Great Pages: STARMAN #4

From Starman (Vol. 2) #4 (1995)

From Starman (Vol. 2) #4 (1995)

In the issues of the second Starman series, readers were introduced to Jack Knight, son of Ted Knight who was the first superhero to go by the name “Starman.” Alongside him were several other characters including the daughter of the villainous Mist, the O’Dare family of cops, and Opal City itself.

Most fictional cities in the DCU are thinly veiled versions of other cities. Metropolis and Gotham are both tweaks on New York. St. Roch is another version of New Orleans. But Opal City has a feel all its own. Created by James Robinson and drawn beautifully by Tony Harris, a great amount of care obviously went into its construction. While it had been a gorgeous setting in Starman‘s first four issues, the city got a spotlight in issue #4. During the course of the two-page spread above, Harris’ work makes it seem as though this was a real city somewhere on America’s east coast. Meanwhile, Robinson’s text boxes are detailing the feel of the city. Libra Avenue, Zulu Boulevard, and Burnley Street are all given texture. This is wonderful world building through setting, something that few other mainstream superhero comics take the time to flesh out.

It’s almost a side note that this two-page spread also contains the first appearance of a new version of Jack Knight’s staff that would go on to be synonymous with both his character and that of Stargirl. There’s a lot going on here but it’s Robinson’s loving text next to Harris’ wonderful skyline that makes this page truly unique.


  1. Robinson has said Opal was a “funkier version of Baltimore.”

  2. I loved Tony Harris on that book and while the other main artist, who I can remember their name, was good Harris was my favorite. I really wished he would have come back after the space arc and I think he would have done a great job on that big story with the Shade and the dwarf.