A Bold New Direction for STAR BRAND and MARVEL's NEW UNIVERSE!
Review for Star Brand 11-A

Comic Book by Marvel, Jan 01 1988
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April 02, 2015

A Bold New Direction for STAR BRAND and MARVEL's NEW UNIVERSE!

JOHN BYRNE and TOM PALMER take the reigns on one of Marvel's NEW UNIVERSE flagship titles, STAR BRAND with this issue.

(Also, please note that the series' title now changes to THE STAR BRAND in order to focus on the power of the Brand, not necessarily the man who wields it.)

After bearing the power of THE STAR BRAND for almost a year, Ken Connell is no closer to coming to terms with this amazing power, OR what he should do with it. His girlfriend DUCK believes that he should be a superhero and in order to look the part, reveals a costume she has created for Ken to wear to protect his identity.

Brooding, Ken flies to talk to his psycho-analyst friend Myron, but instead of a pep talk, Myron informs him that he is a whiner and he's tired of listening to him complain about having such awesome power and his confusion as to what to do with it. After discussing how Ken came to own THE STAR BRAND, Myron tells him that Ken's own to desire to feel superior to those around him has held him back from doing any real good with the power, leaving Ken with a lot to consider...including the suggestion that he should become a superhero.

Ken dons the costume and stops a plane hijacking, but is less than happy with the lackluster impression the media has made of him, thinking he is a fraud.

In order to show a true display of power, Ken flies to the moon, and takes the landing module of APOLLO 11 back to Earth...leaving it on the lawn of the White House.

Meanwhile, Duck goes to the doctor and finds out she is 10 weeks pregnant with Ken Connell's baby.

This issue is a huge departure from the STAR BRAND storyline set up by MARVEL and VALIANT superstar JIM SHOOTER. Byrne tries to take some of the plot points Shooter began and wind them up...clearly taking the series into a different direction which will lead to the destruction of Pittsburgh and define both THE STAR BRAND and the NEW UNIVERSE imprint until it's finale a year later.

This series has always been a guilty pleasure read of mine since I was a kid because Ken Connell really is a man who doesn't deserve to wield such power as contained in the Brand. It's really only by luck that he obtains it and fumbles through the first half of the series figuring out what he's going to do with it. Ken's personal life is just as indecisive, spending nights in his girlfriend Barbara's bed one night and his "friend with benefits", Duck's the next. But that's what makes the story intriguing for me. Perhaps this is a terribly written comic book for the 80's or a comic book way ahead of its' time in terms of personal relationships and what it means to not just be a hero, but a good person as well.

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