Darth Vader 16

darth vader 16

Today, Michael and Taylor are describing Darth Vader 16, originally released February 10th, 2016.

Michael: I think that Darth Vader is the favorite among the other Star Wars titles (at least at Retcon Punch) because it is chock-full of dramatic moments and nuanced characters. The power struggles and political battles of Darth Vader are somewhat reminiscent to a show like House of Cards. Darth Vader 16 is kind of a lull in the ongoing narrative that focuses on the particulars of the power struggles that Vader encounters.

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Obi-Wan and Anakin 2

obi-wan anakin 2

Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Obi-Wan and Anakin 2, originally released February 3rd, 2016.

Spencer: There’s nothing new under the sun. I don’t believe that’s a concrete truth — every once in a while somebody still trots out an idea that legitimately surprises me — but for the most part, it holds up, and I’m okay with that. A story doesn’t need to be wholly original to succeed. Sometimes they can rely on our previously established affection for the characters, and other times those familiar tropes can be told with new twists or different contexts or in support of deep themes that make them a joy to read regardless of originality. Sadly, I don’t think I can make that argument for Obi-Wan and Anakin 2. There’s nothing in this issue that gets me invested in its very familiar story. Continue reading

Lando 5

lando 5

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Lando 5, originally released October 7th, 2015.

star wars div

Michael: Lando Calrissian is one part Han Solo and all-the-rest parts Billy Dee Williams cool. Even in 2D, he can charm the pants off of us. Lando 5 asks us how far can that charm go? Lando schemes at every turn but does he ever come out on top? Can you count simply saving your skin as a profit? Continue reading

Lando 2

lando 2

Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Andy are discussing Lando 2, originally released August 12, 2015.

Patrick: When you think about Lando’s role in the original trilogy, it’s hard to see him as an active player in the drama. His pivotal turn in The Empire Strikes Back boils down to him sending Lobot a text. Think about his role freeing Han from Jabba’s Palace – he infiltrates Jabba’s guard and then… does what? The man is a maestro at seizing opportunity, just so long as that “seizing” doesn’t really look like anything. But damn it all: be basically thwarts the will of the Emperor to Darth Vader’s face and lives to tell the tale. Charles Soule and Alex Maleev translate that effective inaction to the comic book page in Lando 2, using trappings two separate genres to their advantage, and then punctuate the whole thing with Lando’s opposite: an agent that never stops being active. Nearly every single element of this issue, from the pacing, to the coloring, to the dialogue, to the antagonist, serve to highlight what exactly makes Lando so damn special.
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Lando 1

lando 1

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Lando 1, originally released July 8th, 2015.

Spencer: Maybe it’s just because of the way superheroes dominate the medium, but when I think of comic books, my mind immediately turns to fighting. It’s almost unheard of to find a superhero who doesn’t fight in some capacity, and even in the indie books I read, most of the characters are spies, soldiers, robots wielding built-in weaponry, or kids struggling to survive in the wild — the one thing they have in common is that they all fight. Lando Calrissian, however, does not. Throughout Lando 1, Charles Soule and Alex Maleev depict Lando as someone who may know the value of a good warrior, but prefers to win his battles with cunning. It’s a compelling take on the character, one that helps set him apart from his good buddy (and fellow smuggler) Han Solo, and one which also establishes this mini-series as a heist story through and through. Sure, there’s action, but the twists and turns of Lando’s high-stakes schemes (as well as the schemes hatched against him) are what this series is really all about, and that’s a fun new direction for the Marvel Star Wars books to explore. Continue reading

Darth Vader 5

darth vader 5

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Darth Vader 5, originally released May 13th, 2015.

Michael: Comic book narratives have always been about the change of the status quo. Common examples include the balance between good and evil, the latest hero to don a particular mantle, and in the realm of Star Wars, there’s the frequent rotation of Sith Lords. Darth Vader 5 questions the villain’s relevance in the galaxy that his master is trying to maintain a hold on. Continue reading

Darth Vader 1

darth vader 1

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Darth Vader 1 originally released February 11th, 2015.

Taylor: When I was in second grade the fire department came to my school to give us a demonstration about what to do in a fire. The coolest part about this, aside from getting out of class, was that they brought a trailer with a fake house that simulated what it would be like to be in a house that was ablaze. During the lecture before we went in, they said we should know never to fear a firefighter in this or any other house. They continued, saying that a lot of kids get scared of fire fighters in full garb because they sound and look like Darth Vader given their oxygen tanks and mask. I distinctly remember this because it made so much sense. Darth Vader was serious business and I could see why kids might be scared of a fire fighter that resembled him. But can you imagine this line working on kids today? With the passage of time (and prequels) the myth of Vader has faded, and so too has his fearsome facade. Issue 1 of Marvel’s Darth Vader has me wondering, will he ever get that fearsomeness back? Continue reading