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Rising Stars, Vol. 2: Power

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TOP COW is proud to bring you issues 9-15 of the critically acclaimed series RISING STARS. This second story arc written by J.MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (BABYLON 5, CRUSADE) continues the tale of the Specials as they wage war between themselves and the rest of the world. With an all new cover by current series artist Brent Anderson (ASTRO CITY), this great collection is the perfe TOP COW is proud to bring you issues 9-15 of the critically acclaimed series RISING STARS. This second story arc written by J.MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (BABYLON 5, CRUSADE) continues the tale of the Specials as they wage war between themselves and the rest of the world. With an all new cover by current series artist Brent Anderson (ASTRO CITY), this great collection is the perfect way to revisit your favorite Rising Stars moments or finally piece together those missing issues.


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TOP COW is proud to bring you issues 9-15 of the critically acclaimed series RISING STARS. This second story arc written by J.MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (BABYLON 5, CRUSADE) continues the tale of the Specials as they wage war between themselves and the rest of the world. With an all new cover by current series artist Brent Anderson (ASTRO CITY), this great collection is the perfe TOP COW is proud to bring you issues 9-15 of the critically acclaimed series RISING STARS. This second story arc written by J.MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (BABYLON 5, CRUSADE) continues the tale of the Specials as they wage war between themselves and the rest of the world. With an all new cover by current series artist Brent Anderson (ASTRO CITY), this great collection is the perfect way to revisit your favorite Rising Stars moments or finally piece together those missing issues.

30 review for Rising Stars, Vol. 2: Power

  1. 5 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    This continues to be a great series. This volume picks up years after the first. We find out there was quite a twist, and what we thought happened wasn't exactly true. The specials have basically been outlawed, and several have taken over the city of Chicago. The remaining specials launch a rescue mission which leads to some major revelations. We also see the specials finally making a collective effort to change the world, but will they succeed? There was a definitive beginning, middle and end lai This continues to be a great series. This volume picks up years after the first. We find out there was quite a twist, and what we thought happened wasn't exactly true. The specials have basically been outlawed, and several have taken over the city of Chicago. The remaining specials launch a rescue mission which leads to some major revelations. We also see the specials finally making a collective effort to change the world, but will they succeed? There was a definitive beginning, middle and end laid out for this series from the start, so it had a bit more direction than the usual monthly comic, and it shows. Also includes some art from Brent Anderson, and while I don't think it's as good as his later Astro City work, it's still good. Christian Zanier does most of the art, and it's also good. Overall another strong volume, very curious to see how this series ends up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Connolly

    Read all 24 issues in one sitting. Really good. 5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    diane

    I love this one. The story at the end, about the middle east, is simplistic in its view on how to solve the middle east conflicts but... wouldn't it be lovely to try? The idea is delicious. The art is bugging me. The strong men have more muscles than are physically possible on a human being. The women are all svelt and boobalicious or else ugly and dumpy - no in between. I know, I know, it's a comic book about people with super powers. Guess I just wish it wasn't so over the top. But the stories. I love this one. The story at the end, about the middle east, is simplistic in its view on how to solve the middle east conflicts but... wouldn't it be lovely to try? The idea is delicious. The art is bugging me. The strong men have more muscles than are physically possible on a human being. The women are all svelt and boobalicious or else ugly and dumpy - no in between. I know, I know, it's a comic book about people with super powers. Guess I just wish it wasn't so over the top. But the stories. Mm! Good stuff.

  4. 4 out of 5

    47Time

    Ugh, too many characters, too many punches, too many capes, too many uninspred twists. They all fly and kick each other around. It feels like the 90's again. At least some of them die, but the cast is huge considering I can barely tell the characters apart. (view spoiler)[A decade later the conflict between the Specials is ongoing. Simon is promised amnesty by the FBI if he clears out Chicago where Stephanie Maas is in charge and turning the city into a ruin. He has Chandra, Randy, Joshua and se Ugh, too many characters, too many punches, too many capes, too many uninspred twists. They all fly and kick each other around. It feels like the 90's again. At least some of them die, but the cast is huge considering I can barely tell the characters apart. (view spoiler)[A decade later the conflict between the Specials is ongoing. Simon is promised amnesty by the FBI if he clears out Chicago where Stephanie Maas is in charge and turning the city into a ruin. He has Chandra, Randy, Joshua and several others on his side. The Specials in Chicago find out about this and are ready for a fight. Evil Stephanie is controlling the minds of several specials. Randy gets captured and Simon gets surrounded and killed by other specials. Simon is saved by William, the one who flew away when they were kids and only was never seen since. He frees the special who has the power to resurrect the dead. She gets shot, but before dying she manages to bring Simon back to life. Evil Stephanie, aka Critical Maas (chuckles), launches a tactical nuke and the good guys race to stop it. Joshua gets to the rocket first and absorbs the blast. As a result more specials join the battle to stop the conflict. Stephanie orders her side to kill civilians, which forces the good guys to kill their own kind. It turns out that Jason is also under Stephanie's control. Deus ex macina moment: good Stephanie takes control of her action and kills herself. The remaining specials band together under Simon to make the world a better place by fighting drug cartels, stopping conflicts between warring factions, hiding nuclear devices. Of course, they make enemies worldwide and the US has information that can be used to kill the specials. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    C

    Rising Stars book one is one of my favorite graphic novels - probably the best super hero story I've read in graphic form other than Watchmen, and if it didn't owe so much to the Watchmen, I could easily say that it was a far more human, and therefore powerful, portrayal of a super hero story. I re-read volume 1 tonight before I dived into volume 2 and was once again blown away by it. And I think that's why I was so disappointed with the first half of volume 2. Yeah, I know... I'm dishing out a 5 s Rising Stars book one is one of my favorite graphic novels - probably the best super hero story I've read in graphic form other than Watchmen, and if it didn't owe so much to the Watchmen, I could easily say that it was a far more human, and therefore powerful, portrayal of a super hero story. I re-read volume 1 tonight before I dived into volume 2 and was once again blown away by it. And I think that's why I was so disappointed with the first half of volume 2. Yeah, I know... I'm dishing out a 5 star rating, but we'll get to that. The first half of the story, dealing with the Chicago siege, loses so much of the focus on character, so much of the humaity of the story, so much of the powerful personal connections and contact. At the same time, the way that it deals with the action sequences seems disjointed and not in the way that the story intended. A lot of cliche creeps into the story at this point as well. I was feeling disappointed, let down completely from the heights of volume one. And then came the second half. Once we're away from Chicago and that storyline, the narrative bares itself again, opens itself to a more personal level at the same time that it broadens itself across the globe. The writing becomes, once again, intensely powerful and the art seems to pull into focus as well. I can't say too much without spoilers, but I was once again entranced by the story, by the characters... It made me think about my own life and the world around me in a different way. And this is what a truly good story should do. An so far, this story has been a fantastic definition of what good fiction can do. Sure, it is inconceivable that these characters could every truly exist in reality, but this story makes you look at our reality and how each of us can impact it in a completely different way. Absolutely brilliant.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    I finished the 2nd Volume of the Rising Stars graphic novel series; Rising Stars Vol. 2: Power by J. Michael Straczynski. I think in my comments on the first Volume, I may have said that Straczynski was responsible for Battlestar Gallactica. I should have said Babylon 5. Anyway, this is an interesting graphic novel series. It's basically about a group of children from a small town in Illinois who obtain special powers when a fireball from space strikes their town in the '60s. The story move I finished the 2nd Volume of the Rising Stars graphic novel series; Rising Stars Vol. 2: Power by J. Michael Straczynski. I think in my comments on the first Volume, I may have said that Straczynski was responsible for Battlestar Gallactica. I should have said Babylon 5. Anyway, this is an interesting graphic novel series. It's basically about a group of children from a small town in Illinois who obtain special powers when a fireball from space strikes their town in the '60s. The story moves into the future when somebody, we assume one of the Specials, as they're called, is starting to kill off the others. This death/ murder of one causes the energy from that person to be transferred to the remainder, making them more powerful. The US Government, who has been monitoring the Specials, is starting to feel threatened and wants to gather the group in, or terminate them if they resist. There is a battle between two groups of Specials. The individual stories follow one or other of the people, making them each unique. As with most graphic novels, I sometimes find it difficult tracking who is who or what is going on, but it's a minor inconvenience, as the story and art work are both excellent. I've one more to finish in this collection. Definitely looking forward to it. (4 stars)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cookie

    A great improvement from the first volume. I found the story more interesting and the flow also improved. The characters were fleshed out here. Especially the villains from Acte 1. I very much enjoyed the fact that they let go of said villains and made them heroes instead : the story only got better from this choice. Didn't particularly like them in the first volume. I enjoyed the plot twist. One of the things I liked the most was how real the reactions of humans were to different events : humanit A great improvement from the first volume. I found the story more interesting and the flow also improved. The characters were fleshed out here. Especially the villains from Acte 1. I very much enjoyed the fact that they let go of said villains and made them heroes instead : the story only got better from this choice. Didn't particularly like them in the first volume. I enjoyed the plot twist. One of the things I liked the most was how real the reactions of humans were to different events : humanity depicted very realistically in all it's ugliness. Although I have no criticism to make against this particular volume, I can't really give it 5 stars. I don't know why except it didn't really feel like a 5 star read I guess. But still nice. Very interested in knowing how this will finish.

  8. 5 out of 5

    One Flew

    A group of kids born with superpowers become adults and struggle with what to do with their powers. This volume was a bit of a mixed bag. I really like the second half of the book, where the meta humans decide to do something constructive with their powers. The first half was a bit of a mess. The art looks good but the action sequences are so hard to follow. There are a multitude of characters, most of whom are extremely one dimensional or not even fleshed out at all. I think a lot of the potenti A group of kids born with superpowers become adults and struggle with what to do with their powers. This volume was a bit of a mixed bag. I really like the second half of the book, where the meta humans decide to do something constructive with their powers. The first half was a bit of a mess. The art looks good but the action sequences are so hard to follow. There are a multitude of characters, most of whom are extremely one dimensional or not even fleshed out at all. I think a lot of the potential from the first volume was squandered. Not a bad story, it tries a lot of interesting things, the execution just falls flat at times.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carl Phillips

    Continues to be solid. Thought the Chicago plotline was extended a little to far, but still excellent.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Ash-Vildosola

    Wow! This is an incredible series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kavinay

    Ironically the art gets better once Lashley and Immonen take over, but the whole concept of Critical Maas as the big bad feels like a letdown compared to the promise of the first book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Has a few surprisingly relevant things to say about American democracy, but also has some narrative issues (such as nesting victim-hood for the villains).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eugene

    A compelling story. Tragedy, redemption, a better world. I want to see how this ends.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Comparable to the first in the series. It is still doing well in the 'telling' department. Comparable to the first in the series. It is still doing well in the 'telling' department.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Not read in the Graphic Novel Book Club, but read inspired by it I went on into this one after we read Vol 1, since it was the perfect time to pick up the rest and read to the ending JMS/Top Cow were not giving the world in their long, once upon a time, war. This book was baffling in a lot of ways. There is a sudden 15 year gap, and the conversations take place that have no purpose to be being had now when they would have a decade and more ago. Chicago makes me think a lot. The reveal of Joshua m Not read in the Graphic Novel Book Club, but read inspired by it I went on into this one after we read Vol 1, since it was the perfect time to pick up the rest and read to the ending JMS/Top Cow were not giving the world in their long, once upon a time, war. This book was baffling in a lot of ways. There is a sudden 15 year gap, and the conversations take place that have no purpose to be being had now when they would have a decade and more ago. Chicago makes me think a lot. The reveal of Joshua made me think a lot. The last 2-3 issues each pretty much tried to make me tear between opening and closing a cover for brand new reasons, as the clarification for the reason of it all became more and more clear to people..

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    Volume two definitely upped the stakes, recontextualizing some of the elements of Volume one while expanding the mythology out in new and interesting ways, while also delving deeper into the psychology of the Rising Stars. The first half of the volume is more focused on the recovery of Chicago from rogue Powers, while the second half extrapolates from those events in a new direction for the survivors. The Chicago attack is the most traditional section, feeling like most any other hero title. But Volume two definitely upped the stakes, recontextualizing some of the elements of Volume one while expanding the mythology out in new and interesting ways, while also delving deeper into the psychology of the Rising Stars. The first half of the volume is more focused on the recovery of Chicago from rogue Powers, while the second half extrapolates from those events in a new direction for the survivors. The Chicago attack is the most traditional section, feeling like most any other hero title. But the rest of the book is denser and more nuanced than most other super-power titles.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Mclean

    JMS continues his fantastic series, starting with the battle for Chicago, before moving on to to tackle the question of how superheroes could really better our world, rather than just engaging in an ongoing cycle of violence. Given that virtually every super hero book is heavy on the punching and light on the actual problem solving it's surprising that this is not a topic which is tackled more often. I really appreciate this book transitioning from a standard super hero book into something a bit JMS continues his fantastic series, starting with the battle for Chicago, before moving on to to tackle the question of how superheroes could really better our world, rather than just engaging in an ongoing cycle of violence. Given that virtually every super hero book is heavy on the punching and light on the actual problem solving it's surprising that this is not a topic which is tackled more often. I really appreciate this book transitioning from a standard super hero book into something a bit more complex and am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For

    The middle act of the Rising Powers graphic novel, the story again takes a pretty radical twist in the middle, changing from one focus to another. The first book set up the story to be one thing, then changed to something else. This one continues the second, then abruptly spins on its ear in a new direction. But in a good way—an unexpected twist to keep a broad story going. It'll be interesting to see how it all wraps up in the final act. The middle act of the Rising Powers graphic novel, the story again takes a pretty radical twist in the middle, changing from one focus to another. The first book set up the story to be one thing, then changed to something else. This one continues the second, then abruptly spins on its ear in a new direction. But in a good way—an unexpected twist to keep a broad story going. It'll be interesting to see how it all wraps up in the final act.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Blair Conrad

    Not as good as the first, but hey, it’s a middle. I found that we got into the characters a little less this time, and there was a fair amount of muddled fight scenes, which more served to distract me from the story than to engross me. Still, the premise remains interesting, and there were enough twists to keep it interesting. I’m keen to see how it turns out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Colin

    "Rising Stars" is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. The second volume, "Power," tells the story of how the Specials finally overcome their first major challenge, and commit themselves to changing the world instead of simply trying to live "normal" lives . . . . brilliant stuff. "Rising Stars" is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. The second volume, "Power," tells the story of how the Specials finally overcome their first major challenge, and commit themselves to changing the world instead of simply trying to live "normal" lives . . . . brilliant stuff.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meepelous

    Not a bad comic certainly. Straczynski has managed to twist a fairly recurrent idea (group of people with superpowers) enough to avoid total cliche. Unfortunately beyond that this series has few redeeming qualities, and suffers from a lack of nuance and subtly.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    A very interesting view of what the world would do to and how it would view superhumans born suddenly into the population. A scary view of human prejudices and the cause and effect of these prejudices. Fantastic art and one of the best comic storylines I have ever read. High recommended

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    NBC's Heroes wishes it was this good. NBC's Heroes wishes it was this good.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James

    JMS shows himself to be an excellent storyteller regardless of the medium.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Fantastic series. Much like the television series "Heroes". Fantastic series. Much like the television series "Heroes".

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Better then book 1,underrated definitely.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Garek

    This series is a little dark, but it's decent science fiction. A credible attempt at what would happen with the interpersonal dynamics of superheroes. This series is a little dark, but it's decent science fiction. A credible attempt at what would happen with the interpersonal dynamics of superheroes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Timo

    Maybe I should finally get my act together and get the last collection of this one. This was good.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    My review of Rising Stars. As always, this story blows me away. My review of Rising Stars. As always, this story blows me away.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    These are pretty awesome!

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