of Jay and Joan Garrick! Let’s dive in and see what Geoff Johns has in store in this week’s Stargirl: The Lost Children #4.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 Review.
DC CONTINUITY EXPLAINED
In Stargirl: The Lost Children #4, Geoff Johns makes a noble attempt to explain the events that transpired since Flashpoint and swoops through to the recent events of Flashpoint: Beyond… and more! Ultimately, if I’m understanding it correctly, when Barry tried to save his mother, he changed time itself. However, when he began to put things back together, Dr. Manhattan stole 5 years from the timeline giving fans the New 52 as well as Doomsday Clock.
Meanwhile, when Flashpoint was happening, the Time Masters were stuck inside of the time stream and got “displaced” outside of continuity in a place called the Divine Continuum (DC). However, Batman found a way into the Time Masters lab, and stole a snow globe with the ability to recreate/ restore a timeline. And anyone who read Flashpoint: Beyond saw that new timeline play out. So, that gets us up to steam with events since Flashpoint, why aspects of the New 52 occurred, who stole what, and how the Flashpoint Universe gets to stay along with the current continuity at the same time.
Truthfully, I spent the time to hash this aspect of Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 out because this is Johns attempt to salvage and save the past decade and a half of DC Comics. Readers, it’s a big, nasty swing he took. And it makes… some sense for sure. Plus, you have to give the man props for even trying to make these puzzle pieces all fit together. However, for as commendable as it was, there were still a ton of head-scratching moments that would make any fan under the age of 30 confused as all $&@$.
Nevertheless, it’s the Stargirl: The Lost Children’s plot that actually becomes the most confusing. Johns may have spent most of his time trying to repair the past and fudged a bit of the current story in the process. How these children got displaced through time and why was still a bit of a stretch and confusing. But, if Stargirl: The Lost Children #4’s disjointed plot brings harmony to the entire DC Universe, I think this issue can take that for the team. The big picture and all! Instead, it just makes the comic difficult to review. If I grade Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 on its overall importance and significance to DC Comics, it’s huge! It’s well thought out, well crafted, and does some serious repairs to continuity. However, if I’m supposed to grade it on THIS plot, it’s missing a few things with one of them being… understanding. How were these children forgotten? How were they attacked and sent into the time stream? This last question is a bit more clear, however, a ton of questions need to be answered and are glossed over… for now. So, from that respect, Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 misses the mark a bit.
On a more positive note, Johns introduces this creepy Mother Goose connection that was different and unique, to say the least. But in a good way. She adds the perfect amount of skin-crawling terror that compliments the story well. Nevertheless, it’s the surprising “villain” that Johns throws out to readers as Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 comes to an end that truly reignites this reviewer. The biggest questions of all are… who is it and which version is it?
SPOILERS AHEAD IN THIS SECTION
Look, I’m not one to spoil an issue. However, this one is hard to talk about without diving a bit deeper into some of the reveals, which are rather big this week. You see, this “villain” just so happens to be Rex Tyler. Or is Rick Tyler? Or is it Matthew Tyler? Personally, it would make the most sense to me if it was Matthew Tyler, especially if Childminder was using Jay Garrick’s daughter to somehow power the Worlogog. Now, for those unaware, the Worlogog can manipulate time itself causing this Hourman to walk through time with ease. So, my first guess would be Matthew Tyler. However, why would he be a villain? This doesn’t make any sense. But, here is a far-out theory of mine that just may end up being true before it’s all said and done.
What if this isn’t any version of Hourman at all? What if it’s Hank Hall? Or at least the version of Hank Hall that became Extant posing as Hourman? I bring this up because it was this version of Hank Hall who became Monarch/ Extant that was last seen tangling with Matthew Tyler over the Worlogog. Extant somehow teleported and switched spots in time with Atom-Smasher’s mother (I believe) who died in a plane crash. Now, it was Extant that died in that planet crash instead.
Nevertheless, this could be Johns also attempting to tie together events dating back to Zero Hour and as far-reaching as Crisis on Infinite Earths as well. And with the knowledge that anyone big who’s done anything bad was basically guided by the Great Darkness, this very premise could encompass the most recent events of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. Again, it’s huge leaps and bonds here. But it’s fascinating to think about nonetheless. Plus, with Hank Hall being a master manipulator, time traveler, supervillain, and basically out of continuity for quite some time just like these kids, it seems to make sense to put these pieces together. The why and how are still unclear, however, the speculation is real and exciting!
Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 is bold. What Johns appears to be doing is valiant, to say the least. Moreover, to be doing it in a Stargirl title is also wildly impressive. I genuinely don’t think the average fan knows just how important this series is, which is what makes Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 so well done and under the radar. Fans, I think we are witnessing a writer secretly trying to repair the nonsense that has been DC Continuity and his doing it right under all of our noses. Heck, it’s the same premise that happened with Flashpoint: Beyond. People were so focused on Dark Crisis which was the so-called “event” at the time. Yet, I continued to tell readers that the true event was Flashpoint: Beyond the entire time. And look at where we are now.
What did Dark Crisis really solve? Nothing. It didn’t put the jigsaw pieces of DC Continuity together. It just said that all of these “crises” are always a result of “the Great Darkness” which solves nothing other than tells fans that this mysterious entity drives people so mad that they’re willing to destroy multiverses themselves. Nevertheless, Dark Crisis never healed any of these continuity issues or molded any of these stories together. And Johns, being one of the strongest writers DC Comics has ever had, appears to be attempting to strategically put things back in order using the likes of Stargirl: The Lost Children and Justice Society of America to do just that.
Bold. Intrepid. Revolutionary. These words best describe what Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 is attempting to do with Johns at the helm. Furthermore, I’m a strong believer that the perfect judge of a comic is whether or not you leave the issue speculating and contemplating what’s next. It’s the water cooler talk after a great episode on TV. If discussion arises, it’s upper echelon material. And readers, Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 is just that! Sure, some of these newer elements were still a bit confusing. The how and why behind Childminder are examples of that. Nevertheless, the explanation of those details could be taking a backseat for the moment to focus on other areas I mentioned above. It doesn’t mean those answers will never arrive. Readers, Stargirl: The Lost Children #4 is a must-buy for the sheer boldness and discussion alone. Heck, the entire series is a must-buy. And if you’re sleeping on this series because its focus is on Stargirl, you’re really missing out! Get in on it now!