Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy – Book III

Published: January 8th, 2015 (Marvel reprint)
Written by: Jan Duursema, John Ostrander
Art by: Jan Duursema, Dave Ross
Based on: Star Wars by George Lucas

Dark Horse, Marvel Comics (reprinted), 443 Pages

Review:

Well, here we are, the final act of this comic book series. I also had never read any of this, as I stopped reading the series before its end due to no longer being able to pull the issues at my local comic shop.

So seeing where all these characters ended up was something that I didn’t get to experience until now.

I’m very happy to say that this series ended with a giant f’n bang!

I loved this and it tied everything up perfectly and the long arcs of the main characters ended up being really damn satisfying. But then again, this was Star Wars before Disney took control and basically wrecked it with their warped ideology, complete lack of actual creativity and by putting people in charge of the franchise that cared more about current day “issues” than the actual art.

That being said, and as I have said many times before, this version of Star Wars is my canon. Fuck that Disney shit. The original Expanded Universe, as proven by this comic book series and just about every other release be it comics, books, video games or whatever, is the superior continuity. The reason for that, is it was made by creatives that were fans and cared about the franchise while respecting the fact that being given the keys to it, was a huge responsibility.

But enough about me bitching about the state of modern Star Wars.

This beefy collection of issues was fantastic. You finally get to see the final showdown between Cade Skywalker and Darth Krayt. You also get the satisfaction of seeing Krayt get revenge on the Sith who betrayed him, while shuffling the deck for the Sith’s survival going forward.

By this point, this series had a ton of characters. All of them get their stories wrapped up and it’s neat seeing new alliances formed as old ones dissolve in the wake of this big final battle between Krayt’s Sith Empire and their opposition.

We see heroes grow, destinies fulfilled, alliances formed, redemption achieved for some and the triumph of light over dark. This is Star Wars

Rating: 9.25/10
Pairs well with: other Star Wars comics of the Legacy era, as well as the stuff originally published by Dark Horse.

Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy – Book II

Published: January 8th, 2015 (Marvel reprint)
Written by: Jan Duursema, John Ostrander
Art by: Jan Duursema, Kajo Baldisimo, Omar Francia, Alan Robinson, Adam Hughes (cover)
Based on: Star Wars by George Lucas

Dark Horse, Marvel Comics (reprinted), 417 Pages

Review:

After being pretty drawn into the first large collection in the Star Wars: Legacy comic book series, I didn’t want to waste too much time before getting to the second of the three volumes.

This one is nearly as good. However, it jumps around a lot to tell different stories with some characters we haven’t met yet. Most of these side stories were there to lay the groundwork for the overall, bigger arc.

For the most part, I enjoyed these side plots even though I wanted to get back to Cade Skywalker and his friends, as well as seeing where Darth Krayt was after his first big encounter with Cade.

The biggest things that happen in this volume is that there is a legit power struggle on the Sith side of the coin, while on the Jedi side, Cade has to evolve and conquer his personal demons in an effort to allow the light to wash away the dark. He’s not quite there yet but things in his life continue to push him towards the destiny he keeps trying to deny.

This volume also develops all of the main and secondary characters much more, as by this point, the series had gotten through what I would call its first act with this being the second.

This sets up everything for the final third of the larger story and it really keeps the momentum going, as we know shit will most assuredly hit the fan in the final volume.

Overall, this was solid and kept me invested in the series. Now there’s only one more book to go.

Rating: 8.75/10
Pairs well with: other Star Wars comics of the Legacy era, as well as the stuff originally published by Dark Horse.

Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy – Book I

Published: January 8th, 2015 (Marvel reprint)
Written by: Jan Duursema, John Ostrander
Art by: Adam Dekraker, Jan Duursema, Travel Foreman, Colin Wilson, Adam Hughes (cover)
Based on: Star Wars by George Lucas

Dark Horse, Marvel Comics (reprinted), 473 Pages

Review:

I was in on this series from the day it was originally released. I was buying all the Star Wars comics series by Dark Horse at the time and this, along with Knights of the Old Republic, were solid additions to my pull list. From that mid-to-late ’00s era, these comics kept me interested in the Star Wars franchise, even though it seemed like there would be no more movies, as George Lucas seemed like he was shifting into retirement mode.

Having re-read this for the first time in well over a decade, I’m happy to say that it’s held up exceptionally well. Hell, it’s much better than the version of Star Wars that Disney has been spoon-feeding us since they bought the IP in 2012.

What stands out the most with this series is the writing. It’s just so good. Also, within a short time, you feel like you know these characters. Plus, once they’re established, this doesn’t waste any time in getting right into the thick of it.

This is action packed and the characters, especially the Sith, are really damn cool looking. I also like that the main Sith Lord, Darth Krayt, is a character that reaches all the way back into the prequel era.

Even though this takes place over a hundred years into the future beyond The Return of the Jedi, it still features characters like Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in the form of Force ghosts trying to inspire this series’ reluctant hero into embracing his destiny as a Skywalker.

I like that Cade Skywalker, the main character, is sort of an amalgamation of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo but that he is also a heavy drug user, as he wants to suppress the Force and hide from who he is supposed to be.

Legacy has a darker edge to it than any other Star Wars comic series. I think that it actually adds to the sense of the dread that everyone in the galaxy should be feeling in this time period.

The galaxy is splintered and everything is in flux, making the future pretty damn uncertain and also solidifying the fact that even though the Empire fell a century earlier, life doesn’t just have a happy ending. There are still things that the survivors and heroes will always have to fight for.

I can’t wait to read the other two beefy volumes in this series.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: other Star Wars comics of the Legacy era, as well as the stuff originally published by Dark Horse.

Film Review: Tank Girl (1995)

Release Date: March 31st, 1995
Directed by: Rachel Talalay
Written by: Tedi Sarafian
Based on: Tank Girl by Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett
Music by: Graeme Revell
Cast: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Malcolm McDowell, Jeff Kober, Reg E. Cathey, Scott Coffey, Iggy Pop, James Hong, Doug Jones, Frank Welker (voice)

Image Comics, Trilogy Entertainment, United Artists, 104 Minutes

Review:

“Look, it’s been swell, but the swelling’s gone down.” – Tank Girl

While Lori Petty was a great choice to play Tank Girl, this is a pretty awful movie that I’ve never been a fan of.

The concept is cool but the execution of it was terrible in just about every way.

I will say that I like the general look and aesthetic of the movie but it’s the clunky and unfunny script that really drags this concept down into the mud and drowns it before it has a chance to save itself.

The jokes never land and that’s not Petty’s fault, as she’s working with the script they gave her. And honestly, I have to give her props for really giving this her all, as she brings her A-game but basically wastes it in what should have been a really cool flick that could’ve even spawned a franchise had it been handled much better.

I also think the direction is a big problem too. I’ve never been a big fan of Rachel Talalay’s film work and that started with the abysmally bad Freddy’s Dead, which truly derailed the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. By this point, nearly a half decade later, she still hadn’t found her footing as a director.

Now I do generally like most of the characters in this but you’ve got Malcolm McDowell and yet, he’s severely underutilized and it feels like he’s barely in the film other than about three key scenes.

Honestly, this is just disappointing and the source material could’ve been harvested much, much better.

Side note: this is the cutest Naomi Watts ever was. I think I watched this shit movie more times than I should’ve in my teens because I was crushing so hard on Jet Girl.

Rating: 4/10
Pairs well with: other sci-fi B-movies of the early-to-mid ’90s. Especially, those based on comics or video games.

Comic Review: The Saga of Solomon Kane

Published: August 18th, 2009
Written by: Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, various
Art by: various
Based on: characters by Robert E. Howard, characters by Bram Stoker

Marvel Comics (original printing), Dark Horse (reprinted), 416 Pages

Review:

Man, this was one hell of a buy! A great value in fact! I was surprised that I found one in pretty pristine condition on eBay for about twenty bucks.

This collection is pretty special, as it is magazine sized and all in black and white. It’s also over 400 glorious pages! It reprints all of the Solomon Kane magazine format stories from the original Marvel era when they had all the Robert E. Howard publishing rights from the ’70s into the early ’90s.

I’ve read probably half of these stories before, as I own a lot of the issues these tales appeared in but it’s been a really long time and about 50-60 percent of this was new to me.

It seems like this is mostly in chronological order and it allowed for it to read much better as a broader body of work, covering the large passage of time over Kane’s many adventures.

Being that this was made by Marvel, it features some great crossovers with the Marvel version of Dracula, as well as another Robert E. Howard character, Conan. There’s even a story in here that features Frankenstein’s castle.

A lot of the stories here are adapted from Howard’s literary Solomon Kane tales. Having recently read the definitive collection of the literary work, it was really cool seeing some of the same tales brought to life with great art.

All in all, this is now one of my favorite things in my graphic novel collection. It’s a beast of a collection but it’s also something I know I’ll go back to and revisit again and again for the rest of my life.

Rating: 10/10
Pairs well with: other comic stories that were featured within the pages of the original Savage Sword of Conan magazine.

Comic Review: The Witcher, Vol. 4: Of Flesh and Flame

Published: July 30th, 2019
Written by: Aleksandra Motyka
Art by: Marianna Strychowska
Based on: The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski

Dark Horse Comics, 106 Pages

Review:

I have reached the last comic story in The Witcher saga. Well, at least for now.

I’m sure that Dark Horse or eventually another publisher will do more in the future, as it continues to be a hot property, especially with the Netflix show and I’m assuming, future video games and maybe even novels.

While this wasn’t my favorite of the four stories I’ve read, it was still entertaining and a good amount of fun.

This also brought Dandelion into the comic book continuity and he’s a favorite character of mine from the only game I’ve played in the series, The Witcher 3: Blood Hunt.

This was done by a different creative team but they did just fine. The story was energetic and exciting while the art was also really good and pretty much consistent with the volumes that came out previously.

The plot was well constructed with a pretty good twist that I didn’t predict and it leaves you smiling with an amusing, satisfying ending.

All in all, for those who enjoy The Witcher mythos, this shouldn’t disappoint. Honestly, if you want to read the comics, I’d just buy the omnibus edition, as it includes all four of the volumes that have been published, thus far.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: other Witcher comics.

Comic Review: The Witcher, Vol. 3: Curse of Crows

Published: July 4th, 2017
Written by: Paul Tobin
Art by: Piotr Kowalski
Based on: The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski

Dark Horse Comics, 128 Pages

Review:

I thought that the previous Witcher comic lost a bit of steam from the first volume. However, this one picked things back up quite a bit and thus far, this is my favorite comic story that features Geralt of Rivia.

This was also the first comic book story to feature Ciri and Yennefer, as well.

At first, I was a bit annoyed by it, as it felt kind of random with multiple little plot threads weaved together without any real direction. However, this came together rather nicely and told a really solid tale.

The art is also pretty good and this series, now three story arcs deep, has been really consistent.

I liked what this plot evolved into and how it resolved. Overall, a good, fun read in The Witcher universe.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: other Witcher comics.