I haven’t done one of these in awhile and want to start back up again. Note: There will be some spoiler comments to the current Star Wars Comic #1-3 and Princess Leia #1.
Ok, I am totally Star Wars happy these days. I adored the new trailer from Celebration. The new characters seem exciting but seeing Han Solo and Chewie together again took me back to my childhood. They have me hooked in. I love that I am counting down the days like I did when I was younger.
Marvel’s main Star Wars comic has been spectacular. I reread the first three issues today. It really struck me that there was an intensity to the action and unfolding drama. Yeah, I know they all survive to Empire Strikes Back but the writing and art really gave me a sense of danger anyway. The voices of the characters felt right and that is hard to do. Darth Vader also felt like a genuine, imposing threat and I feel that is something really important. He held off an AT AT Walker with the force. Han and Leia’s reaction that they thought they were going to die, really sold it for me. This is a further developing of the building of that relationship. Also, Han’s role as the guy who keeps helping the good guys, even though he wants to be a free agent plays out well here. Luke stole the show with the speeder bikes but also his battles with Darth. This predates the discovery of their real relationship and I love the way it is an unfolding mystery for both. I have jumped in and out of my Star Wars fandom over the years but this book is a must read!
Quick shout out to the first issue of Princess Leia. The focus on having her deal with the Alderaan tragedy and any potential survivors was a great choice to set this book apart as a unique voice. I am not sure if this was dealt with in the expanded universe but I welcome it into this new continuity. Mark Waid is hitting a home run. Leia is in a transition period. She considers herself a member of the rebellion but her status as a royal is making the rebel leadership leery to put her in danger. The early days of her relationship with Luke feel natural here. There is a respect but they aren’t as close as we see in Empire. Telling stories that add to a larger sense of progression really works for me. If this is where Star Wars storytelling is heading in terms of quality, I will be on board for some time to come.
The Star Wars Battlefront trailer looked truly amazing. I am normally a single player campaign guy but the idea of running around Endor with a group of people has me interested. The graphics look outstanding and I hope the gameplay matches. This might pull me into online gaming in a area where I don’t normally tread. I look forward to that because I think I would have a great deal of fun with this genre if I hook up with the right group. The Darth Vader appearance was really impressive. I hope this all comes together.
I would like to start doing a few of these a month. Obviously some will revolve around DC because I have a passion there but I also like to use these as a chance to chat about some other pop culture favorites. Thanks for reading!
For long time listeners of the show, it will come as no big shock that I am a huge fan of the work of Gail Simone. I was introduced to her talent on her first run of Birds of Prey and her work really hit me. Since then, I have enjoyed incredible work on All New Atom, Secret Six (Short list of one of my all time favorite series), Batgirl plus so much more in minis, one shots, and more in and our of DC.
I am baffled at the decision to remove her from Batgirl. More than that, I am anxiously awaiting the chance to read Leaving Megalopolis and to follow her to whatever new projects will be announced. She is a stellar talent and this next phase of her professional career is sure to pay off for long time fans and new readers that she will pick up along the way. I thank her for the amazing work she has given us so far. Here’s to the future!
Over the past few years, you may have heard Jim and I talk at length about our love for Secret Six. It was original, edgy, featured amazing character depth and amazing art. This was a book that really enjoyed immense creative energy. Secret Six is the type of book that comes around every so often that reminds me why comics are the place that I have found mind blowing content since the 70’s.
I’ve made no secret of my admiration of the writing prowess of Gail Simone. I fondly remember her first issue of Birds of Prey and how I immediately felt something special in the way her stories were crafted to really get to the heart of the emotional core of these characters. Gail is one of those writers who really works hard to understand who the characters are. Then she takes you on a journey with them that you and the characters never expected. She takes them there in a way that makes you feel like you are another passenger in the car hanging out with two friends who you really don’t want to admit you like. (I’m talking to you Catman and Deadshot.)
That brings me to the talent that is Jim Calafiore. I first had the chance to experience his work during his time with Peter David on the amazing Aquaman run. I had read an issue here and there of Aquaman previously. I never had the budget to really follow it further, so it wasn’t a statement on the quality of what I had read. I knew the character from Super Friends but knew little of his world other than Black Manta was his enemy and he talked to fish.
When crafting an undersea world, the right artist knows how to give you that sense of wonder. He can deliver a sense of motion, action and drama that fits the location, tone and style of the book. I refer to that run regularly on the podcast because it holds a special place on a short list of favorites for me. Jim’s art was a huge part of helping me get to know who the whole supporting cast. (Dolphin rocked by the way!) When he came on Secret Six, he brought and showed his continued evolution as an artistic talent. This book was perfection to me with Nicola Scott on the art chores and Jim continued that same high quality. Jim knows how to create beauty while telling an amazing visual story.
The announcement that when this Kickstarter crosses the $92,000 mark, it will bring colorist Jason Wright on board motivated me to give another heavy shout out to this awesome Kickstarter. I am a school teacher and not an artist but I know when an art team really hits me in a way that sticks with me. Jason Wright’s color work on Secret Six really had to match the emotional tone that was being delivered by all other members of the creative process. Secret Six gave us wicked action, buddy cop style action drama, some of the nastiest villain moments you could ever read, and a cast of characters that somehow became endearing even when they shouldn’t. Jason’s colors had to match those moods and many many more. (Often these were jumping out of multiple panels on the same page because this book delivered a great deal of content each month.)
When I sat down to write this, I truly meant to do a quick shout out to Leaving Megalopolis, in hopes of on some small level pointing friends of our show to this campaign if they missed our previous shout outs on the podcast. It turned quickly into a love letter to these creators, Secret Six and hopefully a chance for some of you who were on the fence to jump on this project so you don’t miss out. This team has shown what a unique experience can be with Secret Six. I can’t wait to see what they do with Leaving Megalopolis.
“When the caped heroes of the world’s safest city inexplicably all turn into homicidal lunatics, no one is safe.” I mean come on. It’s survival horror where the last remaining normal humans have to face a world where Superheroes made it a perfect place but now they have snapped. How can you not want to read that? 80 pages of hard hitting comic drama is coming our way.
I was really thrilled to hear the announcements today of the next wave of New 52 titles.
Batman Inc. was no shock because of the recent one shot and news of Morrison’s new series wrapping up his take on Batman. I am really excited for this. Leviathan Strikes was VERY satisfying.
Earth 2 is a series that I have been drooling for. I am a huge JSA fan. I didn’t know exactly what direction they were going with this but this is totally going beyond my expectations. I love the multiple Earth concept. I am going to be curious to see if this is an established team on that planet or if we will see an origin of the team. I am fine either way. These characters are missed. You couldn’t as for a better creative team of James Robinson and Nicola Scott. BTW: Read the Shade mini if you haven’t checked it out.
World’s Finest was a surprise. When I heard the title, I naturally assumed Batman and Superman. This is a much better and fresh choice. I am not sure if this is going to be the Huntress from the current mini. I am not sure if she is from our Earth or Earth 2. I can’t wait to see beautiful artwork from George Perez and Kevin Maguire. Power Girl is a favorite character of mine since the 70’s. Paul Levitz is the perfect choice for this book. I am glad they are using this book to link the two worlds and hopefully it will bring some fans to both titles. Don’t miss this! I am excited for all of the announced books but Earth 2 and this title top my list.
Dial H: I am not familiar with China Mieville but am excited to get to know this writer through Dial H. I didn’t read the original series bur I did enjoy Hero by Will Pfeifer. I am anxious to see a new take on this concept as it sounds cool. I am glad DC is mixing solid classic characters with some of their lesser known properties. I like the variety. It makes my weekly pull list much more exciting.
G.I. Combat: I really have been enjoying Man of War. With that book being cancelled at issue 8, I am glad another war title is taking it’s place. The creative teams in this title look very solid. Plus it offers a new jumping on point for a potential audience.
The Ravagers: The thematic crossover between Superboy and Teen Titans is really growing on me. It took me some time because I was a fan of both previous versions. The timing is right to take a look at what happens to some of the other kids who have been captured along the way. It makes sense that not all of them would go the same route as the new Teen Titans.
If you missed this, check it out. I am really excited about this because they aren’t just focused on animation but all of the DC properties. I think this can only be good for comics in general. This is really a potential step in the right direction for the industry. Side note: If you aren’t watching Young Justice or haven’t seen Green Lantern’s animated series, check those out. They are incredible.