Archive for April, 2008

Stranded on an ice  planet engaged in a battle between Mandalorians and rakghoul disease victims, Zayne Carrick, Celeste Morne and Marn Hierogryph must battle for they’re lives and retrieve the Murr Talisman from the treacherous Mandalorian scientist Pulsipher. Taking refuge in a small comm station, Celeste contacts Lucien Draay, the leader of the Jedi Covenant, who tells her to kill Zayne. Wary of the Covenant after hearing Zayne’s part of the story, Celeste decides not to kill him.

Zayne, after sending a message to Cassus Fett warning him about the rakghoul plague, decides to go and search for Gryph in the war forge. Under the command of Pulsipher, rakghoul victims capture Zayne and bring him to Pulsipher’s lab, where the Mandalorian scientist interrogates Zayne in hopes of learning how to unlock the Talisman’s true power. When the talisman comes alive and un-bonds itself from Pulsipher’s arm, chaos erupts as Celeste Morne arrives to assist Zayne.

The Talisman immediately sense Celeste’s force presence and bonds to her around the kneck, and Morne experiences a strange force vision from a sith lord. With the talisman bonded around her kneck, the Rakghouls bow down to Celeste in worship, apparently identifying her as they’re leader.

This issue answers a few questions, and then also opens an entire new lot of them. We get an explanation on how Celeste survives to Dark Times: using a Sith torture device in which victims are kept mentally alive for eternity while they’re bodies are held in stasis. The purpose of the Talisman is now clear: it creates a plague that turns victims into savage, super-strong monsters under the controll of the wearer of the talisman.

I think this was a great issue. The art is wonderful, with Scott Hepburn’s cartoony pencils and Michael Atiyeh’s stellar color work. The story is intriguing, with the continuing mystery of the Muur Talisman and the speculation on how these events will tie into Dark Times, Rebellion and Legacy. Definitely pick this one up!


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After being enslaved and tortured by the murderous criminal Haka, things couldn’t be worse for the crew of the Uhumele. The tides are turned after, through a series of events, Bomo Greenbark escapes, and leads Haka to believe he’s escaped into the jungle surrounding Haka’s base. With his captors tricked into thinking he’s gone, Bomo begins to execute his master plan of saving the rest of the Uhumele’s crew and bringing down Haka’s gang.

Meanwhile, Lumbra is causing trouble for Master Kruhk’s band of jedi refugees. After gunning down Master Piru, stealing parts from K’Kruhk’s crashed shuttle and taking the padawans hostage, Lumbra and his crew head back to they’re downed ship to make repairs. K’Kruhk saves Piru from the brink of death by healing her with the Force, and begins making his plan to rescue the younglings from being sold as bounty to the Empire.

This issue was mostly just a big set-up for the ending of Parallels. That being said, as a singular issue, this one wasn’t very good. As I said in the last post, I don’t like Lui Antonio’s artwork, and I’d be much happier if Dave Ross would do all of it instead of just the parts with Kruhk.

On a side note, my fan letter praising The Path to Knowwhere was printed in the back of the issue. If you have this issue, definatly check that out. Look for a scan up on the front page soon.

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Things go from bad to worse for the crew of the Uhumele when they get caught in the crossfire of two gangs who desperately want they’re mysterious cargo. Lumbra and his ship’s crew escape the battle with the Uhumele’s cargo, unknown to them that the only thing occupying the box they just stole is a very big bomb. When the crew go to sneak a look at the new found treasure, the explosion rips they’re ship out of hyperspace. Lumbra is forced to crash land on a nearby inhabitable moon, one that we soon learn is the same moon Master Kruhk and his Jedi younglings have taken refuge on.

The Uhumele’s crew is captured by Haka, the leader of the other gang after they’re cargo, a murderous criminal with an agenda of his own. Heren, the leader of the Uhumele, makes the mistake of telling him that the cargo Lumbra stole was a fake, and that the real cargo was hidden inside an asteroid field in orbit. When the crew unanimously vow not to tall him the location of the cargo, Haka begins to unsuccessfully torture the Uhumele’s crew, hoping to squeeze the information out of them.

While I’m enjoying the story of Parallels, the quality of the art has declined. While I do like Dave Ross’ art, his fill in artist, Lui Antonio, isn’t up to parr with the level of quality I’ve come to expect from Star Wars comics. Ross and Antonio did a sort of tag-teaming while pencilling this issue, with Dave drawing Kruhk’s scenes and Antonio illustrating the Uhumele’s parts.

That said, this was an okay issue, but at this point, I wouldn’t really suggest this series to anyone who hasn’t been reading Dark Times from the beginning.

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Written by Michael Stockpole, the X-Wing Rouge Squadron comic book series of the mid 90’s follows the intrepid adventures of infamous starfighter squadron in events that place directly after the battle of Endor.

The 288-page Omnibus: X-Wing Rouge Squadron, volume 2,  includes the comic book arcs Battleground Tatooine, Warrior Princess and Requim for a Rouge. In Battleground Tatooine, a diplomatic mission turns hostile as a war between the remains of Jabba’s crime network, Imperials and Rouge Squadron errupts. Rouge Squadron fighter pilot Plourr is revealed to be the heir to the Eiattu thrown in Warrior Princess and is tasked to bring peace to her planet, which is under siege by Imperials and a rebellious military group named the People’s Liberation Battalion. A mission goes awry in Requiem for a Rougewhen Rouge Squadron finds themselves stranded with a group of Bothans on a planet tainted by mysterious Sith Magic.

All three arcs, written by Michael Stockpole, feature characters like Wedge Antilles, Hobbie Klivian and Wes Janson, as well as newer squadron members that go on to play roles in the novels. The art for the first two arcs, pencilled by John Nadeau,  were superb. I think the art faltered a little bit when Gary Erksine signed on for Requim for a Rouge, an arc which I really did not enjoy.

Fans of Michael Stockpole’s X-Wing: Rouge Squadron novel series will love the comic book series, especially the very novel-esqe Battleground Tatooine arc found in this Omnibus. As a huge fan of both Stockpole’s work and Rouge Squadron, these comics are a dream come true.

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The Marvel Effect

Way before Dark Horse ever got the Star Wars liscense, Marvel carryed their origanal Star Wars title into the triple digits. In these comics, Luke seemed to have an infinitely large closet full of farmboy duds, Darth Vader had a duel with Luke in every other comic book and one of the main characters was a green rabbit-like alien named Jaxxon.

All that aside, I’ve never actually read a single issue of a Star Wars Marvel comic book. Marvel’s Classic Star Wars line is considered S-Canon, a type of canon that isn’t considered to be part of contineuty unless it’s referenced by another source and passed through a series of tests making sure it doesn’t contradict any other soruces. It would be nearly impossible to place any Classic Star Wars into main continuety, with the current Dark Horse series Rebellion and novels like Tim Zahn’s Allegience.

I understand the basis of S-canon, but I think it’s unfair. If you’re going to deem somthing non-canon, keep it that way. Examples of this would be the appearence of Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith, in the Legacy of the Force series. I don’t like it when they do that. I would have been much happier if they had created a new character, or at least resurected a more interesting Sith to tutor Jacen. That being said, Lumiya’s already dead, so atleast they didn’t have long-term plans for the half-cyborg sith lord.

It does make me wonder, to a point, about the future of contiuety. While I’ve said before I’m against people who complain about “all the problems in continuety,” I’m afraid that what happened to the Marvel comics will happen in the future. What if George Lucas decides to turn the Clone Wars-era Republic series into S-canon, just so his new tv series doesn’t have to worry about time line constrictions? Even if it’s George’s decision to do so, I don’t want what happened to the Marvel Star Wars line to happen to other sources of Expanded Universe. That’s somthing for us continuity gurus to worry about.

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Issue #21, Indomitable part 2, illustrates the epic battle of Mon Calamari, in which Admiral Stazi brings the remaining Galactic Alliance fleet into battle in an attempt to steal the Imperial’s latest invention, an Advanced Star Destroyer named Imperious. Under knowledge that he is outgunned and outnumbered, Admiral Stazi decides to continue to fight Grand Admiral Valan’s Imperial fleet. Unknown to the Imperials, Stazi has taken controll of the Mon Calamari shipyard’s turbolasers and has also commandeered the Imperious with a commando team of GA troopers.

Just as the tide is turned in favor of the Galactic Alliance, the Imperials single out Stazi’s flagship and bombard it with all their might. Against the wishes of his officers, Stazi decides to sacrifice himself, staying onboard and flying manuelly so the rest of the ship’s crew can escape the doomed vessel. His heroic end is cut short when Stazi’s first officer commands Rouge Leader Jhoram Bey to knock out the resisting admiral and escape with him. Stazi’s first officer Captain Yorub takes the admiral’s place and crashes the Alliance flagship into the Imperial docks orbiting Mon calamari.

This was an amazing issue. In my opinion, Legacy needed a break from Jan Duuresma and her Cade story line, which got increasingly old after six issues of Claws of the Dragon. This issue looks at events at a much grander scale, depicting events in the epic war between the Galactic Alliance and the Empire. Omar Francia does an amazing job illustrating this issue, and Dark Times heavyweight Doug Wheatly’s cover art is one of the best covers I’ve seen in months.

This is what I want from Legacy, not more of whiny Cade Skywalker doing Death Sticks and refusing to follow his destiny to become a Jedi. This was an awsome issue, and I hope to see more of this new three-way civil war between the Galactic Alliance, the Sith Empire and Emperor Fel’s Imperial Remnant.

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Reviews, Reviews

You might be asking, Why are all these reviews of comics released two years ago popping up on the main page? There’s plenty of new stuff to review. Well, if you’ve been keeping up on my Review Problem series, then you know I’m going back and reviewing single issues and arcs from my massive collection of comic books from the past three years. Another reason for these reviews is because I was recently asked by Eucantina.net, a very popular expanded universe news site, to sydicate my reviews to their site. That was a really good opportunity to get my work out. I do promise, however, that I will keep posting here for the many loyal readers who visit this site daily and subscibe to my feedburner feed.

I’ve been asked alot recently, through my reader survey (check it out in the link atop the sidebar) and other places, “Why don’t you write more about Expanded Universe news?” First off I’ll say I’m sort of flattered people want me to write more. I used to try and report on all sorts of Star Wars news.  It wasn’t good stuff. I realized that trying to report the EU single-handedly on this website would be pretty pointless, and there were already much more popular sites handeling that sort of news. I decided to turn this blog into a more personal venue through which I could voice my opinion on Star Wars and misc sci fi news. Things seemed to turn out okay, because this site has done nothing but grow and grow. I also plan to start reporting more news, not to try to compete with other fansites, but to give myself more of an opportunuty to voice my opinion about topics. I hope that answers your questions.

Though there has recently been a lull in posts lately, I can promise I’ll be reviewing a bunch more comics and books and starting a new series of posts which will start popping up soon. I also have reviews of all three of Karen Travis’ Republic Commando books almost ready to publish. See you around!

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