Star Wars #3
Dark Horse Comics
STORY BY Brian Wood
ART BY Carlos D’Anda
Before I begin this review, let me wax nostalgic a bit. I have had a love/hate relationship with Star Wars comics since they first came out in the 70s. Part of the reason has to do with the fact that long before there was an internet and tons of shows and outlets which fans could get their fix, and of course the birth of the home theater (specifically the VRS and Betamax) made it prohibitively expensive to re-watch the movies, the only thing there was for kids of my time were the toys and of course the comics. To be brutally honest, through the first 38 issues, I wasn’t all that crazy about some of the books mainly because I wasn’t crazy about Carmine Infantino’s artwork. Everything looked big and blocky, the ships looked out or proportion and the characters just didn’t feel or look the same.
The books didn’t have the ‘magic’ of the movies but when you are a kid between 7 and 10 years of age in the 70s again, it’s take what you can get. Something happened in issue 39 when the Empire Strikes back came along. Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson as the team tasked to do the adaptation and all of a sudden, in my 10 year old mind, the books were like gold. Everything looked right and proportional and I think I read that books 8 or 9 times after seeing the movie just to let it all sink in and even though Infantino did a few issues after, he eventually made way for Walt Simonson who, in my mind, really made this comics pop for me. By the time Star Wars ended its run with marvel and Dark Horse picked up the license, I had what I needed at that time from the franchise. In those days, I was happy to see that any company could keep alive the hype that was Star Wars long past the movie, which was at that time unheard of. Once Dark Horse acquired the license, I was a young man and at that time, not collecting comics even though I followed a few here and there. Within recent years as I started back collecting of course one of my major searches of course was seeing how the franchise fared under Dark Horse and while it did well, it just wasn’t compelling to me, that is until Star Wars Legacy came along under the brilliant helm of John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons (all three are really cool people if you ever have a chance to meet them!) In my opinion it was one of the best ongoing Star Wars titles because it was bold and progressive. I was sad when it ended but there is news that there will be a return with a new character.
Now we come to Brian Wood’s new look at the Star Wars mythos (and my review). And after 3 issues in, I am really hooked on this title! One reason being is the story that is being told has the potential to being THE Star Wars comic that we have wanted since the 70s. Brian Wood takes us back to the days of the Rebellion soon after the destruction of the Death Star. Wood has shown us the relationships and dynamics between Luke and Leia and is really showing us how fragile that win really was. In this particular issue, Wood gives nearly all the main characters some air time in the book to develop, Han and Chewie on a secret mission, Leia and Luke get into it about Luke’s insubordination (he really let that Death Star thing go to his head!) even Wedge Antilles gets a few panels in and also we learn what happens to Vader as he is pushed elsewhere due to his failure at Yavin. A new character is introduced to compete with Vader for the Emperor’s attention in Colonel Bircher and the ‘first’ appearance of the TIE Interceptors. Also the art by Carlos D’Anda really stands out as he conveys the emotions put forth by Brian Wood. This team brings back nearly the same excitement I had reading the ESB adaptation and so far just as good as the SW:L team. In my mind, there is a lot going on in this book and as always, it just ends too soon but I can honestly say after reading these 1st three issues, it really has awakened the 7 year old in me who really wanted these kinds of stories and if this continues, I am hoping to see how this series rivals what Marvel did with the license between ESB and RotJ.
4 out of 5
Age of Ultron #2
STORY BY Brian Michael Bendis
ART BY Bryan Hitch
***WARNING THERE WILL BE SPOILERS***
Ahhhhh, Spring is in the air, daylight savings time has happened which means it’s that time again. Yes, another Major Marvel Event. So, here we are 2 issues down and 8 to go and although it still has yet to be determined how things got to a point Ultron took over the world, it doesn’t take much to hazard a guess that humans poking around with giving AI ‘life’ mucked it up for all of us. Whatever it was be it Terminators, Cylons or whatever cybernetic life that evolves, it kicked humanity’s butt and it’s relentless in finishing the job. This issue focuses on Moon Knight and Black Widow as they desperately try to avoid the Ultron-bots who mercilessly kill everyone in their path. That sense of hopelessness from the 1st issue carries over well as we are also returned to Spider-man retelling how he woke up to the world as he knew coming to an end and discovering that with 1000s of heroes who once existed, only a handful remain even Captain America looks defeated and for some reason in the last panel after shaking off whatever it was that has him out of sorts he looks…disturbed perhaps? The approach taken to this is a different one than what we saw with last year’s AvX effort. While that book came out with guns blazing in a nonsensical fashion, AoU is taking its time setting the table and the artwork by Bryan Hitch who is fast becoming one of my favorite artists, really set the tone and atmosphere of the book and it’s a shame that he won’t be around for the entire run. This issue was taut and revealed little and is doing its best to pull us in. If this is done correctly, this could very well be one of the best event books seen in years.
By the way, you guys remember this right?
4 out of 5
Cyber Force 1 – 3
Story by: Marc Silvestri & Matt Hawkins
Art By: Khoi Pham & Sunny Gho
Speaking of the end of the world and humanity, Cyberforce 1 – 3 (a great Kickstarter effort by Silvestri) is a great ongoing book about a corporation known as the CDI and the rebels out to stop them. Apparently the daughter of one of the heads of the company runs away from home because she is aware of a plan that will destroy humanity as it exists and replace it with something else. Along the way, she runs into a group of rebels who really are just out for survival but once they become aware of what’s at stake are of course forced to choose between simply surviving and doing what’s right. The books I have read are full of intrigue and some cool subplots as well as lot of action sequences where some things are done which really makes one wan to question humanity in the future. At one point a kid is shot in the face. Yes, that happened. The first issue served mostly to give us an idea of what’s going on and then the 2nd issue started moving a few of those pieces and give us the plot as the 3rd issue showed how critical some of the characters are and of course give us a crucial revelation. The thing to keep in mind is that the 1st 6 issues are free so if you are undecided about whether or not you want to invest in this, get the 1st 6 issues and then make up your mind. Silvestri in my opinion sets a pace as to how much comes out in each book without overloading the reader with too much information although at a few points I had to go back and re-read a few sequences and in the meantime Pham and Glo’s work is detailed and credible. I was made aware that this is a reboot effort and while I never read the original series, so far I am liking what I am getting from this and for the time being, you can’t beat ‘free’.
4 out of 5
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