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Rising Stars, Vol. 1: Born in Fire (Rising Stars #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,359 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
TOP COW is proud to bring you issues 1-8 of the critically acclaimed series RISING STARS. This is the first story arc written by J. Michael Straczynski and tells the tale of the beginnings of the Specials. With new cover by MIDNIGHT NATION artist Gary Frank. This collection is the perfect way to revisit the earlier issues of RISING STARS in one sitting or to discover fro t ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 24th 2000 by Image Comics (first published December 11th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This one is smack dab in the middle of 3 and 4 stars. I really liked the overall concept of the story which deals with 113 humans who, after a freak event while they were in the womb, are born with special powers and become known as...are you ready for it...."Specials." Each of the Specials has different powers (some standard super hero stuff like strength, flight, healing, invulnerability, pyrokinesis, etc.) and some more interesting ones (for example, one person can enter anothers d ...more
Quentin Wallace
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was very impressive. This was published in 2000, right around the time comics shifted from being a bunch of pretty art to really good stories.

You have an asteroid (for lack of a better term) that strikes a town and gives all of the in utero children superpowers when they are born. However, as they get older their powers start to fade. One of them then determines that everytime one of them dies, their power is distributed among the survivors. So he begins to murder his fellow heroes. Eventua
One Flew
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The concept, execution and art of Rising Stars is damn good. We get a group of super powered individuals who discover the more of their fellow super powered rivals are illed, the stronger the rest of them become. I remember this book making quite an impact on the comic book industry when it first came and it's easy to see why.

I've read quite a few of the critiques of Rising Stars, which accuse Straczynski of trying to go for too much of a gritty Frank Miller vibe... Which is quite unfair, I thin
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
The first Act of the limited run graphic novel, Rising Stars is an interesting twist on the superhero genre. It has some obvious similarities to Watchmen in taking a somewhat unprecedented view of what it means to be a superhero, although it is nowhere near as dark. Also, unlike Watchmen where the heroes were (with one glaring exception) more-or-less normal people (well skilled, with lots of gadgets, but not super-powered) who dressed up to fight crime, the heroes in this story have abilities, b ...more
Blair Conrad
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A very nice comic. The artwork is fine, nothing particularly special, but JMS’s writing is top-notch here. He constructs an interesting premise and a wide array of characters who have special powers caused by a mysterious event a couple of decades ago. Then he mixes it all up with a murder mystery and conspiracy. It makes for compelling reading. I especially like the way that JMS handled the fates of certain of the lesser-powered characters – most comics only focus on the supers who have powers ...more
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of Straczynski's very best. His work can be uneven, but when he is firing on all cylinders, he is really firing. One thing I really like about this graphic novel is...well, it has some meat to it, some words. So many graphic novels today are so sparse, and every artist is trying to make a visual movie, I just don't like that. I like a graphic novel which is pictures AND words. I like to read, too. Clever dialogue, beautiful language.
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a cleverly-done revisionist superhero comic, but it's hard to forgive the somewhat-familiar plot when the characters are the same angry wooden contrivances that Marvel has been coughing out since Frank Miller brought politics and angst to comics with Dark Knight. Other authors have taken advantage of the sequential format to give their characters multidimensional personalities despite the necessarily sparse dialogue, but this... all plot and no heart.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This is for the whole series. I liked the concept but the epic story became too ambitious for JMS to pull off. Some conflicts, characterizations and motivations appear simplistic. Only Alan Moore can probably handle the scope of the story. However I had fun reading this series. It had a great start and ending.
Carl Phillips
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superb. The fact its a story that was pre-written in its entirety is obvious and means it has better structure than your average graphic novel series.

Excellent ideas, excellent characterization and great plotting.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
New twist on a common theme. Suffers a little from fad art style of its time (one that I am not a big fan of). This story is in the telling, not in the destination. Hopefully, the telling will hold up.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
How they have grown
Reprints Rising Stars #1-8 (August 1999-June 2000). An unexplained flash occurs above Pederson and those in utero are discovered to be born with powers. The Specials, as they are known, grow-up…but something sinister is happening. Someone is killing the Specials, and the world is about to find out how dangerous the Specials can be. With each Special death, the Specials powers are dispersed among the surviving Specials…and the power is limited and the desire for power is growing!

Written by J. Mic
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, scifi
Babylon 5 which was written by JMS remains my favourite tv show of all time. I find his writing their incredible. So when I discovered he'd written his own comic book series I wanted to try it. It was (again) about superheros but I thought it'd be worth investigating anyway. I have to say I was quite disappointed. The storyline is quite mediocure. Kids are born with superhero powers, raised together, then at some point when they grow up start killing each other off as their powers start to fade ...more
El Templo
"Rising Stars supone el debut en el mundo del cómic del guionista de televisión J. Michael Straczynski, creador de la serie de culto de ciencia-ficción Babylon 5, que viene avalado nada más y nada menos que por Neil Gaiman (autor de cómics como Sandman y de novelas como Stardust o Neverwhere) quien realiza el prólogo introductorio. En el primer tomo de esta saga (que recoge ocho números de la edición norteamericana de esta miniserie que se compone de un total de veinticuatro) se nos cuenta, desd ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Irredeemable is my favorite comic ever, bar none. I'm pleased to see that Straczynski of all people was doing something similar a few years earlier.

I'll always really respect the work he did on B5, even if it was cheesy sometimes--serialized TV with a start, middle, and end planned. Sheridan was a real boy scout, since this was before serialization, and before the real rise of the anti-hero.

This isn't about B5, but it made me think I'd like to check out JMS's original series, because I bet he p
Christopher Mclean
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a the JMS I know and love.

Born in Fire sets-up the Rising Stars universe, where around 100 "specials" were created by virtue of being in utero during a meteor strike. Identified early for their powers, this group grew up together and has been under government surveillance for their whole lives. As each specials powers differ, so too does their success in the outside world, some ride their powers to mega stardom, many live mundane lives and a few are so haunted or afraid of their abilitie
Feb 02, 2015 added it
This is a pretty powerful starting point for a story about 113 'stars' who have various super powers and grew up together. It's the Beginning of the story, setting the stage and introducing the characters (both living and dead), while setting up the central conflict, which explodes spectacularly in the final three issues of the volume. Straczynski's characters are strong and relatively nuanced given the amount of time they're given, and the story is very powerful. One thing I must say - these ar ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Rising Stars" is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. I recently (July 2013) decided to re-read the story and discovered I had never entered it in Goodreads, so I'm here to correct my mistake. J. Michael Straczynski has imagined a world in which an event created 113 people with super powers. No more, no less. They all grew up together, know each other intimately . . . but as "Born in Fire" begins, it seems someone is killing them off, one by one. And it must be on of them. One of the ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Finally giving this series the full read through. I started reading this title when it first came out, but after 4-5 issues, I went into one of my long phases of not buying/reading comics.

Trying it again... more than disappointed by the artwork. Feels very much like the rushed/cheap artwork of the 1990s.

The story is decent, though there's a lot of gaping plot holes (or at least what seem to be such.) Not so offending as to make me want to stop reading it... but less than promising for the rest
Feather Mista
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans del género y del autor
Recommended to Feather by: Pedido de Fer Calvi
Un superhéroe poeta, una actriz irresistible, una que parece inofensiva pero es una esquizofrénica cuya segunda personalidad resulta una asesina, uno que quiere matar a todos los otros "especiales" para ir haciéndose con su poder. La verdad que nunca fui muy fan -ni vi muchos capítulos- de Héroes, la tan famosa serie de tv de temática superheróica, pero leyendo esto veo de dónde robaron la mayor parte de las ideas. La historia no está mal, lástima que los dibujos hacen todo lo posible por hundir ...more
Graphic Novel Book Club February 2016

I still love JMS and I still got goosebumps at the end of this graphic novel, when it broke off the first third of the story he'd planned to write. I got to reminisce a lot about the situations I was in when I was first reading this, when it was his first jump back into producing anything (after the pause following the sudden cut-off from Jeremiah).

A lot of this was reworking old groundwork for me. Rereading the story I'd already read, piecing together memor
Nov 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Came out years before 'Heroes' and explores similar themes, except 'Heroes' and a better cast and was better written.
Some nice takes on super powers and I did like a couple characters, but there's too much jumping around and heavy handed foreshadowing. Also, several of the characters were drawn looking too similar, so that bugged me.

Did like the guy who was too fat to fly, and the guy who wanted to be Batman were interesting.
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Felt in the mood for some good comics, and to get back into the mind set of writing them.

These are good stories. Sort of Watchmen with Marvel and DC heros gone bad good and sideways. Straczynski tells a good story, with layers and intrigue and interesting ideas.

The art is not all I would hope it would be, but it doesn't detract from the story. SOrt of classic superhero art, which has it's appeal.
Nicolas Ronvel
Excellente surprise que ce comic découvert à la bibliothèque. Un traitement très moderne des super-héros, crédible et humain. La mise en scène est presque parfaite, et il va falloir se pencher sur l'acte 2 pour savoir si chef d'oeuvre il y a ou pas ...

En bonus, les bonus sont au niveau de l'édition.
Gonzalo Oyanedel
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Un adelantado en adaptar guiones a la estructura de las series televisivas, Straczynski plantea en "Risings Stars" una de las tantas aproximaciones realistas a la idea de los superpoderes, muy bien desarrollada y con personajes que - sin empatizar con el lector - sirven cabalmente a la historia. Final abierto que llama a seguir interesado.
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I had a hard time getting into it, but WOW! It explores the superhero genre in ways that hasn't been done before. A truly fleshed out, considered world. In the introduction, Gaiman suggested that the storyline for this was already mapped out by Straczynski, so you can expect a consistent, interesting read.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Being the extreme comic book geek that I once was.....I really have gotten pissed at all the people coming out of the woodworks talking about the television show "Heroes"...if you want to see where the idea from Heroes sprang from, check out Joe Strack's Rising Stars. Impeccable writing and deep character development.
Kevin Milner
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Ok story, nothing particularly new. If you liked the cheesier elements of Babylon 5 you'll like this. My main complaint is that the characters were never really introduced in a way that allowed you to remember who was who.
Michelle M
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A mysterious flash of energy transforms nearby fetuses into superhumans. Years later, they're starting to die, and the killer must be one of them. Written by J. Michael Straczynski (of Babylon 5 fame), I knew there must be plot-a-plenty, and I wasn't disappointed.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting twist on a tried and true premise. Art style was decent if a bit rushed at times, the dialog was nothing terribly special, and overall the treatment of women is fairly normal. Very tense cliffhanger ending though so I will be picking up volume 2 asap.
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Joseph Michael Straczynski (born July 17, 1954), known professionally as J. Michael Straczynski and informally as Joe Straczynski or JMS, is an American writer and television producer. He works in films, television series, novels, short stories, comic books, and radio dramas. He is a playwright, a former journalist, and author of The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. He was the creator and showrunne ...more
More about J. Michael Straczynski...

Other Books in the Series

Rising Stars (7 books)
  • Rising Stars, Vol. 2: Power
  • Rising Stars, Vol. 3: Fire and Ash
  • Rising Stars, Vol. 4: Voices of the Dead/Bright
  • Rising Stars, Vol. 5: Untouchable/Visitations
  • Rising Stars: Visitations
  • Rising Stars, tome 4