I know that I already reviewed issue #30 last year, but seeing that I’m doing the entire run of Starslayer, and the story is a continuing arc, I want to include it here, especially since that issue is the second of a two-parter and this means I finally got the other half of the story.
These three issues mark Hilary Barta’s final ones on the book and returns us to some of the central plots that were set up a while back after the destruction of the sun and the solar system. Morrigan lives and is raising an army of the dead, which she thinks will be led by her Avatar, Torin. Meanwhile, the forces of life have chosen a man named Cormac to be their avatar, and in issue #28, the two of them square off on Cynosure, much to the horror of the crew of the Jolly Roger, who will eventually reject Torin out of fear (but not for a few issues). That’s because when Torin accepts his role as the avatar of death, he turns into a giant purple monster who really doesn’t care who he hurts or kills.
Meanwhile, Contessa D’Orsini has returned and is after Tamara, and we finally not only get some more spotlight on her, but we get her origin. She was a prostitute who was kept in regular employ by Sisemund D’Orsini and when he left her, she gave him a going-away present in the form of a box. When he opened the box on a space flight, it exploded, killing him and everyone on board. This makes her one of the two “monsters” in the two-parter that comprises issues #29 and #30 and is the final confrontation between the mobsters and our heroes, as D’Orsini hacks into the computers on the Jolly Roger to take control of the ship and it’s only when Sam sacrifices himself to merge within the ship’s computer that they’re able to break free.
It’s a good resolution to a number of long-dangling plot threads, and doesn’t make the book feel as listless as it had in recent issues. Barta’s pencils were not as strong as Truman’s once Truman stopped doing layouts, but the art was dynamic and he still took advantage of the outer space setting to give us some weird-looking creatures and crew members. I’m not how much of Tamara’s back story as a prostitute whom, as we find out on the final pages of issue #30, was the daughter of a prostitute, lines up with the continuity that Mike Grell established at the start of the series, and I don’t know if that took place on Cynosure or Earth, but it makes for a good motivation and like I said, I’m glad they did something with her character.
From here, though, we only have four issues and the first one will seem like a bit of a “reset”. That’ll be my next, and last, review.