Some Comic Reviews

April 29, 2017

Finally got caught up on my comic book subscriptions, so I figured I would write a few quick reviews.  Today’s issues include: Batman #21, Sex Criminals #18, My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1, Hulk #4 and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Adaptation #1.

  • Batman #21.  Written by Tom King with art from Jason Fabok, this story essentially goes back to the major events of the DC: Rebirth one-shot where Batman is investigating the Watchmen button found in the Batcave when the pre-Flashpoint Reverse Flash arrives.  Other than a major fight between Batman and the Reverse Flash, not much really happens here and basically essentially it lays the groundwork for the rest of the investigation to occur over the next issues of the Flash and Batman.  Although the DC books have dropped various hints as to the mystery behind the Button, I’m glad they haven’t gone as seriously into until now, giving the Rebirth take on the characters a chance to get established before building up the big event.
  • Sex Criminals #18.  I’ve really enjoyed this series.  Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have turned what seems like a silly, immature concept into something more.  This particular issue had a scene or two that reminded me of a conversation with an ex, where they are discussing some frustrations with each other.  Great issue, I definitely consider this series at times to be a major influence in my views on relationships.
  • My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1.  This series is replacing the Friends Forever series and focus on the historical figures of the MLP universe.  This first story was focused on Starswirl the Bearded training Celestia and Luna in magic, which Luna struggling as Celestia taunts her.  Luna attempts some dangerous magic and Starswirl has to fix it.  This was solid, definitely was a bit of fresh air as it felt like the team-up element of Friends Forever was getting a bit more stretched and they were scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
  • Hulk #4.  Overall, I’ve liked this series.  One of the few non-Star Wars Marvel Comics that I’m still collecting.  Essentially, the story follows Jennifer Walters as she deals with the aftershocks of Civil War II, where she was nearly killed by Thanos and her cousin Bruce–aka the original Hulk–was killed by Hawkeye.  Focusing on Jennifer’s struggle to keep herself under control, the interesting aspect of this series has been how through four issues she has yet to transform.  Written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Nico Leon, this has been a fairly well done book.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story #1.  I initially only collected this because it was a Star Wars book, but the first issue of the adaptation of the movie was fairly interesting.  It isn’t as direct as some adaptations, a few things rearranged for flow in print form and a couple of added bits–like Galen Erso and Bodhi Rook talking about the Death Star before Rook goes in search of Saw Guerrera.  Like the Star Wars prequels, the challenge of an adaptation like this is that most people already know the story, it is more important to make it worth reading.  And in that sense, I think it was a fairly well done attempt here.
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Finally saw it this morning.

Plot centers around the daughter of one of the engineers working on the Death Star after her father makes contact with members of the Rebellion.  From there she proceeds to lead a group of rebels on a mission to retrieve the plans to the Death Star, which segues nicely into Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Overall, a powerful movie.  Very much lays out the groundwork for what transpires in A New Hope and gives it considerably more depth.  There were a ton of Easter Eggs and hints that I won’t even begin to get into.  All the characters were amazing, very much people you wanted to care about and did.

The thing I heard the most complaints about was the use of CGI characters, primarily in the character Tarkin, originally portrayed by Peter Cushing in the 1970s.  While I could understand those complaints, I thought it fairly well done and came across fairly well.  And the other characters were well done as well.

Star Wars Theories

June 23, 2016

I’ve been watching all kinds of Star Wars theories on Youtube.  Rey’s parents… What happens to the cast of Rebels… Rogue One… Darth Maul… Ahsoka Tano…  Darth Jar Jar… Snoke… Going to break down a few of them, going in chronological order from earliest to latest.

The Darth Jar Jar theory was an interesting one.  Basically it was that Jar Jar was the secret Sith mastermind behind everything.  Or at least intended to be until Episode I came out.  George Lucas fed this theory a bit when he talked about introducing Yoda, where if he had gone a whole movie without any indication of Yoda’s true nature, the character would never have been taken seriously.  And so Jar Jar became an annoying joke.  An interesting idea anyway.  If that had been the original plan, I do think his early antics would have negated the effectiveness of that plot.

At the end of season two of Star Wars: Rebels, Ahsoka is battling Vader when the Sith temple on Malachor collapses around them and Vader is seen walking away, while the ghostly silhouette of Ahsoka is seen fading in the doorway.  My gut response was to assume she was a force ghost, either killed in the collapse of the temple or by Vader himself.  Whether or not she continues to guide Kanaan and Ezra remains to be seen, but my inclination is to think she will not be seen living.

As for the rest of the Rebels, I have heard their primary antagonist for the third–final?–season will be Darth Maul.  Given that Maul has been a prominent part of both the Clone Wars and the Rebels television series, I suspect he will be a driving force as the series builds up to the events of Rogue One, though there is no indication whether he will appear in Rogue One.  He has not appeared in the new Star Wars comics being printed by Marvel as of yet–beyond a force vision Leia has on Naboo–so I suspect his story will come to a close soon.

The Rebels… it is very telling that Kanaan and/or Ezra have not been indicated to have had contact with Luke Skywalker after he joins the Rebellion–I’m thinking of the comics, where Luke has spent a considerable amount of time looking for information about Jedi teachings.  There are any number of possible explanations for that, but I do think if there was someone within the Alliance that could have trained Luke, they would have connected before Obi-Wan guided him to Yoda.  So what happens?  I would say Maul or Vader, but I read the recent issue of the Star Wars comic and the last page featured a lightsaber wielding Stormtrooper.  I suspect that could be Ezra–or Snoke, more on that later–but there isn’t necessarily enough to go on there.  See where Rebels and Rogue One goes.  Maybe that’s the next story for the comics, tying into the new season of Rebels?

Rogue One sets up so much.  This could be a lot more than just setting up Episode IV.  I’ve heard speculation that the team in this movie could be the Knights of Ren, although I’m a bit skeptical because I don’t think there’s any indication that they are force sensitive yet–I think the Inquisitors from Rebels would have dealt with them anyway.  Also, given the theory I saw about Rey’s heritage, wouldn’t it be possible that Jyn Erso is a descendent of Palpatine?  Given hints about his powers and capabilities–specifically the Darth Plagueis story–it is possible there is a whole family of his we don’t know about.  I remember seeing the trailer with her in the Imperial Uniform and I have to wonder if that is a hint at her heritage, where she was drawn to the Imperials first based on her family.

Snoke is one of the mysteries from The Force Awakens.  Never actually seen beyond a projection and all we know is that he’s a force user who has control of the First Order.  I have suspected that Snoke will turn out to be Ezra, aged and scarred after the events of Rebels.  Or the lightsaber wielding stormtrooper?  Or Vader’s agent on the Smuggler’s moon?

Rey’s parents… Skywalker, Kenobi, Palpatine, Doctor Aphra, Jyn Erso… Those are the big ones.  The Skywalker connection was given a lot of time to set up, is too obvious–though I have noted a number of similarities in the theme music between “Rey’s Theme” and “Binary Sunset” on the respective soundtracks, so I might still buy it.  “Binary Sunset” was Luke’s theme in a way.  I suspect she might be a combination.  Like Palpatine’s daughter married a relative of Obi-Wan’s or something like that.  Remember we still have decades where characters were in hiding or their activities were not accounted for, so there are numerous events that could have unfolded.  Also, one of the key components of the Prequels was the Prophesy where Anakin was supposed to be the chosen one and bring balance to the force.  What if that meant a descendent of light and dark families?  The granddaughter of Palpatine and Kenobi?  Or a Skywalker and a Palpatine?  There’s a lot of time for things to happen that hasn’t been accounted for yet.

Of course this is all guess work.  For all we know, Rey could be Yoda’s great, great, great, great, granddaughter.  Her ears did look a bit pointy.

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