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Comic Book / Starstruck

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Starstruck originated as an early 1980s stage production and spawned Comic Books and later audio dramas. It was created by Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta, with the book variously published by Epic Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing.

It parodies Space Opera with a healthy mixture of Soap Opera and is set in "Anachera", a time period where humanity has taken to the stars and no particular power bloc holds sway, although recently the Great Dictator has died. At no point does the narrative spoonfeed its audience, expecting it to keep track of the various allusions, plot twists and multiple layers of meaning. Apart from that, it has a dense visual style.

The Great Dictator has fallen and a power vacuum has sparked a galactic chess game of eccentric schemers vying for control of the universe. The stories follow Captain Galatia 9 and her running partner, Brucilla the Muscle, as they have madcap and surreal adventures in between the galactic civil war.

Elaine Lee played Galatia 9 in the stage play, with her sister Susan Norfleet Lee playing her pilot, Brucilla the Muscle, and Michael Wm. Kaluta was in charge of the art direction. When it transitioned to comic books, Lee wrote and Kaluta drew the issues. It was first published as Marvel Graphic Novel #13 in September 1984, with the story titled Starstruck: The Luckless, the Abandoned and Forsaked. This was spun off into a six-issue mini-series published by Epic Comics in 1985-1986. In 1990, four more issues were published through Dark Horse Comics. In 2009, IDW Publishing revived the comic, republishing the original graphic novel and mini-series. In 2013, a new mini-series was crowdfunded and in 2017, it was published through IDW called Old Proldiers Never Die.

In 2022, tabletop RPG Actual Play show Dimension 20 aired A Starstruck Odyssey, an 18-episode campaign set in the Starstruck universe, written and GM'd by Elaine Lee's son, Brennan Lee Mulligan.

For the unrelated Disney Channel Original Movie, see Starstruck.


  • Action Girl:
    • Brucilla the Muscle
    • Galatia-9
  • After the End: Before Starstruck takes place, a nuclear war has literally blown up half the planet. (Remember, the original comics came out in the '80s.)
  • Alternative Calendar: The series takes place in (or shortly after) the first hundred years of "Anachera", so-named because of the lack of any one authority.
  • Anachronism Stew: The "production design" of the comic's clothes, technology and seetings mixes the present day, a Raygun Gothic Retro Universe look and high tech and futuristic, with a dash of Art Nouveau, giving it a unique look.
  • The Chessmaster: Frankly, a big hunk of the cast, including (but not limited to) Glorianna of Phoebus, Ronnie Lee Ellis, Verloona...
  • Eagleland: From what little we see of it, the surviving half of Earth resembles the stereotypical "Eagleland".
  • Earth That Was: A particular planet gets mentioned a number of times without any reference to its former name of Earth. (But then, half of its landmass went ka-boom long ago.)
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The young Galatia-9 gets given a hefty prison sentence for her graffiti poetry. However, her half-sister sets her up to get an even longer sentence.
  • Future Slang: "Boot" for fuck. (Incidentally, art has turned into a literal dirty word.)
  • Holographic Terminal: Pretty much ubiquitous to The 'Verse. Quite prescient, too, seeing as the first comics came out in the early '80s. (But Blake's 7 had them, too.)
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Averted in the case of the Erotica Anne dolls (they look human, but don't have independent thought).
  • Robot Girl: The Erotica Anne series.
  • Scenery Porn: Present on pretty much every page.
  • Souvenir Land: The Anarchera era has its own cross between Dale Carnegie and Walt Disney, with his own theme park.
  • Space Cadet: The young Brucilla in the Americadian Space Brigade. (Actually played straight for once, or at least as straight as Starstruck plays anything.)
  • Stylistic Suck: The Purple Prose (and title) of Ronnie Lee Ellis' Hugo Award-winning Mind Spiders from the Planet Xenon.
  • Tricked into Escaping: Galatia-9 is sent to prison for graffiti. The sentence she's given is on the harsh side to start with, but she gets a much worse one after she's tricked into escaping by a cell-mate who is in league with her stepsister.
  • Used Future: Even in the distant future, a bohemian writer's living room looks pretty much like a bohemian writer's living room.