Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Star Power - TBP Vol 2 - Star Power and the Search for Black Hole Bill

Last year at DragonCon, I picked up the first volume in the Star Power graphic novel series.  This year at DragonCon, the creators were back and they had volume two of this series out.  Since I enjoyed the first volume so much, it didn't take much arm-twisting for me to pick up this second book.

The Search for Black Hole Bill picks up shortly after the end of the first volume.  Our heroine, Danica Maris (a/k/a Star Power) is unable to call upon the star power any more.  Her friends - Grex, Kaylo, and Shi Lalis - remain by her said, determined to help her figure out how to reboot her star power.  But all hell breaks loose when the space station's prisoner, Black Hole Bill, escapes during a transport to a prison, and the two escorts are gravely injured - one of them being Grex!  Danica finally makes contact with "Mitch" (her name for the star power) and finds the only way to reboot her power is to remain in close proximity to a star for a one-month period.  They find what they feel to be a relatively quiet, backwood star system where they won't be bothered for her recoup period - but unbeknownst to them, Black Hole Bill has teamed up with the vigilante Supernova Dragon Lords, and they are headed to the very same system.  Throw in a void angel bent on revenge and you've got the makings of another big battle brewing!

While the first book was pretty much action from the get-go and non-stop throughout the entire story, Terracciano (author) and Graham (artist) set a different pace in this book. We get to see a lot more character interaction and development as we learn not only more about Danica and her past, but also about the lives of Grex, Kaylo, and Shi Lalis.  Heck, when Grex is attacked and left for dead in the first chapter, I admit to feeling a bit shocked and angry, thinking, "How could they kill her off like that?"  And, as soon as I thought it, I realized how much Terracciano had made me feel for the character that I would even get angry at the thought of her being dead.  That is truly the mark of a great writer (and artist), when he or she can make you feel so passionate about a character that you are reading.

This is not to say there is no action in the book.  Sure, we get the contemplative moments when Danica is recharging near the star and during the times she is trying to communicate with Mitch to reactivate the star power; but, we also get the moments when she and her friends are facing off against Black Hole Bill and the Supernova Dragon Lords.  In fact, the final battle of this book is quite fast-past and action-packed, and it even has its humorous moments with Grex's attempts at revenge on Black Hole Bill for having killed her compatriot.  And Danica learns something surprising (and fortuitous) during the battle that will likely have an impact on future stories.

All-in-all, a very satisfying read, one that will definitely have me coming back for more. Here's hoping they have volume three ready by next DragonCon!

RATING:  10 renzalon junior telescopes out of 10 for breathing more life into these characters and driving them forward, even though the craziness of Black Hole Bill.

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