Holonet Blast #5

Only a few items of note this week, so let’s get to them!

OMAR JOINS HAN

Michael Kenneth Williams, perhaps best known as Omar on The Wire, has joined the as-yet-untitled Han Solo spinoff film! That’s literally all we know; no character hints whatsoever. Seems like LFL is at least starting to get the “wow, that’s a lot of white folks” memo, though. Faster than Marvel is, at any rate. (Source)

via StarWars.com

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New Poe Dameron comic coming in April!

USA Today announced yesterday that a Poe Dameron ongoing, written by Charles Soule and art by Phil Noto, will begin in April. And there was much rejoicing at Tosche Station! It’s described as a Mission: Impossible style story, with Poe on his mission to find Lor San Tekka, and will feature BB-8 and some of the other X-wing pilots we saw in The Force Awakens. Since it’s an ongoing, can we expect to see the story go past the events of TFA?

(In case you were wondering, yes, this is the way to get Nanci interested in subscribing to an ongoing comics series.)

The Diversity Wars: A Letter and An Offering

My Dearest Fellow Diversity Bloggers,

It has come to my attention that we must yet again fight the #WheresFemaleCharacter War. This shall be dubbed the First Battle of Rey as we shall undoubtedly take up her standard and charge forth into the front lines of war in the weeks following the release of The Force Awakens and then likely yet again in Second and Third Battles of Rey with Episodes VIII and IX.

But these have not been the only battles we have fought, my worthy Capable Lady Warriors. Oh no. For we have all stood together and raised the cry of #WheresHera and #WheresBlackWidow in the First Battle of the Rebel Ladies and the Second Battle of the Avengers to name but a few of the hills where we have drawn our swords. We were all there for #WheresGamora and we routinely fight in the Battle of Will Someone Please Just Give Us A Decent Action Figure Of Leia In Something Besides The Metal Bikini. (At least there’s good news from the front lines on that last one.)

As much as I value all of your efforts, my dear Capable Lady Warriors, I also value your time. Our energy is far more useful in the trenches of Twitter than in having the write essentially the same column again. In an attempt to save us all some time, I have written the below form article for us to all use when posting yet another one of these articles. Please feel free to use as you deem necessary although to be honest, we’ve all had to do this so often that we could most likely write these pieces in our sleep.

So make use of the below and then run forth to Twitter and carry our banner high! We’ll win this war one marketing battle at a time.

Best Regards,
Bria

HeraIt seems that the toy and merchandise companies can’t seem to take a hint. For every Target who stops separating their toys by gender, we find another example where a leading female character has been excluded. I recently found this __(Insert Product)__ at __(Insert Store)__ and while it featured all of the main male characters, __(Insert Excluded Lady)__ was nowhere to be found. Given that she is one of the leading characters, this is ridiculous. Apparently it’s time to start a #Wheres__(Lady)___ hashtag. Again.

This is not the first time that this has happened with __(Marvel/Star Wars)__. __(Marvel/Star Wars)__ previously routinely excluded __(Hera and sometimes Sabine/Gamora)__ from much of their __(Rebels/Guardians of the Galaxy)__ merchandise and also __(Padme and Ahsoka/Black Widow)__ from their __(Star Wars/Avengers)__ products. It’s not just getting ridiculous—it’s been ridiculous. __(Franchise)__ should have long since gotten the memo that girls like __(Franchise)__ just as much as boys. By not acknowledging the existing market, they are yet again alienating these women and young girls. Finally, __(Company)__ needs to realize that excluding women from products that feature an entire team not only shows how tone deaf they are but also sends a bad message to the young boys they are supposedly marketing to. Women are not lesser and are absolutely an equal part of the team. They should not be excluded from products that feature that team.

So come on, __(Company)__. Stop excluding __(Lady)__ from the __(Franchise)__ products and making us as #Wheres__(Lady)__. It’s getting real old real fast.

 

Tosche Station Radio #124: Guide to New Canon Comics

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We’re joined by Marvel editor Heather Antos to talk the new Star Wars comics in today’s Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight What’s New on the Blog. We had a Go/No-Go: Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wending. Bria reviewed Darth Vader #8. A reminder: Our Attack of the Clones live commentary is up now! Also an announcement: a new tabletop podcast will be coming soon!

In Fixer’s Flash, Nanci’s been working on a new book. Both the hosts have been reading Chuck Wendig’s Heartland trilogy. Brian’s been playing with Windows 10. Bria’s costuming, and Heather? Just making comics. No biggie.

Deak’s Dirt is quiet this week with D23 coming up. There’s going to be a  new release and packaging for the Blu Rays. As for Battlefront, FIGHTER FLIGHT GAMEPLAY TRAILER!

In Biggs’ Bull$&#*! Jedi News has a rumor about The Force Awakens Blu Ray coming on April 26. Also, J.J. Abrams broke his back while working on The Force Awakens.

We’re lucky this week to be joined by Marvel editor Heather Antos to discuss, break down, and talk all things Star Wars comics in this week’s Camie’s Concerns!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Tosche Station Radio #114: Publishing Madness

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Our Celebration recap continues with Megan from Blog Full of Words joins us to recap the publishing news from Celebration. We highlight the announcements and highlights from Del Rey and Marvel’s panels.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Review: Star Wars #4

Didn’t get enough Star Wars last weekend? Good news: Star Wars #4 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday is out today! Our heroes were successful (albeit just barely) in their mission to destroy the weapons factory on Cymoon 1 but what now for both the Rebels and the Empire?

I usually discuss the art after the plot but Cassaday drew such a gorgeous panel of Luke in his pilot helmet towards the end of the issue that I have to mention it right away! I actually paused for a minute just to take in every detail. A lot of gorgeous work went into that one panel between Cassaday’s lines and Laura Martin’s colors. There are also some other very nice pages for Luke fans but wow did that other panel just blow me away. John Cassaday will certainly be missed when he leaves the book.

On the story front, this main Star Wars book and the Darth Vader book definitely seem to be intertwined. It would be interesting to see a more detailed timeline of where each issue falls in relation to the others as this is now the second time we the readers have seen Vader dealing with Jabba. As far as plot goes, this is definitely a transitional set-up issue. Aaron is moving his characters into position for the next arc but it all feels very organic and not like a place holder issue where everyone’s treading water.

Speaking of characters! You can attribute it to either great characterization or wonderful coordination by the story group or both but the Leia featured in Aaron’s book is definitely on the same page as the Leia who is in the pages of Mark Waid’s book. In both, she’s very proactive and trying to do more than the Rebellion will let her. It’s great in terms of both continuity and who Leia Organa is as a person.

Oh yeah. And there’s a character return that’ll definitely have some fans fist pumping the air.

(As a side note, please tell me that someone else out there read the last few lines of the opening scroll and immediately heard Katara’s voice from the Avatar opening…)

Star Wars #4 gets another solid recommendation from me but you’re already reading this book, right?

Celebration Anaheim Publishing News

The publishing news from Celebration Anaheim was light this year, but considering most of the news we got at the last Celebration never came to pass (I’m looking at you, Sword of the Jedi), maybe that’s a good thing? We did get some important bits of information, though, and one item in particular I think most of the blogosphere is very excited about.

landoThe Marvel and Del Rey panels ran back to back on Saturday, although all the Marvel news was released a few days earlier. The Marvel panel featured C.B. Cebulski, Jordan White, Jen Heddle, and Leland Chee. It was announced that Charles Soule and Alex Maleev will be writing Lando, a limited release series that will take the place of the current miniseries, Princess Leia. The first issue will be out in July. While Lando doesn’t have the Millennium Falcon during this pre-A New Hope time period (Han already won it), it will feature Lobot! The panel also announced the Shattered Empire team, which includes Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto. While the audience praised Marvel’s Original Trilogy adaptations, the panelists confirmed we won’t be seeing The Force Awakens adaptation any time soon as there’s just too much security surrounding the film’s release.

Jordan White recapped the current Marvel releases, and revealed that “Star Wars #7”, a one-shot about Obi-Wan on Tatooine, will be drawn by Simone Bianchi. Stuart Immonen will take over full-time artist duties for John Cassaday starting in issue #8. We also learned that “Princess Leia #1” was Mark Waid’s first ever number one selling comic, and that Greg Weisman will be writing the second arc of “Kanan”. One final piece of news out of Marvel is that Jen Heddle will be moving off Marvel and Frank Parisi will be taking over her duties. Despite the lack of news, the panel was interesting and revealed some neat insights, and it was great to hear so much enthusiasm from the audience. Most questioners were especially pleased by Princess Leia, which was heartening to see.

The Del Rey panel featured Shelly Shapiro, Jen Heddle, John Jackson Miller, James Luceno, and Christie Golden. We already knew a Battlefront novel was coming, thanks to its placement in the novel timeline and Friday’s battlefront panel. Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed will focus on what it’s like to be a soldier in the front lines during the Rebel Alliance. It’s good for gamers and non-gamers, and will not be a novelization. Look for that in November. The second not-really announcement was that A New Dawn and Tarkin will be repackaged into a single edition titled Rise of the Empire and feature three new short stories, one of which will link to Aftermath, the first post-Return of the Jedi novel in the new canon (which was announced prior to Celebration).

As for Lords of the Sith, which comes out next week (look for a review from Brian!), Heddle stated that the book will give us some insight into Hera’s view of the Empire. The novel features her father, Cham Syndulla, in a major role leading the resistance on Ryloth. Christie Golden discussed the production of Dark Disciple, coming in July, and how she worked with Dave Filoni and the story group to adapt the unproduced The Clone Wars scripts.

fosterFinally, in the best troll of the convention, the panel opened for Q&A. An older gentleman stood up and asked if he could write The Force Awakens novelization. After some back and forth with the panelists, they said “why not” and invited him onto to stage. Surprise–it was Alan Dean Foster! He’s currently at work on the novelization, which will be released in ebook format on December 18. Yes, you heard that right: we won’t be getting the novelization prior to the film. Hallelujah! A hardcover version will come a few weeks later. And the spoiler-phobes like me rejoiced.

You can listen to the entire Del Rey panel here, and be sure to check our Twitter feed for our live tweets of both panels.

Review: Princess Leia #1

Leia_Dodson1Remember back in August when I wrote about what I hoped for with a Mark Waid Leia comic? Yeah, he nailed it. I won’t beat around the bush here. I loved this issue. Go to your comic store right now and pick up Princess Leia #1 by Mark Waid with art by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson, and colors by Jordie Bellaire. Need another reason why? Well read on for a mostly spoiler-free review.

The book picks up immediately after the Battle of Yavin with the medal ceremony and Leia giving a very brief speech commemorating the losses of all those who gave their lives fighting the Empire and especially Alderaan. There is no time for sorrows though as the Rebels must immediately dismantle the base and flee. Leia, however, wants to embark on a mission of her own: to find and protect all the remaining Alderaanians in the galaxy… with or without the Alliance’s approval.

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Review: Darth Vader #2

How do you follow up a solidly good first issue that teased at plenty of future plot points? By focusing the second issue on just one of them. Darth Vader #2 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca is out today in which the creative team does precisely that. After the disaster of the Death Star’s destruction, Vader is in disgrace and now must follow the commands of Grand General Tagge as a part of the grand plan to strike back against the Rebellion… one corvette at a time. (Spoiler Alert: Vader does NOT win Coruscant’s Next Top Model in this issue. Sorry.)

Surprisingly, this series is turning out to be very character driven which is something I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a book about Darth Vader. As proven with the previous issue, Gillen definitely knows what he’s doing with Vader but the character that really stood out to me in this issue was Tagge. (That’s Grand General, by the way, not just General.) With the exception of Palpatine, it floors me that anyone in the Empire would have the balls to speak to someone as imposing as Darth Vader like Tagge did. If you thought how Tarkin acted in A New Hope was impressive… just read issue #2. This is a characterization that seems like it will pay off further down the line along perhaps before Vader discovers more about the Rebel pilot’s identity…

On the art front, Larroca continues to draw a pretty darn good Vader. He’s got a great eye for detail that translates to not just the iconic costume but also to things like holograms or distant ships through a viewport. Also, I’m not sure who’s having more fun with all these explosions: Gillen writing them or Larroca drawing and Edgar Delgado coloring them. Artistically speaking, having Larroca on interior art and Adi Granov on covers is a winning combination for this book.

Can we start spelling poor Kieron Gillen’s name right in the opening credits though?  This is two issues in a row now where they’ve gotten it wrong.

Darth Vader #2 is another solid showing from the creative team and I’m definitely excited for the next issue.