Rana Faraaz discovers she can stop time, a power that she believes is somehow related to the disappearance of the constellations. But how will she deal with discovering others who have powers as well? Find out in Starsigns #2 from Image Comics!
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Megan Levens
Colorists: Kelly Fitzpatrick and Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Heather Antos
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 7, 2023
Previously in Starsigns: Mister Duke goes to northern Canada with a young woman named Tatiana to watch the stars die…and for her to change! We learn that the signs of the zodiac disappeared from the skies. Sometime later, a young woman named Rana Faraaz thinks about this and wonders why she dreams of the stars at night. Rana operates a catering business, and she soon learns that she now has the ability to stop time. At first, this seems too far-fetched to believe, but she tries it later on with her roommate and it works again. Then a young woman crashes through the door into their apartment.
AN UNEXPECTED CONFLICT
Starsigns #2 opens with Tatiana standing over Tyler’s unconscious body. She knows Rana by name and introduces herself as Leo. She also states that Rana dreamed about her coming here. Rana’s first reaction is to threaten to call the police, if only she could find her phone. Leo apologizes for breaking the door. She calls Rana Taurus and claims they are both touched by the stars. If Rana wants answers, she should come with Leo.
Instead, Rana finds her phone. Leo attacks her, and Rana’s powers activate and stop time. She grabs her purse, slips on her shoes, apologizes to the unconscious Tyler, and runs. Time returns for Leo, and she leaps through the window down to the sidewalk below. She grabs Rana, and a man from the F.B.I. calls her Tatiana and orders her to let Rana go. She makes a quick call to Mister Duke who orders her to flee, and she does.
The man from the F.B.I. checks on Rana, then he changes from a white agent into a Black man in a three-piece suit. He introduces himself as Gemini – and addresses Rana as Taurus. Rana is in shock. Gemini says he won’t stop her from running, but if she wants answers, she might want to stay with him. His real name is Clarence Cleary. Leo also tried coming after him.
They go to a diner to talk. Gemini’s power is shapeshifting; Clarence is an actor by profession (and I love that as a combo!) He knows that Leo’s name is Tatiana and that she reports to Mister Duke. He followed her to see if she was going after someone else. He has a strong belief in helping people and in doing the right thing. They figure out that this is probably related to the disappearance of the constellations, and guess that there are probably still more people like them out there. They also realize that they have some ability to feel each other’s existence.
The scene shifts to New Jersey where immigration officials talk to a woman named Silvia. Her husband, a journalist in Guatemala, was murdered and she now lives in New Jersey with her little boy, Alejandro. Now, she is told they are being sent back. Alejandro, still a young boy, walks into the room and insists that they are not being sent back. Instead, the immigration officials are going to help them. All he needs to do is make them feel differently. Within minutes, Alejandro and his mother are out of the immigration facility. Alejandro does not understand how it works, but he knows that he can sense what other people feel and change it. He also feels other people out there – such as Rana, Clarence, and Tatiana.
NEW AND INTERESTING CHARACTERS
The art of Starsigns #2 does a great job portraying the various characters, making them distinct and diverse and giving them a lot of personality. Tatiana, in her combat boots and leather jacket, looks edgy but also looks convincing as someone who has prepared to use her powers. Her outfit is also practical. Gemini is a delightful surprise. When we see him as a white, middle-aged FBI agent, we think nothing unusual of it other than the fact that he got to the fight so quickly. This persona is so different from Clarence that we cannot think of them as twins, but I like that the characters’ powers don’t try to be overly literal with the zodiac signs.
While the backgrounds are somewhat minimal, I like the use of special effects to represent people with powers, especially since there is a glow even when powers are not being used actively. All of them have a generalized glow that often sparkles, as though emulating stars. Leo, Taurus, and Gemini all have a golden color, but on a closer look, they are somewhat different. When we see Alejandro use his powers, they show as more greenish. We previously saw a representation of the zodiac with colors from across the spectrum, and I think their powers are going to be consistent with this.
BOTTOM LINE: THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF LIFE
Starsigns #2 suffers a little from being the second issue of a story that still requires some exposition to let us in on what is happening. That said, I really like the engaging new characters we meet, and I think it is interesting that the potential conflict comes from within the group as opposed to some random external force.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
Rana hardly has time to process that she has powers before she starts meeting others – who seem to know her already.