Although she's only been in the Marvel Comics canon for a little over a year, Ripley Ryan/Star has already become a unique character for fans to follow. After first debuting in the pages of Captain Marvel in the spring of 2019, Ripley went from a mild-mannered magazine reporter to a costumed superhero, only to turn to the dark side and be merged with the Reality Stone. Ripley's struggle between being a hero and a villain has been front and center of the recent Star miniseries -- and it looks like this week's final issue ended with a major status quo change for her. Spoilers for this week's Star #5 below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue follows the conclusion of Ripley's altercation with the Black Order, who have traveled throughout the cosmos to find her and harness her Reality Stone powers. Ripley soon realized that her initial allies in the fight - Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch - weren't going to listen to her plans, but that it might be worth brokering a deal with the Black Order. She did just that, agreeing to help return Corvus Glaive if the group agreed to leave her alone.
That quest - interspersed with flashbacks to Ripley being abused and belittled as a child - made Ripley realize that she needed to embrace her true power, regardless of the consequences. She then fought off Carol and Wanda, the latter of whom hoped that Ripley would eventually find "a different path" towards being a hero.
As the issue's final sequence showed, Ripley's path was actually far from that, as she landed in a busy New York City street. As she began to walk down the street, her white-and-red costume shifted to a sort of inverted black-and-red ensemble (not unlike Carol's recent "Last Avenger" get-up), complete with a bright red mane of hair. Without even looking over her shoulder, Ripley triggered an explosion in a building behind her, and proclaimed that no one can take away her power or make her afraid.
The costume is certainly striking, and does better convey how Ripley wants the rest of the world to see her and her powers. While it's unclear how permanent of an ensemble this will end up being (with writer Kelly Thompson proclaiming that "Ripley's going to be popping up all over the [Marvel universe]" going forward), it arguably visually represents Ripley's arc across the entire Star miniseries. Through the past five issues, Ripley has realized that she can channel the years of abuse and torment she suffered into forging her own path, albeit one that serves her own motivations as opposed to the greater good. While the events of Star undoubtedly leave Ripley as an antagonist for the time being, she's definitely walking away from it with a stronger sense of self -- both narratively and aesthetically.