Tag Archives: dark horse

Stars Wars Legacy and The Star Wars

First off I am not a prequel guy. Whether it be Stars Wars or any other franchise. I’m looking at you The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas! I want new stories that push a collective universe forward not filling in that 3 month period when Yoda was between grades five and six at the Jedi Academy 800 years ago. No thanks.

With Dark Horse’s Star Wars Legacy (Volume 1) I enjoyed this extended universe set 130 years ABY (that’s after the battle of Yavin for you non Star Wars geeks). Cade Skywalker was a flawed descendant of Luke Skywalker that continually walked the line between the light and dark side of the force. That made for some great stories. They had a good run ending it at Issue 50 and one mini series. Most importantly, it pushed the Star Wars universe forward.

Star Wars Legacy Vol 2

Volume 2 of Legacy (click here to read a preview of issue 6) follows Ania Solo, descendant of Han and Leia.

Initially I was really excited about this title as Volume 1 was pretty good. Unfortunately I don’t see Ania Solo being the standout character that Cade Skywalker was in volume one. Could be just early days, her character needing to be fleshed out. Might be Ania being the reluctant hero versus Cade the over the top daredevil Jedi / space pirate.

I have a different idea. Writers Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman needed to introduce Ania Solo with a few issues thereby building her up, rooting her in the Legacy universe. Instead the series is already at light speed and hip deep with inherited characters from volume 1. These characters over shadow Ania and don’t give her a chance to come the forefront. For example, in the first six issues Ania has only been on the cover three times and one of those was from behind.

On top of all that the art is simply okay. It’s adequate to tell the story but beyond that it personally doesn’t wow me. At times it can be very flat and washed out and due to the sketchy nature of the art, detail can be lacking.

The big event in Star Wars comics this year for me is The Star Wars. Based on George Lucas’s original rough-draft screenplay form 1974 and Ralph Mcquarrie concept artwork (which I loved as a child). For fans it’s interesting to see where Star Wars originally started and contrast that to the final films we know so well.

The Star Wars #1

Issue one (of eight) introduces us to strange but familiar characters like General Skywalker, Annikin Starkiller and a much less disfigured Darth Vader and Emperor. The art by Mike Mayhew and colours by Rain Beredo are beyond excellent giving it a very detailed and painted look. See for yourself in this seven page preview. Unlike Legacy it visually looks like a film with the posing and layout. You can tell this is a prestige project for Dark Horse with the quality of the art and even the cover is of a glossy thicker paper stock.

Unlike a prequel this story is different enough to stand on it’s own merits and opens up a new universe for our imagination, pushing things forward.

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Comics: November

UW1 #2UW1 #3

Universal War One #2 & #3

I’ve really enjoyed Denis Bajram’s Universal War One that Marvel has translated into English. Hopefully the remainder of his series will soon follow?

What is there not to love in this wonderful series? A story that you think you know where it’s going, turns it and surprises you at the end. Amoral, dregs of the military criminals that have some really major character flaws, who grow emotionally and somehow Bajram gets you to care about them. Not an easy task. Immense space battles. Battlestar Galactica season four should really take some tips from UW1.

I really liked the band of brothers, miltary screw up, space war theme of the series and I remembered a similar series called Alien Legion. When the s hits the f the characters in these two series pull together, get the job done despite the animosity them feel towards one another. If you can find Alien Legion, it’s a good read!

So hurry up Marvel and get the rest of Bajram’s Universal War One out pronto!

Pax Romana #3

Another stand out series for me has been Pax Romana by Jonathan Hickman. Taking essentially a black and white book and adding a few colours for the entire book Hickman has a really unique style. But unique in the comic biz usually means months between issues. For example I picked up issue #1 of Pax Romana in January… nine months ago.

SS #2SS #3SS #4

Squadron Supreme #2, #3 & #4

Remember how I was talking about if Squadron Supreme would keep my interest? Well it didn’t and now my interest is dead.

It’s not a bad series per say just not something I’m willing to spend my time and money keeping it going. You can look at each cover and know which hero they are carbon copying, personally not that interesting. The art is good, though there occasionally is some variation of the line quality and that puts me off.

It’s real shame I really wanted to like this series.

Top 10: Season Two #1

It’s great when a favorite book comes around again. Although Season Two is not written by Alan Moore, Zander Cannon does a great job in the writing department and Gene Ha adds a painted element to his excellent artwork.

While the precinct deals with the lost of one of their own, a new Commissioner ruffles some feathers and twelve dead bodies appear literally on their front doorstep.

They only downside is that it’s a four part mini-series.

Star Wars Legacy #27Star Wars Legacy #28Star Wars Legacy #29

Star Wars: Legacy #27, 28 & 29

Issue 27 was a good stand alone story featuring one of the Sith up to no good looking for ancient Sith knowelege in the deep core.

Now issues 28 & 29 begin to finish up the Vector storyline that has spand all the Dark Horse Star Wars books and eras from the Old Republic to 125 years after Luke Skywalker. I usually hate multiple title crossovers, but Vector seems to stand well on it’s own in the Legacy series.

Grant Morrision’s Doctor Who #1

Even thought this title is a reprint of Grant Morrision’s Doctor Who comics from the 1980’s it’s still a super fun read. For the classic fans, one word… Frobisher! Morrision talked with MTV about the reprints and his love of Doctor Who, check out the interview.

Doctor Who: The Forgotten #2

Yet another Doctor Who series from IDW, they must really like Doctor Who over there. That’s three series they are publishing. But this is the only new ongoing one of the three with the tenth Doctor. I missed the first issue, but I can fill in the blanks pretty well. Doctor and Martha in danger, Tardis missing and the Doctor missing key memories from his past regenerations. It’s so great to see some second and third Doctors show up in the book as the Doctor’s memories slowly return.

I’m going to start a new format for my comic reviews here on VOX. Since I’m buying a few more titles now I’m going to start reviewing the books in regards to story arcs. I think this will same me time and will give you dear read a more concise review of the comics I’m reading.

Till next time, remember to keep them bagged and boarded.

August Comics

I know it's September, but I did pick these up last month and it's taken awhile to write them up.

The Red Star: Sword of Lies #3
 
Imagine if the Cold War had included magic and advanced technology and that's The Red Star. I know that's the five cent explanation but I've wasted too much time looking a blank screen trying to explain it.

This mini series (in which I missed #2) depicts the war that leads to the creation the Red Star state.

The Red Star series is probably one of the best looking books I've ever read, consistent quality is sometimes hard to find in an on going series like this. Of course I say that knowing full well that the title seems to be on bi-yearly release cycle.

The Authority #1

Another relaunch of Wildstorms premiere superhero team.

This story is continued from the Wildstorm series Number of the Beast (which I did not read), where the heroes lost and the world is devastated.
It's looking pretty bleak and the Authority are gathering up the few remaining survivors of London in their ship that crashed in the middle of London. All technology is dead are so are most of the people. It's pretty rare to see a series start with the heroes defeated, of course that means that things can only get better… right? Right?
Check out the PDF preview

Cade Skywalker having found the secret Jedi base waits to see if the Jedi will go along with his plan to assassinate the Sith. Of course they don't and he teams up with the Empire.
Also it's finally revealed that Jariah Syn's hatred of the Jedi stems from his father being killed by one years ago. Duh.

Check out the preview

I think I have a soft spot for this title mainly because I really liked the 80's version so much.Unfortunately it's not written by J. Michael Straczynski like the previous series was, but it seems okay.

This issue is introducing a new bunch of super heroes so there probably won't be any real action for a few more issues.

What I don't like is then even though I picked up the complete Supreme Power series they keep making references to some other series, mini-series or one shots I never picked up. I hate those mainly because I think are just a money grab and very rarely move a story forward.

I'll give it a few issues to see if turning DC and Marvel characters 90 degrees is enough to keep me interested.


Powers #29

Finally the story of Detective Deena Pilgrim going AWOL with super powers has come to an end.

It wasn't that bad of a story arc, it just seems it could have been a tad shorter.

It was interesting to see a cop become a junkie due to a virus that gives you super powers and then go on a killing spree of the bad guys who have also have the same power virus. Not your usual fodder of a cop or super power book, well certainly not the same book.

Looking forward to the next story arc!

Elephantmen #13

Subtitled Invasion Squid Force this issue kicks off a new story with a meteor crashing into Santa Monica Beach.

Hip Flask investigates and discovers it's really a biological weapon and people are going to start to die.

There's a side story with Obadiah Horn being mortally wounder by debrie from the same meteor when it causes his car to crash.

I've professed my love of Elephantmen before and I'll do it again. A high point in both story and art. To me it's up there with classics like Metabarons and The Incal from Humanoid Publishing

Doctor Who #6

Having missed half the issues of this story arc I have no idea what's going, who's who and why vilans are now allies.

As an on going story from a television property you usually know what to expect. It's not the best, but certainly not the worst I've seen. Hard core fans need not apply.

Mainly I read it due to being a fan of the show and having collected the 1980's Doctor Who comics (which at the time were pretty cheap at comic conventions and propabley still are) and IDW are reprinting those along stories under the Classic Doctor title.

Basic Doctor Who story of saving all existence and only adequate art work leaves a lot of room to improve this title.

I did get goose bumps when I saw the cover for the next series with the first Doctor on the cover though.

Now for the real big comic news.

Komico my comic store that I have been going to for over a decade (about 12 years) has moved to a new location!

Though I am a little sad to see the old place go and with it the trappings of the average comic shop. I'm blown away with how nice the new location is.

There's three rooms now. One for new releases, a second for bins of back issues and a whole room dedicated just to trade paper backs!

Parking is a little bit better and if you're lucky you might even score some free parking on a side street.

The added room has allowed artwork to go up on the walls. They even have some Prince Valiant prints that are super cool comic history.

I'm really going to have to start going more frequently.

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May Comics: Free Comic Book Day Edition

I hope everyone had a great Free Comic Book Day this weekend. I know I did.

Powers #28
Continues the story line of the powers virus that is killing people and the new Retro Girl goes under cover for the police.

I'm kind of getting tired of this latest plot. I don't know if it's because I only pick up my reserves every couple of months now or what but it seems to be dragging. Of course I'm sure that when it does get wrapped up it will blow my mind!

Powers Annual 2008
I guess the comic annual is not dead. More of a stand alone story. Delveing into Walkers past from being a cro-magnon to a caveman. Underlying tone is that Supers for all the good they do have made the normals weak and dependent on them for protection. Oh and super graphic violence and sex.

Doctor Who #3
You think I would have head about this being a Doctor Who fan. Gary Russell who is story editor for the new series is writing so it should hold up to the series.

I missed issue #1 & 2 but luckily issue #3 starts a new story having the Doctor and Martha arriving in the future on a alien world and the cat nuns make another appearance. You think they would have a more stringent hiring policy for those nuns by now.

There is also a Doctor Who Classics book featuring the 4th Doctor for you old timers.

Elephantmen War Toys 2 of 3
Elephantmen War Toys 3 of 3 variant cover

Elephantmen: Wars Toys 2 & 3

Nothing is better when you combine great story and great art… unless you add genetically engineered animal killing machines in a futuristic war. Oh wait it's got that too!

Great insight to the war to end all wars and our favorite Elephantmen. Good story showing the humanity in the beast and the beast in humanity point counter point.

This is how prequels should be done. A story that is strong enough to stand alone from the rest of the Elephantmen universe, interesting and engaging.

Thanks Hip Flask crew for creating a book that I hold up with classics such as Metabarons.


Star Wars: Legacy #19, 20, 21, 22

I am really glad I decided to pick this new on-going Star Wars series. Since it is the only book I collect that comes out monthly when I pick up my reserve it's like a reading a small trade.

Star Wars Legacy 19Star Wars Legacy 20Star Wars Legacy 21Star Wars Legacy 22

I'd like to summarize the plot but there is just too much going on and even after 22 issues there's too much back story for me to explain here. But there is a great space battle in issue 20 & 21. And after issue 22 no one is going to feel sorry for those Bothans, the Mon Calamari are fracked!

I purposely timed our trip to Komico to coincide with Free Comic Book Day, that way I get comics, the boys get comics and I don't get upset if they destroy any comics. Hey they're $3 and up, it can get expensive if a toddler literally rips into your collection.

I was interested in only three of the offerings that were available the Stranded, Superpowers, and Dan Dare (by a favorite Warren Ellis). Unfortunately I was rather unimpressed by the lot, of course they were free so I shouldn't be too hard on them. So take the following with a hefty grain of salt.

The Stranded might be totally good… just the part I read. The art is late 90's Image fare and the story pretty run of the mill. Not bad, just nothing I haven't seen a dozen times before. Also it seems that it is going to be made into a series for the Sci-fi Channel.

I was really excited about Dan Dare written by Warren Ellis. Dan Dare was a pulp 1950's sci-fi character like Flash Gordon that they now have the rights to, but unlike Flash, I'd never heard of the character. It was part of a flip book with The Stranded so the story was short. It was ok and I'm sure people will like it but it's just not up my alley. I was surprised at that since I liked Ellis' Ministry of Space mini-series and it was in fact influenced by Dan Dare.

Project Superpowers is your usual cover only painted and co-plotted by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger book. I thought their EarthX and Justice series were very good and I loved that Ross painted the entire Justice series. But I guess they wanted a more regular release schedule and a fully painted book would not be able to meet the time constraints.

Other than that it was an okay look at golden age heroes set free into today's world. If you like that kind of stuff… I was never really a fan of the Justice Society stuff either.

ET picked up Marvel Adventures. I thought he might go for the Transformers issue but in his mind he saw four superheroes and thought that was a better deal than just the Transformers. It was a usual superpower team up book but ET liked it.

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