Wish Upon a Star

  • Wish Upon a Star  –  Bunty:  #1770 (14 Dec. 1991)  – #1777 (01 Feb. 1992)
  • Artist: Andy Tew


So what do you do if your best friend is potentially an alien? This is the problem Dawn faces when she becomes friends with her new neighbour, Stella Starr. Previous to becoming friends with Stella, Dawn is the only girl in her class that doesn’t have a best friend. She is friends with the other girls in the class but when it comes to partnering up for assignments she is left out on her own.  So she is feeling quite lonely and at night she sees a shooting star and she wishes she had a best friend. Conveniently the next day a family move in with a girl Dawn’s age.  Dawn is pleased to make friends at first though she notices  Stella has a weird sense of humour and things don’t seem to add up right with her family.

Stella doesn’t know about pop groups or soaps, when she says things that make Dawn suspicious, Stella pretends she is joking.  Mrs. Starr plants some flowers that grow overnight and are like nothing Dawn has been before. When Dawn and Stella are babysitting and the baby is sick, Dawn’s mother appears after “sensing” something was wrong. In class Stella makes up chemistry solutions that have never been heard of.

So Dawn keeps noticing these strange things about Stella and her family.  When she finds a piece of paper with Junsta written on it and Stella says that is where they lived before, she decides to research it. She discovers Junsta is the name of a planet so the Starrs must be aliens. Why would aliens need to keep a scrap of paper with their home planet name written on it, were thay afraid they’d forget?

So Dawn doesn’t freak out at this revelation, like its scary that alien exists they could be invading, or wow this is interesting aliens exist and cool I have super powered best friend. Instead her biggest worry seems to be she doesn’t want to be friends with an alien because she’s weird.

Seems ungrateful to me. She was upset about not having a best friend, then she gets one and just because she’s  possibly an alien she is going to drop her. Stella has been really nice to her and Dawn doesn’t seem to be afraid of Stella’s alien powers, more worried that other people will think she’s weird too. So she begins to avoid Stella. Stella finally confronts Dawn she explains all the strange instances and tells her Junsta was the name of their old house not town so Dawn is relieved to hear this.

So yes the big reveal Dawn was right all along! So the story is pretty lighthearted.  The art is simple, a bit cartoony at times and matches the tone of the story well. There isn’t any fear or tension that there might be aliens and they have hidden agendas to take over the world by blending in first. Instead its more of a girl suspecting her friend is an alien because she’s odd. I think it would have been more of a twist if it turned out she was just an odd girl. It’s not the most adventurous storyline, and it doesn’t live up to older more bizzare alien stories. I wouldn’t consider it to  be a top classic strip or very memorable,  but  it is still nice to see that aliens still pop up in issues from the 90s.

I also wonder if the alien, Stella Starr,  is a variation on the older Mandy character of the same name. It may be just a nod of recognition or maybe its the common name for aliens, the Starr being obvious reference to being from the stars.

One thought on “Wish Upon a Star

  1. And there was another variation, “Starla’s Spell”. Yes, new girl Starla Cresswell is an alien. It’s the usual thing – aliens out to conquer Earth and it’s down to the heroine of the story to stop them. And there was “Wendy’s Web”, about another weird schoolgirl alien, but with more sinister motives. No wonder, when her true form turns out to be a spider! This alien’s out to kidnap some girls for her spider race. As usual, only one girl notices, realises what’s going on, and sets out to stop Wendy, even when Wendy has rendered her paralysed.

    And one of Bunty’s classic aliens has to be the titular “Oriel”, an alien sent to pose as a schoolgirl to learn all about Earth’s ways. It’s all in preparation for an alien invasion. Oriel learns things like you can’t break up true friendship, how to make pupils lose their fear of bullying teachers, how losing respect for authority leads to anarchy, and so many other things that any good Earth girl could have told her. In the end, Oriel decides that she likes Earth after all and tries to talk her people out of the invasion. When they refuse, Oriel recruits her Earth friends to stop them.

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