Review: Poe Dameron #11

Okay can we please start by discussing how drop dead gorgeous this cover is? Phil Noto is rarely anything but excellent but this is another level. I want this framed on my wall.

But about the actual content of the issue… Oh Terex. You’re certainly not going to win First Order Officer of the year and frankly, I’m increasingly concerned about your contining existence. (It’s shocking that Phasma hasn’t broken his spine already.) That said, Charles Soule is presenting us with an interesting comparison with our two sides. Leia formed the Resistance because the New Republic was blind to the threat and now Terex is using his own private army to strike against the Resistance because the First Order can’t. It’s a thought-provoking contrast especially since the First Order is so focused on….uhhh…order. It’s surprising that they’d bring Terex in at all and now that he’s in and pushing back so strongly against Phasma… how long will he stay a part of the First Order especially if he loses to Poe?

We still don’t know who the spy is for sure and it’s driving me insane! While Poe comes to the same conclusion that I did several issues ago, I have a feeling that there’s going to be a twist. This is comics: there’s always a twist and I can’t wait to read what it is.

Sidebar: If someone doesn’t pull together a Lord-General of the Rancs of Kaddak cotsume soon, I’m going to be very disappointed.

Poe Dameron #11: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Doctor Aphra #4

My favorite new comic continues today and uhhh yeah. It’s not looking great for Team Aphra. (It’ll be fine! It’s only issue #4 of an ongoing series, after all.)

Surprisingly, while Aphra continues to be awesome, she wasn’t my favorite part of this issue. That honor goes instead to our antagonist. Despite debuting so recently, Captain Tolvan is already turning out to be a lovely surprise and seems to be a character who’ll be sticking around for a little while. She’s good but she’s not perfect and, were this her story, she’d be working through a personal redemption arc. On a related note, it seems that Marvel’s previous references to events in Rogue One weren’t throwaway lines and I sincerely hope we get more of this.

I mentioned this during the last review but I sincerely love that this is first and foremost the story of a rogue archaeologist that just happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. It gives the book such a distinct feel from any other Star Wars stories we’ve gotten in recent memory. There are familiar locations and characters of course but it all just feels so fresh. I’m almost as invested in finding the Ordu Aspectu as Papa Aphra is. (Side Note: Does anyone else think of Wesley the Rogue Demon Hunter from Buffy the Vampire Slayer every time they read the opening scroll? No? Just Me? Okay never mind.)

Actually, I take back what I said earlier. My favorite part of the issue is a panel of the murderbots a few pages in because it made me laugh so damn hard. I won’t spoil it for you but I promise you’ll know it when you see it.

Doctor Aphra continues to get a “hell yeah!” from me and I would really like Issue #5 in my hands already, please and thank you.

Doctor Aphra #4: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Pencils, Marc Deering/Inks Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Darth Maul #1

Maul is one of those characters where it seems like most people either love him or can’t stand him anymore. I personally fall into the second category mostly because I don’t know why he keeps not dying. But hey! A pre-TPM story about him? Count me as intrigued.

Darth Maul #1 is a lot of character building and plot set up. There’s a lot of time spent in Maul’s head and uhhh… spoilers: he’s kinda violent. At times, it felt like a little bit too much especially given that we don’t even hear about this padawan from the solicits until the last few pages but bigger fans of the character will likely really dig it. Personally, I loved getting to see Maul take on a rathtar. It’s a nice blending of the eras and besides, it’s not like Maul doesn’t have a fine tradition of taking on aliens who originally hail from much further down the timeline. One of the places where the issue fell short for me was with Palpatine. That’s not really a mark against the book and Cullen Bunn though. It’s more that I don’t think we’ll see anyone else write as great of a Palpatine as Charles Soule in our comics any time soon.

On the art front, the combination of Luke Ross and Nolan Woodard is a good one for this book. Their combined style fits nicely with the vibe Bunn seems to be going for. I definitely prefer to this to Ross’s prior Star Wars work on The Force Awakens comic adaptation.

As a side note, Marvel has continued its tradition of giving us a little something extra to go with the first issues and honestly, I could read an entire graphic novel that’s nothing but cute little droids getting into trouble if Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire write and draw it.

But back to the main Maul story… is it worth it? If you’re a fan of the character than definitely yes it is. While I liked the issue well enough, I’m inclined to hold off from telling those more of the fence to run off and buy it just yet. Ask me again after the next issue.

Darth Maul #1: Cullen Bunn/Writer, Luke Ross/Artist, Nolan Woodard/Colorist, Joe Caramagnas/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Star Wars #28

Don’t ask me to make sense of comic publishing schedules but apparently we get back-to-back issues of the main Star Wars book this month.  Which is… fine?  I guess?

It wasn’t as noticeable last issue since we basically just stayed with Yoda except for a panel or two but we’re literally getting a story within a story within a story with this arc. I don’t have a problem with using a Kenobi journal to tell other stories within this main book but man is it starting a feel a little clunky. Just tell the Yoda story that you want to tell and skip all the hoops.

Honestly, just like with the previous issue, there’s not much to say here. This Yoda book just is not my cup of tea. That said, there were definitely some moments within this issue where Jason Aaron completely nailed Yoda’s character. Several of his lines felt like they could have been right out of Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. (For those of you not as familiar with Legends, that’s a high compliment.) I am also interested to see how this story gets wrapped up given how the issue ends but… It’s just another shrug from me. I’m ready for the next story arc.

Star Wars #28: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Star Wars #27

The adventures of Master Yoda on the planet full of children continue and… well… honestly, it’s not my thing. While Star Wars #27 doesn’t have the little bits with Threepio and Luke that distracted from the main story in the previous issue, they were actually missed here. I could have used a little bit of Threepio levity in this issue.

It’s not that the issue is bad. It’s just not my cup of tea. Yoda has really only been a character who caught my attention once in the past although interestingly enough, that story also heavily featured children. Getting more Larroca/Delgado art is always delightful and they’ve definitely put a lot of care into getting Yoda right especially for the larger panels. The story just has yet to draw me in and I honestly don’t have much else to say about the issue.

So the verdict? Go for it if you’re a Yoda fan or a big fan of the Jedi. Pick it up if you’re a completionist but maybe skip if you’re not. That said, the arc’s not done yet. Who knows where this might go?

Star Wars #27: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Doctor Aphra #3

Usually, I prefer to start these off a little differently but I’ve got such crazy news that I think you all deserve to know right away. Are you sitting? You might want to sit down for this. Okay. Ready? Star Wars has now given us TWO ranking female Imperial officers within the same month. T W O. Captain Tolvan, let me be the first to say that it is very nice to meet you and that I hope you don’t end this book blown up, shot, or otherwise dead.

You know what I love about Star Wars almost as much as I love this book? That sweet, sweet brand synergy. I adore the shout out to the events of Rogue One and I especially love that it’s tied in because a character was literally too obsessed with his own project to notice that a city and entire planet got blown up. Never change, Papa Aphra. (Except no wait, your daughter would probably prefer that you did.) (Also, you need a name.)

Doctor Aphra #3 has the distinction of being very funny without being filled to the brim with jokes. BeeTee and Triple Zero have their entertaining exchanges as usual but there’s just something hilarious about watching Black Krrsantan go up against the Empire even if it doesn’t do the scout troopers’ reputation any favors. A lot of the credit for this goes to the art by Kev Walker so kudos on that front.

It delights me (though hardly surprises me) that this book is following up on the promise of its first issue. It feels both very Star Wars-y and very distinctly Aphra. We’re getting that archaeological story so many of us have hoped for that’s showing us other parts of the galaxy. It’s just so neat and so fun and… okay seriously, why are people not reading this book? All Star Wars fans should be.

Doctor Aphra #3: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Artist, Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Poe Dameron #10

Another month, another issue of the ever delightful Poe Dameron book by Charles Soule and Phil Noto! This is the arc of the droids and the backstory and we keep getting more each time so let’s get right to it.

It’s been said before on Tosche Station (probably by me multiple times) but having the Story Group around is going a long way towards Star Wars stealing the “it’s all connected!” tagline from the MCU. (It’s cool. They’re all in the Disney family.) Getting to see the Carrion Spike in this book and having its backstory from Tarkin acknowledged in this issue is just really cool and feels like a neat little reward for fans who read everything. At the same time, fans who only read the comics won’t be left feeling lost.

This issue is, per Charles Soule’s Twiter, the last of the Terex backstory and I have to say that I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. We’ve not only been getting insight to Terex’s earlier days but also the First Order. It makes me curious as to how many other people like Terex (ie: those who are not Imperials who didn’t go into immediate exile together) are a part of the First Order.

Finally, we arrive at the droid part of the plot. (You know… the one that also includes Poe… who this book is about.) Nunzix the droid is hilarious if you’re a fan of droids with sass. I still don’t know how to feel about Threepio the Spymaster because it seems like a spymaster should be better at being subtle but hey! As long as the Resistance gets the information, right?

On the art front, I’d like to publicly thank Phil Noto for drawing that First Order lieutenant with his code cylinders further to the side and upright like back in the days of the Empire instead of in the middle and diagonal like they were in the film. This is much less offensive to the eyes.

Can we have issue #11 yet? I NEED TO KNOW WHO’S THE SPY.

Poe Dameron #10: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Star Wars #26

This is, obviously, the much talked about Yoda arc with just a dash of the fall out from the Rebels’ theft of a Star Destroyer thrown in. I’m rather torn, by the way, about how I feel about the use of Obi-Wan’s journal as an excuse to do stories like this. On the one hand, it feels unnecessary and Marvel could very easily get away with just going for it with these stories when they want to. On the other hand, Threepio’s inability to shut up at the start is downright hilarious and Artoo’s devotion to his friend is so sweet. You win some, you lose some?

We haven’t really touched on the Yoda aspect though. His introduction here is neat but I’m still hesitant to see how the meat of the story arc goes. The concept of a planet full of children is uhhhh strange to say the least. However, et me emphasize how glad I am that Marvel found a way to keep Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado in the Star Wars family for a little while longer because daaaaaaaang do they draw a good Yoda! This is such a good artist/colorist team up that I’ve loved for years and I’d honestly love to see them just art their way through the galaxy far, far away.

Also, if Jason Aaron ever wants to write a Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan series, please let him. His Qui-Gon was so perfect that I could actually hear Liam Neeson’s voice in my head while reading some of his lines.

In short, there’s nothing to necessarily dislike here. It’s just a matter of seeing how the rest of the arc goes.

Star Wars #26: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Doctor Aphra #2

You just knew when Aphra’s dad showed up that it wasn’t going to be for fun and games.  They hardly seem to be a warm and fuzzy family, Boop or no Boop.  It turns out that questionable ethics run in the family as Aphra’s Dad has decided to leak to the archaeology board that she cheated on her doctorate entirely because he wants her to help him find the Ordu Aspectu.  What happened to them?  Well… let’s just say that everyone has their own theory and it’s going to take them to a very unexpected moon.

Doctor Aphra #2 follows up on the fun and adventure of the first issue but this time with more family problems!  (Honestly, who doesn’t have family drama in the galaxy far, far away?)  This book is definitely a tonal shift from Darth Vader which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It’s just taking a little getting used to especially since we’re finally seeing Aphra deal with her own problems as opposed to Vader’s.  Seeing a female character be the star of her own story entirely on her own merits (and not because of who she’s related to) is incredibly refreshing as is seeing a smaller scale story that doesn’t have galactic ramifications.

This is hardly news but Kieron Gillen definitely knows how to end a comic on a cliffhanger that’s going to leave you incredibly anxious for the next issue.  Can we have Issue #3 yet?  No?  On the art front, I’m getting more and more used to seeing our cast drawn by Kev Walker instead of Salvador Larroca.  His style is incredibly expressive which works quite well for the arguments between father and daughter.

So how is Doctor Aphra holding up?  Pretty darn good so far.  You should definitely be reading it!

Doctor Aphra #2: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Artist, Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Knights of the Old Replay: Demon and War

How to make yourself finally commit to going through all the omnibuses of a comic you’ve really wanted to read: do a project! I’m glad that I finally went through these because it was definitely a treat! But hey… there are two more story arcs to talk about!

Demon
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Brian Ching, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

A lot happens in this arc. Like… A LOT. Or rather… maybe it would be more appropriate to say that we learn about a hell of a lot in this arc. Demon, despite not being the actual last arc in these omnibuses, was the last arc in the original KOTOR comic run which lasted 50 issues. If you know comics, you know that’s a solidly respectable run especially for something that’s not creator owned.

All of this, however, is beside the point. It turns out that Rohlan has actually been Demagol since Flashpoint and Demagol is actually Antos Wyrick (aka one of the teachers at the school Jarael attended before she was captured) and the REAL Rohlan has been in a coma in the custody of the Republic who believe that he’s Demagol. Everyone still with me? Good because there were a few minutes while reading where even I got lost. I knew there wasn’t something quite right about Rohlan though! I just knew it. He was too creepy even amongst the other creepy men in Jarael’s life. (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, DARTH SQUIGGLYPANTS.) Continue reading