Starstruck was originally an off-Broadway stage play written by Elaine Lee, with contributions from Susan Norfleet Lee and Dale Place. It inspired an ongoing prequel comic book series praised for its story innovation, strong female characters, and spectacular art.
Starstruck is a creator-owned illustrated science fiction comics serial produced at various intervals since 1982 by writer Elaine Lee and artist Michael Wm. Kaluta; their primary collaborators are colorist Lee Moyer and letterer Todd Klein. The series, epic in scope, has been carried across multiple comic companies, but primarily by Epic Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing. It was collected in a revised and recolored hardcover book form as Starstruck Deluxe Edition in 2011.
Starstruck is set in an anarchic future in which Humanity spans the universe. The Great Dictator has fallen and a power vacuum sparks a chess game of eccentric players scheming for control. The seriocomic stories follow Captain Galatia 9 and her running partner, Brucilla The Muscle, as they navigate madcap scenarios and surreal misadventures in between the galactic infighting.
Since its inception, Starstruck has built a cult audience and critical acclaim from peers, periodicals, and fans for the sophistication of its storytelling. Most noted is the predominantly female cast, portrayed by Lee with a range and nuance that confounds gender stereotypes. Kaluta, an esteemed veteran of comics and illustration, is often commended for the virtuosity and imaginative detail of his artwork. Also, the series is cited for the progressiveness of its rich and complex structure: Starstruck preceded Watchmen in using innovations like nonlinear storytelling, overlapping dialogue, multiple story threads, back-up text, unreliable narrators, adjunct stories, underlying themes, recurring symbols, and an almost symphonic interconnectedness. It has been derided by readers who were confounded by its depth, and defended by admirers who champion its cutting-edge methods as an historic advance in the comics medium.
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