Contributed by Morgon Nequist
I am a latecomer to comics. Am I allowed to admit that? Well, whether I am or not, I just did.
I grew up on science fiction and fantasy – mostly books, and Star Trek. At an age when many other girls became obsessed with makeup or other more typical girl stuff, I devoured book after book and hour after hour of Star Trek and other sci-fi offerings.
I came by it honestly. Both my parents loved it too. Neither were comics fans. And with no brothers to introduce me to superheroes, I kind of lived in a world that didn’t really acknowledge comic books much. Not that there was anything wrong with it – it just wasn’t my sphere.
So my first introduction to comics is very different, and more adult, than what is probably common. I didn’t stay up hours after my bedtime with a flashlight reading comic books.
But what I did start with was Rising Stars.
I had just finished watching Babylon 5 with my then-fiance. And he casually mentioned that J. Michael Strazynzki had written a comic book. The entire thing was done at that point, and he had all the novels.
Keep in mind I’d never had anything against comics at all, or thought they were silly or immature – I’d really just never even really thought about reading them.
Babylon 5 is amazing, so it couldn’t hurt to try his graphic novel, right?
Rising Stars is narrated by the ever-serious Poet, one of the 113 children given superpowers the night a comet crashed into the earth. It eventually morphs into a bit of a Highlander story – whenever one of the 113 Specials dies, the others experience a power surge. Chaos ensues, and then the story ends the way it began in a beautiful bookend. It’s powerful, bittersweet, and one hell of a read. The story is excellently written, and the art helped express the story in a medium I wasn’t used to anymore. I hadn’t read books with pictures for years. Characters, with twists to the typical superhero powers that I hadn’t thought of, caught my attention and drew me in. The entire story arc and comic left an impression on me. I’m sure it isn’t new necessarily new or revolutionary for old hands in the comic reading world but it was for me. I won’t reveal too much more in case you, dear reader, haven’t had a chance to read this one.
I blew through all three volumes of the final released work in a matter of days, annoyed whenever I had to put them down to deal with real life. And after that, I knew I had to check out more graphic novels and comics. One taste is really about all it took.
From there I moved on first to some of the other more adult works – Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The Long Halloween, and even AU works like Gotham by Gaslight. Now the list is getting too long to type out, even though it hasn’t been that many years since I first sat down with Born In Fire, volume one of Rising Stars.
But the best part of my late entry into this fandom is the massive amounts of amazing backreading I’ve got to delve into.
Morgon Newquist started life by causing an international incident in Central America, and has been marching to the beat of her own drummer ever since. She grew up in the Rocket City – Huntsville, Alabama. After a stint at the University of Georgia to study Latin, she has returned to the place of her upbringing where she wrangles two dogs, a cat, and four children daily.