Gladiator and Babysitter (Shatterstar #1 Comic Review)

Shatterstar #1

Writer: Tim Seeley

Artist: Carlos Villa

Inker: Juan Vlasco

Flashback Art: Gerardo Sandoval

Color Artist: Carlos Lopez

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Cover Artist: Yasmine Putri

Variant Cover Artists: Rob Liefeld, Ivan Shavrin, and Skottie Young

Graphic Designer: Carlos Lao

Assistant Editor: Chris Robinson

Editor: Jordan D. White

Gaveedra-7, now Ben Gaveedra, has put his gladiator days on Mojoworld behind him to become the landlord of an apartment building. However he soon finds that the past is not nearly so easy to escape.

In this Issue:

Ben Gaveedra sweeps outside his apartment in College Point, Queens while we learn about his past. We are soon introduced to the tenants to the building, most prominently Karl Snortenthau and Dwayne Taylor. Together, the tenants and Ben are a makeshift family. After the introduction of the final tenant, Tina Cooke, who is enthusiastic for superheroes, it is shown that Ben attends a performance each week of a play. This week, the performance he attends is of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. Ben feels the performances of each play he attends speak to him on an emotional level. Interspersed with the performance is attacks and kidnapping at the apartment building.

My Opinion

Tim Seeley’s narration appears to have disinterest in both Shatterstar as a character and the story as a whole. However, beneath that, this first issue is a quiet meditation of starting over—both emotionally and psychologically— while still retaining that the demons of the past will gnaw at you. Seeley frames Ben Gaveedra as the title character of Shakespeare’s play and the apartment building is meant to be seen as a stand-in for Rome. It is emotionally effective and the story’s turns bring out empathy for Ben.

Carlos Villa’s pencils and Juan Vlasco’s inks are in tune with the emotions of Seeley’s story and nothing feels out of place as a result. The issue reaches its peak when you see a reworking of Aaron’s speech toward the end.


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Danielle Lemos

Danielle Lemos

Shatterstar #1 is an excellently made first issue and it has me hyped for issue #2. It is a neat retooling of a Shakespeare play. Pick it up at your LCS or through Comixology.
  • Positives: The story and the artwork. Tim Seeley provides enough information that the reader need not worry about having to read decades of prior material. The first issue's progression is solid and gripping. I was attached to the very end.
  • Negatives: There is a character who makes an appearance at the final page that I felt the story could do without. Including them shifts the story's stakes in a way that feels quite jarring.

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