I don’t read many graphic novels, probably one a year on average, so if I do manage to read the whole thing, that already says a lot.
I read Starling in an hour. I liked the premise of a young woman superhero who is essentially a flawed character. Amy Sturgess grows up with a mother who is a cat hoarder – they have 36. Shunned in school for smelling like cats, she eventually learns to mask it and get along with people. As a young adult, she survives on Xanax and therapy.
Her adolescence was not typical either. She had amazing speed, incredible strength and then noticed she was emitting sparks of electricity from her hands. She quickly learned to hide these attributes until a society of superheroes finds her and helps create her alter ego, Starling. They help her realize that she can fly as well.
She’s given a beeper of sorts that lets her know when a crime is being committed in her assigned area. She’s constantly having to drop everything and take off in pursuit of the bad guys. But she’s no Superman; her idea of justice is tempered with empathy, and instead of taking all the bad guys directly to jail, she occasionally drops them off at rehab instead.
Her personal life is a mess, she’s lonely having the lost the only boyfriend she ever had when she accidentally zapped him with her hands, causing him to think he was hit by lightning and her to think she was better off alone. And her job as a marketing executive is in jeopardy – she tells people at work she has Irritable Bowel Syndrome to cover for her constant disappearances, plus she has to deal with a jealous co-worker who is constantly stabbing her in the back and undermining her work.
The illustrations are good and add to the story, but it’s the story that really pulled me in. This is a fun read and a good bet for fans of Sex and the City and any young women in need of a superhero like themselves.
2/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
STARLING by Sage Stossel. InkLit (December 3, 2013). ISBN 978-0425266311. 208p.
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