REVIEW: Star-Lord #5 – “The End of Bar-Lord?”

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Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciller: Kris Anka
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 03/29/17

Plot: Star-Lord teams up with his geriatric friend Edmund Allen, the former Silver Bandit, to save Edmund’s son Greg from the Black Cat. Black Cat wants the duo to pull a heist for her, but to do so Star-Lord may need a little help from his friends.

Story: This issue lets the reader know that the current story arc is coming to a close. One sign is the way Chip Zdarsky utilizes Peter Quill’s supporting cast and other heroes that appeared such as Daredevil and Old Man Logan. While Star-Lord keeps his focus on the Black Cat, everyone else helps with the side quests such as saving Greg.

Another positive thing about this issue is Zdarsky’s writing. Zdarsky keeps the story’s tone light-hearted and fun most of the time, which suits Star-Lord’s character. The tone immediately shifts when the issue ends but Zdarsky transitions it smoothly. Also the dialogue is very natural and fresh for most of the characters. Star-Lord’s reply to Black Cat when she calls him just a bartender is just the thing I would expect Chris Pratt to say.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the use of Black Cat. It’s been entertaining seeing Black Cat as a crime lord, and it makes sense for Peter to fight a more street-level foe during his pit stop on Earth. However these two characters are from two different Marvel franchises, so their rooftop confrontation provides no real tension.

Art: This issue is filled with non-stop action and the slanted grid layouts suit these scenes. These layout styles help speed up the pacing in the fight scenes which make the reader fell like they’re watching an action movie. Also Matthew Wilson makes brilliant color choices. Each of the characters appears bright and vibrant which helps keep the reader’s focus on them. Plus Wilson nails the lighting in each scene. My favorite example is how he matched the right light for a sunset in the issue’s opening scene.

Verdict: Even though this issue felt predictable, the creative team managed to keep Peter Quill’s story fun and vibrant. While I didn’t fully enjoy Black Cat as Star-Lord’s antagonist, this did get me a little hyped for Chip Zdarsky’s Spectacular Spider-Man title coming out this summer. Overall, Star-Lord #5 is an average penultimate issue for Peter Quill’s Grounded arc.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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