Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 2/15/17

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Star Wars Poe Dameron 11, Archie 17, Lumberjanes 35, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 67 and Kill or Be Killed 6. Also, will be discussing Sex Criminals 16 on Monday, check that out too!  As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 2/8/17

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Star Wars Doctor Aphra 4 and Black 4. We will be discussing The Wicked + The Divine 26 on Tuesday and East of West 31 and Moonshine 5 on Wednesday, so check those out too!  As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 2/1/17

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Star Wars 28, Darth Maul 1, and Faith 8. We discussed The Woods 29 today, and will be discussing Paper Girls 11 on Wednesday, so check those out too!  As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Star Wars 27

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Today, Patrick and Mark are discussing Star Wars 27, originally released January 25th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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“I’m very conscious of the environments. I try to have at least three environments in a movie and I try to have them as different as possible. And then from movie to movie I try to have them as different as possible. Y’know, in the first movie, we were on a sand thing — it was all a brown kinda color— and in the second one we were in the snow and it was all kinda white, and a green, swampy kinda thing. And third one… what can you do in terms of environments? You have to shoot it somewhere on this earth. Unfortunately, you can’t go somewhere else. So a forest was really the only thing I had left.”

-George Lucas, on Return of the Jedi

Patrick: George Lucas spends a lot of time, energy and imagination developing the settings for his stories. This is actually one of the qualities that — no matter what else slipped in his filmmaking — never suffered in either of his trilogies. Say what you want about The Phantom Menacethe planet Naboo is stunningly realized and presents two completely separate environments and cultures. He’s a designer with a strong sense of place and history. That quality of passive storytelling doesn’t always trickle down into Star Wars games, comics and TV shows (or arguably, into the newer movies), but it’s interesting to see Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca try to capture that same sense of place in Star Wars 27. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 1/18/17

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Archie 16, Slam 3, and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 3. We discussed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 6 and Curse Words 1 on Thursday and Kill or Be Killed 5 on Friday, and will be discussing Descender 18 on Wednesday, so check those out too! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Star Wars: Poe Dameron 10

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Today, Michael and Mark are discussing Star Wars: Poe Dameron 10, originally released January 11th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Michael: In the beginning there was Star Wars and it was good. Then came The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and eventually what would be known as “The Expanded Universe.” The original Star Wars films are classic stories of good vs. evil that served as the groundwork for the countless novels, comic books and video games that The Expanded Universe built on. Marvel has made it very clear that EU no longer exists within their Star Wars realm. But the current Poe Dameron arc “The Gathering Storm” has a lot of that EU spirit – specifically in the series’ antagonist, Agent Terex. Continue reading

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 1

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Today, Taylor and Michael are discussing Dr. Aphra 1, originally released December 7th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor:  Last month the outstanding Darth Vader series penned by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca wrapped up after 25 stellar issues. In its short run Darth Vader skillfully contributed to the myth of its titular character in a way that previous Star Wars titles couldn’t quite pull off. But for all the fantastic work done on the character of Vader, what really stands out about the series is the creation of so many interesting and fully realized ancillary characters. Of these, Vader’s hired accomplice Doctor Aphra stands out as one of the most interesting, and so she is getting a chance to lead her own series. With the always entertaining Triple-Zero and Beetee in tow can this series possibly live up to the story that spawned it?

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Star Wars Annual 2

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Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing Star Wars Annual 2, originally released November 30th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: I’m incredibly excited for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This isn’t just because I’m a huge Star Wars fan and it isn’t just because George Lucas apparently likes it better than The Force Awakens. True, these things do rouse my blood, but what really excites me about the movie can be found right in its title. That Rogue One is being labeled “a Star Wars story” holds so much promise. I love the depth of the Star Wars universe and it’s amazing what authors can do with this backdrop when they aren’t burdened by telling the next great chapter in the Star Wars saga. While the second annual issue of the Star Wars comic does involve some classic Star Wars characters, what makes it wonderful is that it gives us a glimpse into the day in the life of your average Star Wars universe Jane.  Continue reading

Star Wars 23

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Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Star Wars 23, originally released September 28, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on the subject of the predictable nature of the structure of the Star Wars films. Whether we’re talking about the Campbellian Hero’s Journey or some kind of impossibly orchestrated ring-based super structure, or just the fact that Force Awakens hits all the same beats as A New Hope, everyone likes to image that they know how a Star Wars story is going to go. Hell, even the interquel nature of the Star Wars comic book series forces the reader to apply all kinds of knowledge about how they already know the story ends. There are — presumably — no surprises to be found between the 4th and 5th episodes of a ubiquitous series based on the culturally omnipresent mono-myth. But writer Jason Aaron is aggressively mucking with structure in this story arc, “The Last Flight of the Harbinger,” and issue 23 finally starts to marry disparate story threads and character beats into genuinely harrowing conflict.

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Han Solo 3

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Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Han Solo 3, originally released August 31st, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Leia: I thought you decided to stay.
Han: Well the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed by mind.

Patrick: For all of the galaxy-wide history implied in the original Star Wars trilogy, there’s not much personal history being suggested. Luke led an aggressively boring life before meeting up with the droids, and even the characters that should  have interesting lives — like Obi-Wan and Leia — have their histories trumped by the political movements that sprung up around them. Obi-Wan’s history isn’t really his own, it’s the history of the Jedi Knights; Leia’s history is that of the Rebellion. Only Han Solo has an implied history that seems driven by his own actions and desires. Even in A New Hope, we know that he has personal beef with a local gangster, and also appears to have a relationship with a bounty hunter who’s tracked him to the Cantina. Writer Marjorie Liu brings that same spirit of cause-and-effect personal history to Han Solo 3, doubling down on the importance of Han’s relationships whether we’ve already seen them on the page or not. Continue reading