Man, it's been a long strange trip getting this book to you. STAR MASTERS was begun right after the last issue of QUASAR hit the stands over two years ago. Tom DeFalco was editor in chief then, Craig Anderson was editor, and yours truly still had a notebook full of science fiction ideas he wanted to unload on an unsuspecting reading public. So what happened?

Well...for starts, the STARBLAST limited series didn't do as well as we'd hoped. (If you're one of the 22 people who bought it, you may have noticed the chaotic succession of artists and wondered what that meant. It meant trouble over which this writer had no control.) But that had nothing to do with craggy Craig, so he got Scot Eaton on board and we poured our creative hearts into a boffo first issue. I went through three rewrites of the plot before I got one that satisfied everybody. Then Big Tom D. informs us that the name "Star Masters" would invoke bad "Starblast" recollections, particularly when it becomes known that Quasar and I were involved in both. So, I say to Tom, we'll change the name.

Months go by, the series is taken off the publishing schedule, and Craig and I brainstorm for alternate titles, none of which passes DeFalco's muster. told the project is "on hold," our illustrious artist takes on other assignments. More months go by, I finish scripting the terrific art for #1, but stop plotting #2 since who knows when it will appear.

We finally get a new name past Tom-- "Starfighters." More months pass as we try to get the book back on the schedule. Finally so many months pass that Tom figures the "Starblast" taint has worn off the collective consciousness, so we're back to the name STAR MASTERS again.

Then the bottom drops out of the direct sales market. Marvelution happens and Tom and Craig leave staff. I inherit the editorship of Craig's cosmic books, among which is STAR MASTERS. I try to put the book back on the schedule pronto, but am told by our ace marketing people that I should save it till I can make an event out of it-- do an entire relaunch of the cosmic line. So I plan a revamp for SILVER SURFER, coaxing George Perez on board as writer, I begin preproduction on a new CAPTAIN MARVEL series, coaxing Fabian Nicieza aboard as writer, I plant o do Lunatik (from the pages of MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS) as a limited series. Okay, I have four books now. Do we have enough to make a promotable event? Yes, I am told. Huzzah! I say.

Now I have to get Scot geared up again after the long lay-off. I manage. Now I have to get my brain geared up to finish this saga that's been on my mental back burner for over a year. I manage.

But then I'm told that due to a "soft marketplace," it is not believed a Silver Surfer team book will do well enough to warrant an ongoing series. Okay, I say, we'll do it as a six issue limited series, see how it does, and come out with an ongoing series if there's a demand. Could you make it a three issue limited series, I'm asked, and make that first issue a 22 page story instead of 40? Arrrgh, yes, but not easily.

Oh, one last thing, I'm told by our ace marketing people, could you change the name to avoid confusion with the STARJAMMERS series that will be coming out around the same time? NO! I say.

And that's how STAR MASTERS #1 came to be. We hope you like our efforts, 'cause there are tons more stories of the Surfer, Quasar, and Beta Ray we could tell. Next issue, two new members join the assemblage and wait till you see who they are. Keep cosmic, people!

--Mark Gruenwald