The first dozen pages of 'Star' are unequalled in literature for sustaining a nightmare mood of unaccountable suspense and anxiety (appropriate given the Occupation context  in which the story was written). The meteor is introduced as both a speedily growing incandescence in the night sky, and by a melting heat afflicting the usually drizzly Brussels, the tar on the roads melting, armies of rats fleeing the gutter, car-tyres popping and mad prophets pronouncing millenarian judgements. The spangled blackness of the sky is offset by the dreamlike twilight blue that illuminates the streets. When Tintin rushes to the observatory, he finds the spanking, steely modern technology run by an eccentric gaggle of Dickensian relics, all black frock-coated dodderers, running around in the vicious circles of their own self-absorption, headed by the appropriately-named, anvil-headed Phostle. When he encourages Tintin to look into the giant, cannon-priapic telescope for himself, he sees a colossal spider heading towards the planet.
No work could keep up that sweat-making momentum, and Herge wisely lets the narrative dip, mixing comedy (including Haddock's pathetic attempts to sneak a nagan, Snowy's incessant raids on the kitchen, and the sight of the world's finest minds keeling over in green-faced sea-sickness) with race-against-the-clock suspense as our heroes strive to reach the meteor, despite various chilling sabotage attempts by their rivals. The meteor itself is a creation worthy of Swift, soon erasing memories of 'The Black Island'. The affirmative faith in science that propels the action is undermined by the instabilities of the sinking meteor, with its magnified lifeforms (including flies and spiders) and exploding toadstools (among the book's many great visual effects, the best is possibly the shrinking in successive frames of our hero as the mushroom enlarges). The massive apples that knock Tintin on the head may be an ironic allusion to the great Enlightenment hero Newton, who could be said to usher in modern science, and the famous fruit in the Garden of Eden (like Adam, or Columbus, Tintin explores virgin land), a warning against the dangers of pursusing too much knowledge (earlier predicted by the decline into madness of the scientist Philippus); nature will always fight back, in ever more aggressive and distorted forms.
This is definately a must for any tintin fan though.