I've mentioned here in different threads that I'm a big fan of James Robinson. While not everything he writes is good (or even readable, looking at you "Cry For Justice"), he's a writer that I always make time for even if I'm not a fan of the characters he's writing, like with his current Wonder Woman run. His work on Grendel, Scarlet Witch, Batman, the JSA...all solid to really great work. Starman, though, holds a place in my heart that's unmatched by any other comic series, it's easily my favorite completed comic work.
I used to make it a point every 2 or so years to go back and re-read Starman from start to finish, a task that was made a whole lot easier when DC released the six Omnibus volumes. While I was always drawn in by the way Robinson tied everything in the series together during the epic "Grand Guignol", and I certainly recognized the dramatic beats he was hitting as the series wrapped up, it's only been in recent years that I've truly felt and understood the emotional impact of that last year plus of the series. My last read-through of the series was back in 2013, and as I was making my way through the volumes my father was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. A prognosis of 6 months turned into death after 6 weeks, and my dad passed away while I was smack-dab in the middle of "Grand Guignol". I wasn't able to finish reading the series, I don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't read it, but it hit me so hard emotionally and the wound of my dad's death was so raw that it colored my opinion on the series. It wasn't just an expertly and intricately plotted superhero series, it was now one of the saddest and most bittersweet conclusions I'd ever read.
It was only a few months ago that I decided to read the series through again, for the first time in 4 years. Now, though, the way I'm relating to Starman has changed once again. Instead of looking at it as a son dealing with the death of my father, I'm now a father myself. Starman was ultimately about the relationship between father and son, and while the end of "Grand Guignol" (and the final issue) is still bittersweet and brings up tons of depressing memories it also reminds me that it wasn't long after losing my father that I gained my son. In that way, Jack Knight became my avatar, and the series itself is a testament to how comics as a medium can touch someone deep in their soul.
And god damn could Tony Harris draw the hell out of that comic.