Like Darth Vader #16, this issue picks up on threads left over from “Vader Down”, helping make that crossover feel more like a part of the overall narrative and not just a one-off stunt. It also features Sana Starros, the character introduced as Han’s wife in the series’ second story arc, which also helps add to the impression that these issues are part of a larger whole, and not just a series of self-contained stories.
College is a tough time This rings true for all of the students transitioning to a new point in their lives. While some have to deal with creating the perfect class schedule, others have to deal with three cosmically enhanced supervillains that are threatening both SHIELD missions and your average college campus. It’s no big deal for Starbrand and Nightmask although, in this issue, things get more dangerous, and the stakes are raised significantly.
Starbrand and Nightmask #2 fits the niche of being a slice-of-life comic with superhero undertones to great effect. Lowering two of the strongest Marvel Heroes to such a relatable level is an achievement, and let’s hope the good times can continue for Kevin and Adam.
Being at a college is a stepping stone for Kevin, and while his power isn’t downplayed by any means because of the more grounded threat it’s nice to see both himself and Adam combat each new situation differently. (Fun fact: They’re in dorms that are co-ed!) We see the supporting cast begin to take shape and it definitely holds to the statement you’ll meet all types of people in college. You can feel the type of stories the entire team can tell with both cosmic and realistic threats. Starbrand and Nightmask can hold its own as its own thing, but even with the guest stars you can feel the strings of connections to the wider Marvel Universe. It’ll be interesting going forward to see how the two heroes can combat both classes and villains all over campus in this new series.