To almost everyone who knows her, Amy Sturgess is a stressed out woman trying to climb up the ladder in the marketing world. She’s pretty good at it, too…or at least she would be if her second job didn’t keep interfering with all aspects of her life: she’s the superhero named Starling.
Amy takes the concept of trying to juggle it all to a new level, and it’s been blowing up in her face more frequently. She’s good at her job, but to her coworkers, she just looks flaky since she’s always running off to “go to the bathroom” (her explanation for all that time allegedly spent on the toilet is hilarious). In reality, she’s changing into her Starling costume to go fight bad guys.
But lately, she’s been slacking on that, too. She procrastinates and shows up late to stop the bad guys. Rather than dutifully stop crime and hand the criminals over to the police, she’s started tuning into the hard luck stories that made the criminals turn to crime. Superheroes are supposed to be assertive, moralistic, and see things in black and white. Starling, on the other hand, pops Xanax before flying off to her next criminal encounter, often shows up looking disheveled, and sometimes even helps the bad guys! It all goes downhill from there when superhero life and real life collide.
I really enjoyed this book. I actually read it all in one sitting! Amy is positively hopeless, and the humor in the book is far fetched but hilarious. She comes from a cat hoarding mother and has the cringe-inducing childhood stories to prove it, is afraid to date because she ends up zapping people with her hands, and comes up with awkward stories to make up for her constant disappearances. Still, she’s not afraid to speak up for herself when necessary (click to enlarge):
Overall, Starling is a fun graphic novel. How can anyone not love a realistic, relatable female superhero? I loved the artwork and the humor, and I look forward to seeing more of Sage Stossel’s work in the future!
Starling was released today, December 3, 2013 by InkLit, an imprint of Penguin Group.