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Starman #10

Starman #10 Writer: James Robinson
Pencils: Tony Harris
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Letters: Gaspar
Colors: Gregory Wright
Assistant Editor: Chuck Kim
Editor: Archie Goodwin

#10, August 1995
The Day Before The Day To Come

The action starts an hour after Jack got the call about Nash’s escape. The Shade has come to Jack’s apartment to warn him of a new evil in the city. At first Jack thinks he’s talking about Nash, but The Shade quickly clarifies. He asks if Jack knew who Oscar Wilde was and explained that he was once friends with the writer. Shade says that Oscar once told him the story of another immortal he had once met and that Wilde wrote a story based upon this immortal: The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

It's too early in the morning for this...

“Dorian Gray” was the tale of a man who was forever young, with his older-self ever aging in a portrait. Shade explains that Oscar used the story as an allegory for the truth. The immortal in question was named Merritt and was a student while Wilde was there. Merritt began studying the occult and eventually tried and succeeded in summoning a demon. Merritt then made a contract with the demon; in exchange for immortality, Merrit would become guardian of a portal to Hell, through which this demon could snatch the souls of others. This portal took the form of a poster, with an ever-changing image. Shade determined that Merritt was indeed in Opal City, having always tried to keep an eye on him and one other immortal. After securing a promise from Jack that he will try to do something, Shade departs for Central City. He tells Jack that Merritt has taken to making money by working as an assassin and positioning the poster so that a certain person would be made to disappear, and that Shade intends to talk to his last employer in Central City.

Ted works with Mikhal

There is a brief interlude where Ted laments the lack of progress he has had in treating Mikaal. He begins to ponder calling in outside help when the mute Mikaal suddenly says "Teddy Pendergrass" and then goes silent again. Amazed by this, Ted thinks that maybe he is being too hard on himself and goes back to work.

We cut to Nash, as she enters an office labeled "Will O' The Wisp" and looks in wonder at an old machine.

Sweet son of a bi...

We join Jack at Charity's shop, where he stops to thank her for letting him rest there and asks her about doing a fortune telling for him. She agrees to sometime, but explains she cannot do it now because she has a client coming in. At that point, the client enters and is introduced to Jack as Sadie Falk. Jack says he is glad to meet Sadie, to which she responds "Too late... we've already met." It turns out that Sadie is the woman Jack ran into at the circus (Starman #7). Jack tries to apologize again, but Sadie treats him rather rudely again and tells Jack to "hop on his cosmic broomstick, take to the skies and keep out of everyone's way".

Nash, The New Mist is born.

Depressed by the encounter, Jack returns home to a dinner of Chinese takeout. He then receives a phone call from Jenny Hayden (The superheroine Jade). She tells Jack that an friend of hers, a friendly incarnation of “white-skinned, zombie swamp guy” Solomon Grundy was seen in the sewers of Opal, but that she can’t go there to find him. She asks Jack to look for her. Jack agrees, partly because he finds the model/actress heroine attractive. Jack enters the sewers and finds Grundy and immediately a fight breaks out. Jack curses his stupidity and compares what he is doing now to when he was younger and he climbed a really tall tree to impress a girl (Sally Purple), only to have her run off when she found out her friends had just gotten a Twister game. Eventually, Jack gains the upper-hand and hurts Grundy, who immediately starts crying. Jack comforts the large swamp man and escorts him out of the sewers, planning to take him back to Ted’s house

The issue ends with Nash using the machine we saw earlier to give herself the same powers as her father and the rather ominous warning from our narrator that tomorrow will be a day unlike any other and that “what makes a hero or a villain” will be determined by the actions of our players.