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Firestar #4 (1986, June)

July 27, 2015

So I’ll probably be seeing Ant-Man tomorrow. But for today, by DeFalco and Wilshire, “Now Strikes the Assassin!”

Now Strikes the Assassin!

They should’ve gone with red for the background, but Firestar herself looks really cool here.

The issue opens with an assassination attempt on Emma. She throws herself and Angel to the floor just before bullets fly through the window. When guards bust in, Emma says the assassin was working for the Black Queen. Once Chase takes Angel away, Emma yells at her guard because they guy he hired cut her forehead with a shard of glass. Chase is suspicious, wondering how anyone could’ve sneaked onto the Academy grounds.

Angel talks about how much Emma’s come to mean to her over the past three years. She decides she has to use her power to help Emma, and that she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure the Black Queen doesn’t hurt her. Emma expresses to Shaw some disappointment that, after all the time and effort that went into training Angel, they’re not likely to get any more use out of her after the suicide mission assassination of Selene. Shaw does reflect that Emma seems to almost feel something for Angel.

Two weeks later, Firestar, in costume with a mask, is doing some more training. Emma throws her off by entering the training room. She does praise Angel’s efforts, and invites her to attend a ball in Manhattan. Chase gets suspicious again. So a few nights later, he starts drinking with a guy from operations, to try to learn what Emma’s planning. He can’t decide what he should do about what he’s learned, but it’s taken out of his hands when Emma has him beaten and tied up.

The next day, Emma tells Angel that Chase was killed by the Black Queen. She also adds that the Black Queen will be at the ball, and that maybe Angel shouldn’t go. But Angel insists. A few more days later, Chase, who’s been held in a little shed, breaks free. He gets shot in the process, but stumbles towards the Academy. Angel gives her dad a quick call to say she still loves him, and when she gets back to her room, Chase tells her the White Queen is going to use her as an assassin, and that she was the one who killed Angel’s horse. Then he dies.

Emma finds out that Chase escaped, and also that he reached Angel’s room. She heads down to her underground complex to search for Angel, but Firestar is already there. She attacks Emma, beats up some guards, and follows Emma into the training room. Firestar shows what a powerhouse she is, and Emma tries to convince her she needs Emma’s help to control her power. She tells Emma to leave her alone, and then destroys the complex.

Angel returns home, to talk to her dad about what happened. Happy ending!

An OK finale to an OK series. Firestar letting loose was cool to see. Neither the writing nor the art are very exceptional. I don’t like the way Angel, in this issue, sounds pretty much identical to how she sounded in the beginning. It’s been three years, her voice should be a little different. She’s also drawn pretty much the same. The only way we know any time has passed is because we’re specifically told that time has passed.

Even more disappointing, though, is that this mini didn’t really lead to anything. It seems like it should’ve led to Firestar becoming part of an ongoing book. But nope. She doesn’t show up again until the New Warriors. (Speaking of which: I’ve been reading that series, and it’s awesome. I’d highly recommend it.) So, after this mini, she went completely into limbo for three years, until a Thor two-parter at the end of 1989 that introduced the New Warriors a few months before their book launched. No appearances, no mention, nothing. Like everyone in the X-office at the time just completely forgot she existed. This mini even ends with Shaw telling Emma they should just forget about her, I guess to justify the fact that Claremont doesn’t have the Hellfire Club going after her.

All in all, the mini isn’t bad, but it’s also nothing special. It gives an origin to a character with potential, but it took a few more years for anyone to start exploring that potential.

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4 Comments
  1. Which New Warriors is this that’s good…?

    • The original New Warriors series from the ’90s, by Fabian Nicieza. A lot of really good stories, and great character work. And for the first couple years, the artist was Mark Bagley, so the book looked great, too.

      • I’ve read some of that I think, but skipped over some stuff looking for Silhouette. I was sorely underimpressed, but might have to give it another go. 🙂

  2. Firestar deserves a better mini-series than this, although it could have been much worse.

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