Star*Reach #2 (1975)

At the same time as the Mighty Marvel Mediocritiestm that I’ve been writing about, this comic came out. Featuring a bizarre cover of a topless blue-skinned woman holding some sort of spear between her legs by Neal Adams, Star Reach #1 promised "48 pages of story $1." This was in an era when comics sold for 20¢ each, so such a comic was a real splurge. But how few Marvel and DC books claimed they were "Creativity Unchained", as the inside front cover screamed, or featured topless or fully naked women in every story?
Like the first story, which introduces Stephanie Starr, in a story illustrated by Dick Giordano. Stephanie is topless throughout the whole 20-page story. In fact, for almost all of it, she wears nothing but some bikini bottoms as she runs around a desolate space-scape, running away from some evil jerks. This must have seemed very cool to Giordano, to get to do something that Marvel or DC never would have published. Oddly enough, the nudity actutally isn’t purient – I actually kind of got tired of how outlandishly absurd Stephanie looked after a few pages. And the story by Mike Friedrich was absurdly stupid and dull. It’s never quite sexy, never quite adventurous, mostly just a mostly-naked chick running around on a moon. Ho hum.
Another topless woman, or actually, topless robot, appears in John Workman’s story "Key Club." A man falls in love with a robot that’s supposed to somehow nteach him how to love women and then… well, it’s kind of stupid, do you need to know more?
Then there’s "All a World of Dreamers" by Lee Marrs and Mal Warwick. I guess Marrs and Warwick were married at the time of this story, though Marrs eventually got hooked up with Mike Friedrich. There’s something kind of bizarre about that story – an editor publishes work by a husband and wife team, and then she divorces her collaborator and marries the editor. I bet that doesn’t happen much. Anyway, this story makes no freaking sense at all to me, but guess what? Even though Lee Marrs is a woman, she still draws, guess what, a topless woman.
But that’s okay, because on the last page of the comic, Mike Vosburg draws a fully naked woman with a centaur.
I guess Star*Reach is a time capsule. On one hand it’s got lots of conventional comics creators, on the other it’s kind of a bizarre relic of the early ’70s. I just don’t know what the heck to make of it.

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