Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Stella's Story": The First-Person Narrator in Megaton Man #5

It had completely slipped my mind until now, but I realize I did an unusual thing for the fifth issue of Megaton Man (Kitchen Sink Press, August 1985): I told the story entirely from Stella Starlight's point of view. Throughout the issue (except for "George Has a Gun," a "back-up feature that features Stella but takes a more objective view of her and her affair with Martian Anton Drek - yes, you read that right), we see events, including flashbacks, from her perspective.

I was always inordinately proud of that issue; it still seems rather complete and self-contained, and I was proud particularly that I could write from the perspective of a female character without making a fool of myself. I also felt the artwork took a leap forward, toward more realistic proportions (I also struggled with finding the right balance between caricature and serious superheroics, given the satirical nature of the series).

Unfortunately, I always considered the coloring of the issue a bit too "tangy" - too much orange and green, most of which was attributable to the colors shifting on the printing press, but also due to some of the choices the colorists (Pete Poplaski on the cover and Ray Fehrenbach on the interiors) made. (Pete also inked the dinosaurs on page 22.) Looking back on it, however, I don't mind the coloring as much; I particularly like the dusty blue or steely grey that Stella's "Q" uniform acquired.

I never got as much feedback on the issue, positive or negative, as I would have liked; I like to think that fans of Border Worlds might like this issue best of all the early Megaton Mans, since it foreshadowed both Jenny's first-person narration and a more dramatic approach to the artwork in that series, particularly in the use of high-contrast shadowing (Border Worlds in fact would begin as a back-up feature in the following issue, Megaton Man #6).

Herewith are some of the key pages from "Stella's Story" (the title appeared on the inside front cover, which is not included here). All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 1985, 2018, all rights reserved.


New: Clarissa James tells her story in the first person: The Ms. Megaton Maxi-Series!

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