Do you hear that? That isn’t the hoof beats of eight tiny reindeer. That is the call to action for a Holiday edition of the Super-Blog Team Up. That time when writers across the internet come together to discuss and celebrate pop culture.
For this go around since it ‘Tis the Season – I will not only be talking about my second favorite Holiday. But a comic series near and dear to me as well.
No, not that Starman by the late and great David Bowie. I’m referring to the character co-created by the talented James Robinson. Although I am willing to bet he is a fan of Bowie as well.
For my entry in the Super-Blog Holiday Team Up I will be choosing a special Holiday themed story from the 81 issue run of Starman. Issue 27 of the series to be precise, entitled Christmas Knight.
Before I get into the details of Christmas Knight let me tell you a little about Starman. Originally making his appearance in September of 1994 in Zero Hour #1, Jack Knight, is in fact the youngest son of DC Comics’ Golden Age character.
James Robinson took a different approach to Jack Knight as a hero. For one thing he didn’t want to be one. Furthermore he took the mantle from his Father, Ted Knight, only after his older brother was murdered.
So guilt more than a sense of duty is why Jack took up the cosmic staff. As is also plainly evident from the panel below, Jack didn’t go for tights. Choosing something a little more casual…not to mention cool.
Here is another thing that Robinson did that made me a fan from issue one. He too loved the Golden Age of DC Comics. The writer didn’t make fun of the heroes of DC’s past like the Red Bee or Fair Play or even the original Red Tornado.
He embraced them. He masterfully helped cement the legacy of DC’s comic book past. Over and over again. He also gave Jack an interesting obsession. Not just a fan of things past but an avid collector of retro items. This new Starman is just as interested as protecting the citizens of his home town of Opal as he is tracking down some vintage View-Master reels or some original 1950’s Pyrex dishes.
As an author for The Retroist I think you can see why I was drawn to this comic series back in the day. Robinson and co-creator and original artist Tony Harris made Jack Knight incredibly human.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the character, let’s talk about Christmas Knight itself.
Don’t let that cover of this issue up above fool you. Despite it tugging at your heartstrings it is most certainly a Holiday tale of redemption and happy endings. Jack Knight is running late to a dinner he has been invited to by the O’Dares. A law enforcement family that have strong ties to the Knights and Opal City. Flying through the night sky he notices a man in a Santa Claus suit crying and lands to check on him.
Starman agrees to help the man find his missing locket. The two end up searching the city and Jack doesn’t bust heads to get the information he needs. He realizes the plight of these homeless citizens. Instead he gives money for the info the two need and also helping the poor souls they meet in the process.
Having said that there comes a point when action is needed. Dispatching the two thugs, Jack finds a situation where he is powerless. The clerk of the pawn shop has suffered an heart attack. Jack doesn’t know C.P.R. but thankfully Santa does.
While Jack and as we learn, Pete, part ways. Starman is left feeling like there is something more he can do for this man. This homeless vet who has no Family or friends to take comfort with.
I know you can see where this is going but in the very spirit of the season, Jack invites Pete to come with him.
What more could you wish for in a Holiday themed story? Both Jack and Pete have earned their just rewards. The warmth of friends and family. They have in fact helped others have a better night and Holiday. We leave the two with laughter and good cheer instead of sorrow.
In all honesty I have left quite a bit out of the telling of Christmas Knight. As I hope you will actually pick up the issue, moreover take the time to read the entire series. It is a shining point for DC Comics in the 90’s and is available right this second over at Comixology.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little of why I love Christmas Knight so much. But remember that there are other Super-Blog Team Up posts:
Between The Pages – The Ghost of Supergirl Past
The Superhero Satellite
The Crapbox of Son of Cthulhu – Impact Winter Special #1
Chris Is On Infinite Earths – Christmas with the Super Heroes #1
DC in the 80s
The Unspoken Decade
Coffee and Comics Blog
The Daily Rios