Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Darkstars #30 (April, 1995)

Darkstar Donna Troy and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner took in a picnic on Mars to help distract her from family troubles, and received plenty through a fight with Kalibak in a previous story. "It helped me forget that Terry's taking me to court over custody of our son... And that if I make the wrong move, I could lose him." A new pass time arrived through a flying tackle by the Manhunter from Mars, who had been contacted by his Justice League colleague Wonder Woman after she spotted something landing on his home planet while on monitor duty. "Concerned that someone was desecrating Mars, I came here to investigate... and found two costumed heroes frolicking on the graves of a venerable old race."

Once the dust settled, J'Onzz told the duo, "Believe me... I have no great desire to be here. My memories of this place are anything but joyful." Perhaps that's why he was so irritable on this adventure, which led the three heroes to track down the uninvited spaceship that first caught the Amazing Amazon's attention. It belonged to "The Syndicate," an interstellar criminal operation often at odds with the Darkstars. "...They've razed an entire quadrant of my people's dwellings... Clumsy fools. Don't they know what they're destroying? This is all I have left! All my people ever wanted was peace... and it eludes them... even in death."

The Manhunter launched into the hoods, but was repelled shortly thereafter by an energy cannon. Donna chided, "Damn it, J'Onn-- I never thought I'd be the one telling you to chill out. These syndicate-types aren't your garden-variety space goons. They pack a punch." Under Darkstar Troy's leadership, the group brought the Syndicate's operation down.

Martian Manhunter departed after a flippant remark from Kyle with a curt, "My method of relaxation is my own business-- just as this Syndicate installation is yours. All I ask is that you remove them as quickly as you can. I don't relish the idea of coming back here." As for Darkstar Donna Troy, "J'Onn's not half-bad once you get to know him. Remember, this was his planet once--before his people were wiped out. I think he feels the weight of all those ghosts."

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Donna returned to Earth to find that the deputies that she had inherited from Darkstar Colos were set to leave her company, one through promotion and transfer, the other resignation. Mo told Troy, "You turned out to be a better boss than either of us could have hoped for," while Carla added, "And you were filling some pretty big shoes." Donna decided to relocate the Darkstar's headquarters from Dallas to New Jersey, where the Titans operated. Her assistant Annie agreed to move, though she must have felt compelled to lie about "getting tired of Tex-Mex anyway." No one ever gets tired of Tex-Mex. It's why we're so fat.

Filed under "no respect," the Mike Deodato cover for this issue not only featured Kyle more prominently than Donna, but included a sizable "Green Lantern" logo. Even though J'Onn enters the story via a two page spread beginning on the second page, there's nothing so much as referencing his appearances on that same cover. Scripter Michael Jan Friedman showed an excess love for hyphens that transcends even my own, with pencils by Mike Collins and inks from Ken Branch.