|Comic hardcover, n.pag.|
Published 2009 (contents: 1996-97)
Acquired March 2009
Read October 2013
Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Tony Harris
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Additional Artists: Craig Hamilton & Ray Snyder, John Watkiss, Steve Yeowell, Matt Smith, J. H. Williams III & Mick Gray, Bret Blevins, Guy Davis, Wade von Grawbadger, Chris Sprouse, Gary Erskine
Additional Colorists: Kevin Somers, Pat Garrahy, Melissa Edwards, Debbie McKeever, Trish Mulvihill, Dave Hornung
Additional Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
This book collects a couple storylines of Starman; the first big one is "Sand and Stars," which see Jack Knight traveling to New York City to check in on Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont for a case he's working on. As someone who loved Sandman Mystery Theatre, I really appreciated this storyline-- it's awesome seeing Wes and Dian sixty years on, older but still recognizably themselves. The story even ends with Wes and Dian heading off on a final globetrotting journey, which will lead into their final appearances in Sleep of Reason and Justice Be Done. The plot here is kinda so-so, but who cares? I especially liked the fact that Jack primarily geeks out over Dian, not Wesley. Nice to see that she got that writing career off the ground!
It is a little weird to see a story that very much uses the Sandman Mystery Theatre version of the Sandman but also acknowledges the Sandman's participation in the Justice Society, something very much against the tone and feel of SMT itself. What's really awesome, though, is a flashback drawn by Guy Davis, the main and best of the SMT artists-- it really adds to the whole feel of the story as authentically rooted in the other series (which takes place way in the past, but was then-ongoing, I believe).
From there, we segue into "Hell and Back," where Jack and the O'Dares must figure out how to activate a poster that's a portal into hell, inside which the Shade and and one of the O'Dares has been trapped. It's a good story, with nice insights into our characters, but I really loved Tony Harris's decorative borders for the pages. I don't know what it adds, specifically, but it really adds something.
My favorite story in this volume, though, is definitely "Christmas Knight," a simply, sappy, Christmas story, where as characters roll into the O'Dare house for Christmas, Jack helps a mall Santa Claus get his life back together. Yes, I did get a little misty-eyed. Christmas is awesome, and so are superheroes.