Superstar: As Seen on T.V. – Kurt Busiek

Superstar - As Seen on TV This presents the unusual concept of a superhero whose power level is linked to his popularity. A dramatic idea and a sly dig at our culture of media celebrity.

It is a great proposition and well executed but doesn’t quite hit the highs you want it too. It ticks all the boxes but there isn’t the crackle of magic as our hero whines about how tough it is to be popular. The plot unfolds like a 60’s Batman episode with ridiculous villains and giant monsters. Whilst the main Shakespeare quoting robot villain is interesting the trite “freedom” speech the hero delivers after the smackdown is a little sickly. Unless it is all an allegory about the erosion of freedom in Western civilisation but you aren’t sure Busiek is that deep.

The art and colours are lovely. A classic spandex rainbow that epitomises the genre with plenty of dynamic layouts and oversized lettering. There is a lot of history on the page and it combines old school and modern techniques very well.

This is a hardback book but the story is very short. There is a mini-story that introduces the world and character, like you would find free online or as a trailer in another book. There is also a massive sketchbook and history of the project with Busiek recounting the years of difficulties in development. There are also some interesting “pilot” pages allowing you to see how things changed.

Nothing wrong with it but a shame more wasn’t done with the idea. You can see why it never took off. Thumbs Up!

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