One of the fun things about doing this retrospective is that a creator just might pop his head up with some commentary. Last post, I mentioned that Days of Fear/Nights of Anger felt like one big story. Turns out that they are! Those two arcs plus the first two I’m covering in this post are just all one big story split into bite sized chunks for the retailers. (Thank you to the esteemed John Jackson Miller for this insight!) It’s a shame that the entire story couldn’t be in the same omnibus but that’s the way of comics, I suppose.
Daze of Hate
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler
I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not— damnit. Here’s the thing: I’m fairly sure that I didn’t have any strong, ship feelings about these two when I first read this comic. I don’t know what changed now unless JJM has some magical ability to go back in time after making me fall for Hera/Kanan to make me fall for another ship? (I used to live such a happy ship-free life, kids.)
It’s New Comic Book Day, and Dark Horse seems to release everything at once, so naturally, all our reviews come out at once. Today, the last installment of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind releases and keeping things spoiler-free, here’s what I have to say:
Aw, comic, no.
I’m not going into the substandard art again, but if there’s been one thing I have enjoyed about this series, it’s been the writing–until now. And I understand that this comic is setting up for whatever the next Serenity comic mini-series is going to be, but the end of this comic very, very quickly took a turn for both 1) a (second) rehash of an old plotline and 2) a WTF spin on the level of Buffy Season Eight.
If you’ve bought the other five comics in the mini-series, buy this one to complete the set. But if the next mini-series continues off this arc, rather than telling stories like The Shepherd’s Tale or Better Days, I’d be just a little bit wary of investing money in it.
Action! Action action action action action! For all the set-up in Serenity #4, Serenity #5 is all action, and yes, you will need to go back and read the previous issue to catch up and understand exactly what is happening in this issue, because there is so much action switching between enough perspectives that it takes a read or two to figure things out.
Basically, though, this is where the excrement meets the cooling machinery. The crew (plus the Operative) has gone to rescue the other River-like girls, only to discover that they’ve been completely brainwashed, leaving River to fight them. And everything goes nuts here, until the end, when there’s a horrible realization that what’s left of the Browncoat resistance are those left on Serenity–because the Alliance has used all of this as a trap.
But Malcolm Reynolds has one thing he has left to do–and that’s to save Zoe. And he’s going to do whatever it takes.
Art – cue my normal complaints and my normal WOW about the cover. Writing – not up to its usual standards here, but that’s because this is action action OMG all the action. Still, comic writers are responsible, in part, for laying out the pages and the panels and what’s happening in them, and this was the first time I really wasn’t all that impressed. Still, overall, it’s a good story, and I’m not sure how all the ends are going to get tied up in one issue next month.
The title on this Newsarama post is incredibly misleading, so here’s the gist: Dark Horse will be creating a comic arc to wrap up the Darth Maul story seen in the fifth and final Clone Wars season. Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir will be a four-part mini arc based on unused screenplays and plans from The Clone Wars. What this won’t be is the series finale that Newsarama claims it is. For clarification, Pablo Hidalgo and Jen Heddle took to Twitter.
So again, this is not the series finale and that’s probably not something you should expect from any of the tie-in or bonus content. Functionally, the season five finale is the series finale. We may get some closure to smaller character arcs from the bonus content, but I wouldn’t expect anything more definitive than the finale we’ve already gotten.
You wanted news? Well there you go. And now for a jumbled mess of assorted thoughts about said news…
- It is a bummer that Star Wars is leaving Dark Horse. As with any comic shop, there are high points and low points. Of late the Brian Wood comic was a definite miss for us, but the new Legacy series was a big favorite. Dark Horse has done a lot of good stuff with the license over the years and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
- It’s going to be a really big bummer if the latest Legacy series isn’t allowed to continue, but sadly I’m not holding my breath on that. (Edit: Big bummer confirmed, series to end at issue #18)
- I wrote a piece about Star Wars and following Marvel’s multiverse approach. Here’s the heavy-handed and very shameless plug to said piece.
- It should be pointed out that Marvel, from a creative standpoint, is absolutely flying high. It’s clear they understand their audience well and are keen to deliver both grand adventures and more character focused pieces (such as blog favorites Hawkeye and Captain Marvel).
- While writers like Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction may be too busy with other projects to work on Star Wars, Marvel has shown the ability to attract great creative talent to work for them. If they can do this with Star Wars, we’ll all be better off.
- Marvel has done a solid job with LGBTQ and minority representation in their works. It might be a lot to ask them to do that with Star Wars, but here’s hoping.
In all, this is definitely a mixed bag of feelings. I completely get the disappointment and sadness that Star Wars is moving away from Dark Horse, who generally has treated the franchise very well. On the other hand, I’m very optimistic about Marvel taking over. In the last few years, Marvel has proven themselves to be a very capable and, sometimes, progressive shop that’s capable of attracting top-flight talent and putting out a wide variety of stories. I’d say I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll do with the license.
Excelsior, I suppose.
Sometimes, a comic book is exactly what it reads on the label and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Out today is Ewoks- Shadows of Endor; a new Star Wars graphic novel for the younglings about everyone’s favorite fluffy little terrors. Penned and drawn by Zack Giallongo with colors by Braden Lamb, it’s an enjoyable little tale about how Endor is turned on its head when the Empire arrives to build the shield generator for the new Death Star.
This review contains mild spoilers.
Headed out to New York Comic Con this month? Keep an eye out for the Dark Horse booth and for their convention exclusives. This year, one of the exclusives will be a special limited edition of The Star Wars #1. The comic is the adaptation of George Lucas’s original screenplay which we’ve been reviewing. There will be only 1000 copies of this special convention edition book sold at the con. They will be sold for $5 a copy (which is a dollar above the usual cover price) and will be limited to two per person.
Read the entire press release for all of Dark Horse’s exclusives after the jump.
Comic publisher Dark Horse has partnered with Random House to distribute titles. Given that both houses have the rights to Star Wars, this could certainly prove to be an interesting and beneficial agreement. Press release below the cut.
And where Joss Whedon and Firefly is concerned, forget your ideas of what fandom can and cannot change and rejoice because they can’t stop the signal.
Dark Horse Comics just announced that their new comic series will pick up where the 2005 movie Serenity left off, with River Tam sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, and Zoe Washburn struggling to adjust to the death of her husband and the realization that she’ll be raising their soon-to-be-born child alone.
Buffy Season 8 artist George Jeanty has been announced as the artist, while the writer and the launch date are still up in the air.
I think this is just shiny.
Looking forward to the 8-issue comic series adapting George Lucas’ original concept for Star Wars? You’ll want to take a look at this trailer.