After rising from obscurity (in mainstream media, calm down Shatterstar fans) in the form of a bad joke from Deadpool 2, everyone’s favorite Mojoworld gladiator has his own 5 issue mini-series. Will it be any good or will it be like his movie counterpart, (SPOILER WARNING) a bunch of green goop. Let’s find out!
Shatterstar #1 opens up with a recapping of Gaveedra 7, a.k.a. Ben Gaveedra, a.k.a. Shatterstar and how he was a gladiator on Mojoworld, how he rebelled from the reality T.V. despot, his time with the X-Men and X-Force, etc., etc., etc. Now he’s a landlord in Queens. Okay, it’s a little more interesting than that. He’s a landlord for outcasts of alternate futures and parallel dimensions, with tenants like Pug-Smasher, (a pug version of Flag-Smasher), an alternate elderly Night Thrasher, and a girl who’s seemingly from our earth, among others. As a part of his new life as a more human individual, every week he goes out and watches a play, something he finds very enticing as he feels the characters are speaking directly to him.
As Shatterstar enjoys a high school rendition of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, we find his tenants are attacked by interdimensional gladiators kidnapping them all except the elderly Night Thrasher. Thrasher seemed to be the only one who was able to take out his assailant but sadly didn’t fully survive the fight, only having enough life left to pass on some sage advice. Lucky for Ben, he installed security cameras to see who the attackers were. It turns out they’re a group of Mojoworld mercenaries known as The Death Sponsors, who are led by the Gringrave, a.k.a.the Smiling Executioner. She was the enemy / partner of Shatterstar back when he was fighting in the arenas. Shatterstar decides to take matters into his own hands, buries Night Thrasher, and suits up to kick ass and get back his tenants. As he does so, we see that tiny cameras are capturing these moments, revealing that this has been part of a plan to get him back to Mojoworld and increase ratings. This issue doesn’t end by showing us Mojo somewhere in his crab legs laughing maniacally however. Instead it ends with the reveal that it is actually the Grandmaster who is behind this plot.
Shatterstar #1 was a great issue and a spectacular start for this mini-series. Tim Seeley does a fantastic job writing the character and creating this new life that Ben has found himself living in. It’s the little touches I appreciate; Pug-Smasher, Shatterstar’s demeanor and interaction with his tenants, having Rictor show up for a moment. I also like the small comedic moments this book has. Seeley handles these moments with ease and it shows. Having the Grandmaster as the villain is a cool twist, as he has a lot of similarities with Mojo, but unlike Mojo he seems to have different motives regarding Shatterstar. Carlos Villa does an amazing job on art, capturing a really great comic book style for the main portion of the comic. Gerardo Sandoval does a stellar job with the flashback art that portrays a weirder style that fits the image of Mojo world. Shatterstar is a really cool comic and an interesting start for the character’s return to the Marvel Universe. I can’t wait for the next issue!
Verdict: 8/10 Mojoworld Gladiators