Written by: Chris Claremont
Penciled by: Igor Kordey
Inked by: Greg Adams
Colored by: Liquid!
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Somewhere, on a beach in Hawaii, intrepid comic book critic and international playboy “Starman” Matt Morrison, is spending some time with his latest love interest, when suddenly the call to action comes!
“Starman” Matt Morrison: Yello?
Daron, The Dark Overlord: MINNION!
Starman: Oh. Hey.
Overlord: Don’t “oh hey” me, minion! You have been absent for TWO WEEKS!
Starman: I had the time off approved!
Girl: Honey, who is that? Is it Ben Affleck?
Starman: Umm… sure.
Girl: Oooh, can I talk to him? I have a friend who could really help him get over J-Lo.
Starman: Ummmm…. No. He’s really very private.
Overlord: Minion, who is that? Surely it is not the sick mother you went to visit?
Starman: Umm… no. That’s my… physical trainer. She’s helping me work out some of the stress of mom’s illness.. (covering mouthpiece of phone) Honey, could you go get some more of that scented oil and rub my feet? They’re starting to ache something awful
Girl: Well, okay… but only cause I’m such a big fan of your work, Mr. Smith. (walks off)
Overlord: Mr. Smith? What manner of madness is this?
Starman: She thinks I’m Hugo Weaving… or Kevin Smith, I forget which.
Overlord: Indeed. Why can you not just pay for your wenches like the rest of us?
Starman: Because I believe in a little thing called romance. I’m saving myself for the special girl who will…
Overlord: … let you touch her?
Starman: (sighs) What do you want? Besides the complete and total obliteration of all joy from my life?
Overlord: I want you to review the new X-Treme X-Men book.
Starman: … like I said, what ELSE do you want?
Overlord: It is not THAT bad…
Starman: Has everyone else refused to read it but me?! Is there not one person on the staff who can be persuaded to start reading the core X-Men books on a regular basis but me?!?! Has the bar for quality really sunk that low?
Overlord: Umm… yes, yes and HELL YES.
Starman: Fine! You want to know what happens?
Overlord: Tell me.
Starman: It’s the same old stuff. Claremont Plot #032. Someone gets kidnapped, brainwashed and turned against their friends. While that is going on, everybody else figures out that the person was captured. They spend the rest of the issue arguing over what to do, come to blows, someone cools things down and a reasonable plan is suggested and exposition gets thrown about like a poltergeist in a china shop. Replace “someone” with character name and watch money come in.
Overlord: Isn’t that just a bit cynical and unfair?
Starman: Well, I’ll give Claremont credit in that this is one of the all too few occasions where a guy, Bishop in this case, is the one who gets their clothes ripped off as they are captured and tortured. Although it seems like every issue I’ve read of this has had some kind of suggestive BDSM artwork and master/slave control subtext that just makes me feel all icky.
Overlord: What about the art?
Starman: I really don’t care for it. Kordey is competent, and this issue is not nearly as cheesecake-driven as the last issue I read of this. Still, the style is a lot more cartoonish than feels appropriate to the series. I’d prefer someone with a little darker style.
Overlord: And overall?
Starman: Not as bad as “Storm: The Arena”, but on the whole I’d rather be reading “Dark Reign” over in JSA and Hawkman.
Starman: Yeah. Now can I get back to my therapy?
Overlord: For another week, yes.
Starman: Good! Geez, I’m glad that they’re ending the book in a few months and you’ll never be able to make me read X-Treme X-Men again.
Overlord: This is true. You’ll just have to review the new X-Calibur title instead…
Starman: (long pause) I loathe you with the intensity of a thousand white hot blazing suns, you do know that?