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Dreadstar December — Dreadstar #26

Some people gonna die!

Dreadstar #26 (“The Execution!”) by Jim Starlin is the book’s final issue published by Epic Comics. In his recent The Art of Jim Starlin book, Starlin said it had to do with constant late payments that he chalked up to pissing off someone in accounting. His relationship with editorial was apparently strong, but the other stuff took its toll and he didn’t want to deal with it anymore. So, what could he do in his final issue for Epic but end on a giant cliffhanger? Because that’s how you leave a company!

Dreadstar and Company are set to be blown up on intergalatic television on an abandoned planet. It’s an interesting form of execution. As it goes down, the crew keep looking to Dreadstar for the moment to make the big escape. Meanwhile, Mezlo continues his mischief by piloting the Omega Vessel into the atmosphere of the planet and the bad guys begin to suspect that maybe Mezlo isn’t with them anymore. Good bet, because when they move to detonate the bomb… it blows up the Destroyer! The bomb was a fake! Everyone is saved — by Mezlo! What happens isn’t as important as how Starlin builds to that moment. Mezlo acting like a crazy person all while being all “The ship is malfunctioning! It’s experimental! This is why we test things!” The tension builds partly depending on how much you trust Dreadstar. If you still have faith in him, it’s not as bad as if you’ve come to the conclusion that he is a poor choice of leader. Skeevo seems ready to kill him, before he tries to kill Mezlo.

There’s also an element of how much do you trust Starlin? Is it within the possibility that he’d just kill everyone off in his final issue for Epic? Do you think him capable of that sort of act? I do… I’m glad he didn’t do it, though. Instead, he opts for something almost more shocking with a final page reveal of why Dreadstar was willing to trust Mezlo.

Mezlo was Oedi.

Tomorrow: say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?


And the traitor’s finally revealed … in the very first issue of Dreadstar published by First Comics the next month.

I remember the whys and the hows of Dreadstar/Starlin leaving Marvel. This was an unprecented move back in the ’80’s. Keeping in mind that the Marvel exodus of top-notch artists into Image didn’t happen for another 5 to 6 years. Starlin left Marvel with Dreadstar in 1986, and the Marvel exodus into Image was in 1992/3.

After moving Dreadstar to First Comics, Starlin did one more graphic novel for Marvel : The Thing/Hulk in 1987, and returned to Marvel again in 1990 for his Silver Surfer run (which led to the Infinity Gauntlet triology)

Did Starlin say why he returned to Marvel after that 4 year-gap in his art book?

i remember the shock when it turned out that Mezlo was really Oedi for i thought given all the twists and turns Starlin did with the book he was going to wind up killing off every one only to have a last minute save by meslo. as for Starlin making this his last issue at marvel and taking it to first. even legends like Starlin can only take so much crap before enough is enough. though surprised Starlin returned to marvel at all.

Tom, I don’t recall him mentioning anything… might have been as simple as a few years passing and them asking.

There is an interview with Starlin in Forbidden Heroes #98 that addresses his reasons for changing publishers between #26 and #27. In fact, it was recommended for that very reason in early First issues.

There was a hint dropped in a previous issue with Oedi showing Vanth a suitcase (but the reader not being able to see inside it, a la “Pulp Fiction”)

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