Stan Lee, legendary co-creator of The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man among countless others, returns almost five decades later with a new super hero team concept.  This issue introduces the cast, cosmic peace keepers from the Star Marshals, the winged Asoara and super strong Vallor, who are attempting to capture an apparent former Star Marshal, the laser slinging Blastok.  The two factions battle and talk (a lot) for several pages, before the two heroes subdue Blastok and lock him up with a bunch of other cosmic crooks: the super fast Mercuria; the rotund Ovalax; the telekinetic Telepan; and his brother, the size-changing Faidout.  The crooks combine their very basic super powers to get free.  Vallor and Asoara battle them, once again spewing loads and loads of dialogue, until they crash land on Earth.  And who happens to be sitting nearby, soul-searching?  None other than Stan Lee, who is grappling with a bit of writer’s block, after the publishers of Archie comics ask him to come up with a new super hero concept.

There’s another subplot about a science experiment gone wrong that will introduce the book’s major villain, but it’s left open.  (That’s him on the cover, though.)

I guess this book is written for children.  At least I hope so.  It was really awful.  The characters names are worse than some of those from ‘Masters of the Universe’ and they had names like Castaspella and well, He-Man!  In fact, these names and concepts are sillier and more simplistic than those employed by the contestants on Stan Lee’s gone and not-nearly-forgotten-enough reality TV show ‘Who Wants To Be A Super Hero!’  Seriously, Asoara… and she can soar!  Blastok… and he fires energy blasts!  It’s like a five year old came up with this!  And did they really need a Bouncing Boy knock-off?

The art isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s SO 90s!  When Vallor and Asoara first appear, they are wearing navy jumpsuits with loads and loads of 90s-style accessories, padded shoulder pads, knee pads, utility belts, useless straps on legs and arms, bandoliers, wrist gauntlets and chunky work boots.  (But judging by the cover, that will be alleviated once Asoara switches over to her new costume a leotard, bare legs and plunging neckline.  Because that’s progress!)  You also get the 90s staples of jackets and vests over spandex suits and so forth.  Other than that, the storytelling is fine.  The style isn’t my favorite, but it may have its fans. Last week, I praised ‘The Ray’ #4 for its innovative lighting effects.  You’ll find none of that here.  Just old school “impact bubbles” and drawn crackle effects.

I also don’t get the “World’s First Reality Comic Book” blurb on the cover.  Is this supposed to be based on reality TV?  Because this isn’t the first comic to do that.  In 2003, Image published Todd Nuack’s ‘Wildguard’ which allowed readers to vote on which characters out of dozens would make the final team.  Also, Marvel’s New Warriors adopted a reality TV theme which ultimately led to their deaths in ‘Civil War.’  Are we then expected to believe that the events in this comic are real that that Lee is revealing these tales to us after they had been covered up?  Because this book is too stupid to be real.

This may or may not have been written for kids, but I have too much respect for the intelligence of any kid I know than to waste their time on this book.

Verdict: Burn

Scripted by Tony Blake, Paul Jackson with Stan Lee
Art and Cover by Alex Saviuk and Bob Smith