Breaking the Cycle in The Wicked + The Divine 36

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It’s happening now. It’s happening again.

The Wicked + The Divine

Endless cycles are a motif that runs deep throughout The Wicked + The Divine, from the unending dysfunction and madness of the Pantheon, to the circle that makes up their logo and meeting table, to the very nature of their perpetual rise and fall, a neverending cycle of death and rebirth. In fact — if anything she’s said can ever be believed — one of Ananke’s greatest fears seemed to be the idea that this cycle could somehow be broken.

These are both ideas that Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles dig into in The Wicked + The Divine 36, an issue that spends a shocking amount of space detailing yet another endless cycle, and the rest of the issue breaking an entirely different one. Continue reading

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Oh, Thank God, C-3PO Still Sucks in Star Wars 47

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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When I was a kid, I hated C-3PO. Hated him. I thought his bumbling antics severely hurt the movies I loved. But something strange happened on my first viewing of The Phantom Menace: I was relieved to see him. Hell, I was excited to see proto-Threepio in Anakin’s bedroom. He was an island of familiarity in a sea of characters that were significantly more annoying. That’s largely how the newest Star Wars movies have been treating Threepio — as a sort of elder statesman of the franchise, commanding respect. Sure, he’s still annoying, but that all stems from his hoity toity affectations. Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 47 reminds us that C-3PO sucks, not just superficially, but deep down to his core. Continue reading

Aphra Faces Her Reflection in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 19

By Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It’s often said that “villains are the heroes of their own story.” The most compelling villains are the ones that have a motivation behind their menace other than being evil. There is a gray area between “hero of their own story” and evil maniac however — a place that Doctor Aphra has resided in ever since Kieron Gillen created her. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 19 suggests that despite her coy demeanor, Aphra might not be so morally ambivalent after all. Continue reading

Secrets as a Weapon in The Wicked + The Divine 35

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It should be no surprise that almost every character in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine are hiding major secrets, nor that, as the series enters its final year, more and more of those secrets are coming to light. What might be a bit surprising, though, is how well the cast leverages these secrets — both their own and others’ — in order to get what they want. Secrets can be a liability, but in the world of WicDiv, they’re just as often an asset, a weapon just waiting to be fired. Continue reading

The Deadpoolian Doctor of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 18

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The relevance of the antihero has risen and fallen numerous times over the past couple of decades. With the mainstream introduction of Deadpool, we have a new mold that mashes antihero with that of lovable scoundrel. Since her arrival, Doctor Aphra has been more of the lovable scoundrel type, but with Star Wars Doctor Aphra 18, Kieron Gillen, Simon Spurrier, and Emilio Laiso lead her into Deadpool territory. Continue reading

Star Wars 45: Discussion

By Taylor Anderson and Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: Being a Star Wars fan who grew up with, and only with, the original trilogy, I would consider myself fairly protective of the movies which have spawned a pop-culture empire. This being the case, you might expect that I would hold the new movies to a high standard of excellence since I wouldn’t want their history besmirched. It turns out that the opposite is true. I’ve come to accept that nothing’s going to replicate my love of the original trilogy and that’s OK. That being said, as long as a Star Wars story is decent, I’m pretty happy just to get to spend more time in a galaxy far, far away. Sadly, this can’t be said for all Star Wars stories, which is the case in Star Wars 45.

Continue reading

Tomorrow May Be Too Late in Star Wars 44

by Michael DeLaney 

This article containers SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk.

“There’s no time to lose!” is a line you’ve probably heard in more movies than you can count. I can’t recall a situation in recent memory that applies this idea better than Star Wars 44.

The Rebels are as desperate as ever so they enlist everyone’s favorite trap enthusiast Admiral Ackbar to negotiate a new alliance with his people, the Mon Calamari. An Imperial garrison interrupts the secret meeting, but Leia refuses to let mortal danger postpone this very important rendezvous. Continue reading

The Art of Doling Out Answers in The Wicked + The Divine 34

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are some stories that fall apart once they start giving out answers. Maybe all it had going for it was its mysteries, or maybe the mythology ended up dull or nonsensical, or maybe they spelled everything out in a long, listless exposition drop — the point is, the spark’s gone once the story reveals its secrets. Thankfully, The Wicked + The Divine is not one of those stories. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie turn doling out answers into an art-form, finding ways to fascinate even when revealing truths to their cast that readers already know. Continue reading

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 17 and a Lived-in Universe of Love

By Michael DeLaney

 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

We talk a lot today about representation in pop culture. People who are not straight white men yearn to see a reflection of themselves, on the big screen or otherwise. As this representation increases, so does the opportunity for a more nuanced reflection. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 17 presents such an opportunity in the relationship between Aphra and Magna Tolvan. Continue reading

Bridging the Gap Between the Old and the New in Star Wars 43

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I’ve always considered Marvel’s Star Wars comic to be an extension of the Original Trilogy — a way to continue telling stories with the characters and within the framework that most fans are familiar with — but Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 43 surprises by also acting as a satisfying coda to 2016’s Rogue One. From closing the book (for now) on Jedha to calling back to Princess Leia’s final line in the film, Star Wars 43 neatly bridges the gap between “old” Star Wars and “new” Star Wars in way that fulfills the promise of post-George Lucas single canon Star Wars cross-media world-building.

And as sterile and filled with corporate buzzwords as that all sounds, it’s effective when it works.

Continue reading