Rebels Review: Blood Sisters

rebels logoIt’s taken a while but we finally got our Sabine episode! And it wasn’t just a Sabine focused episode; it was a Sabine backstory tease episode!

Spoilers after the jump.

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Review: Kanan #8

Kanan #8 by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz is out today and– yeah, you know how this goes.

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Review: Vader Down #1

Hooolyyyyy crap.

Yeah. That’s the best way to describe the opening issue of Vader Down.

Story Time! At Dragon Con this year, I was lucky enough to partake in one of the last panels of the convention titled ‘Palpatine’s Plan’ in which we discussed… you can figure that one out. During the course of the panel, I found myself having to continuously defend Darth Vader and the fact that he is powerful as hell and a serious force to be reckoned with. If I had had this comic issue on hand, pulling it out would have been the equivalent of a mic drop because holy hell is Vader a powerhouse.

It’s not like we the fans don’t know (for the most part) that Vader is strong in the Force and terrifying to many a person. It’s not like we don’t know that Vader/Anakin is an amazing pilot. Jason Aaron takes both of those facts and reminds you in a way that you will not be forgetting any time soon. You do not mess with Darth Vader whether he’s in a TIE or on the ground.

When you take a step back, Vader Down is certainly a set up issue but it never feels like it while you’re reading. So yes: Vader, Luke, Leia, Han, and Aphra are all being maneuvered on to Vrogas Vas but this is explosive exposition. It’s a great hand off to Kieron Gillen and I absolutely cannot wait to see how these two gentlemen handle the next five issues of this story.

Mike Deodato knocks it out of the freaking park with his art on this issue and uses his four two-page spreads incredibly strategically and for great dramatic effect. Some of these would look amazing as full sized posters. Deodato also draws a pretty fantastic Han Solo. I hope we see more of his work in the Star Wars universe.

This is definitely one of my favorite single issues from the Marvel Star Wars team thus far and you should absolutely pick it up and the rest of the storyline.

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Review: Star Wars #12

Let me start with a note that you should definitely read this before you read Vader Down #1 as this is an arc wrap up before getting into the crossover.

Star Wars #12 by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen is a nice little wrap up to the second arc. We get a final-final answer to the Sana question, Luke gets rescued, and there’s some really freaking cool stuff in the middle. Some spoilers are going to follow.

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On Bugs and Bouncing: Hollow Knight’s William Pellen Interview

There was one game that completely caught my attention in the lead-up to Melbourne’s massive gaming convention, PAX Australia: Hollow Knight, a gorgeously atmospheric action-adventure platformer with a healthy dose of challenge.

Hollow Knight is being developed by Team Cherry, an indie company based in Adelaide made up of Ari Gibson, William Pellen, and David Kazi, with a release planned for the first half of 2016.

Set in a bug-infested cavern system below an eerily silent village, Hollow Knight is filled with all kinds of strange creatures and wonderful sights. I’ve always been a sucker for platformers with fascinating worldbuilding that you can explore for hours, and from what I’ve played of the Hollow Knight beta, it seems to be shaping up to be exactly that. Though the gameplay can be difficult, it never feels punishing. 

I had the opportunity at PAX Aus to interview Willaim Pellen and ask him a few questions about Hollow Knight, influences, Kickstarter, and taking the leap to full time game dev.


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Rebels Review: Wings of the Master

heraThis episode of Star Wars Rebels was made for me.

After three episodes with cameos from The Clone Wars and not much for Hera to do, Rebels came back and reminded me why I love this show so much. This isn’t to disparage the other characters, but I much prefer Rebels when the show is an ensemble cast rather than Ezra’s story. If they are going to focus on Ezra for a few episodes, then they have to give the same amount of time to the other characters.

Just as I was grumbling about “Where’s Hera?” Rebels said “don’t worry; we got this” in the best possible way. Introduction of the B-wing? Check! A fantastic Mon Calamari engineer who’s a tribute to Ralph McQuarrie? Check! Rousing music by Kevin Kiner in honor of James Horner? Check! Hera musing about her love of flight and being the best damn pilot in her corner of the Rebellion? Check!

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Review: Darth Vader #12

You know what’s a good sign that a comic book is awesome? When you turn a page and audibly say “OH $#!*” Darth Vader #12 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca not only has one of those moments but it’s a sequence that would make the Battlefront game jealous.

It’s difficult to point to one element that makes this book work more than any others. Is it Gillen’s great grasp of Vader? Is it the supporting cast of characters? Is it Larroca’s artwork? Is it how Palpatine’s manipulating hand can be felt in so many of the pages? Is it how badass Vader is? Is it Dr. Aphra’s ridiculous facial expressions when things aren’t going the best?

Darth Vader has been a beautiful example of how an entire team can come together to make a book gel. I’ve been remiss in mentioning everyone on that team in the past so let’s rectify that now and give some accolades to Edgar Delgado on colors, Joe Caramagna on lettering, and the editing skills of Jordan White and Heather Antos. This is the last issue before Vader Down kicks off and it feels like a good time to look back and appreciate how virtually flawless this book has been.

This issue may not have had the emotional impact of the ones where Vader realized Luke was his son but it certainly packs a punch. All the pieces are moving into alignment and, like I said before, it’s hard not to see Palpatine sitting back to see what all of his pawns will do next. I’m particularly interested to see how things go with Thanoth and to see if he’ll eventually become wise to Vader’s plan.

Darth Vader #12 is another well-down issue by the entire team that perfectly sets up the forthcoming crossover and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Oh and those pages. Those amazing four pages. You’ll know them when you see them.

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