Lit The Trades Thread (Discussion and Review for All Comic TPBs)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Jedi Ben, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Star Wars: Agent For The Empire: Volume 1: Iron Eclipse

    Oh, what a blast! Action, wit, style - this has it all!

    On the face of it, it seems absurdly simple - James Bond mixed with SW, but if it were so simple, or so easy, why hasn't it already been done? Because to do it successfully is neither simple or easy! Instead what John Ostrander does is render a version that has elements of Bond but cannily adapted to work in SW. Add to this skilful use of continuity to enhance the story - Armand Isard being Cross' boss for example - and it's quite a hand. And then he throws in the support guys back at base that Cross is forever exasperating! Oh and a cameo or two as well.

    Stephane Roux's art is utterly superb too. Nicking him from DC was quite a coup on DHC's part.

    As to the story? There's a whole host of carefully done SW-style Bond homages thrown in, some you see coming - and knowing Mr Ostrander, probably deliberately so! - others are more surprising and amusing. The Corporate Sector attitude to chases and property destruction is gallows humour at its best. The actual plot? The Iron Eclipse of the title? Not quite what you expect and then things go crazy in the finale, but, for me, it is just the kind of crazy a story like this can pull off. There was always an element of absurdity to Bond, so it is here.

    An utterly brilliant debut series, it's hard to see how it can improve from here - but I hope the next series defies expectations to deliver every bit as big a bang as this did.
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Got this recently from Amazon but haven't had a chance to read it yet.
  3. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    At long last read Knight Errant: Escape last night. I thought I'd already started it earlier this year, but it seems I'd never even got around to reading #1. (I don't understand why I don't just switch to the TPBs with how long it's taking me to read stuff :p)

    The utilisation of Magneto Ieldis's helm was more interesting than I expected. It initially sounded way too overpowered, but I really enjoyed the way Odion made use of the imprisoned children. Still not entirely sure whether I think the idea of it literally being able to affect the entire universe is silly, but it did at least make for a sense of "closure" to the end of this part of Kerra's story by making it a worthwhile achievement.

    I was totally expecting Yulan to turn out to be her brother-mutated-by-Malakite when he gave her that holo-vid though. Kinda disappointed that we'll now never see that story developed further. [face_sigh]

    I still loved Yulan's choice at the end though. Didn't see that coming at all. Lovely twist.

    All in all, it was better than Deluge (which I still didn't mind, and think would have felt fine had Knight Errant lasted longer, with Zodoh filling the same narrative role Adasca did in KOTOR), less sure where I'd rank it against Aflame... I definitely preferred the consistent art in Escape, but on the whole I think Aflame was the stronger of the pair. I admit KE never grabbed me the way KOTOR did (and I've been calling for crazy New Sith Wars stories for years!) but I'm still sad to see the end of it, as Daiman had so much potential and now that we've seen Villia and more of the family in Escape, I'd like to see Kerra progress from beating "Boss 1" to taking down the rest of the family.

    Nonetheless, the way JJM managed to tie Odion into Kerra's backstory at least give it a sense of being an "ending" to that chapter of Kerra's life.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 7, 2012
  4. Foltliss Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2010
    star 2
    Is Knight Errant worth reading? I haven't read a JJM comic outside of KotOR and I couldn't get very far into the book.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, what stopped you on the book? Hard to say if the comic might have the same effect without knowing that.
  6. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    I read the book but I wasn't crazy about it. I just couldn't get into the main character. Haven't read any of the comics other than the small excerpt in the novel for that reason. To me she came over as a bit 'too good to be true'.
  7. Foltliss Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2010
    star 2
    My problem was mainly knowing that in the very near future, Darth Bane was going to destroy the Sith. Rendering every event in the book and comics pretty much insignificant. If I'm wrong, smack some sense into me.
  8. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I'm sure you must have read stories set during the Clone Wars though, right?

    Even when Palpatine, Bane or Revan are destined to destroy everything, it doesn't lessen the uplift of the stories of people like Vos, Zayne or Kerra. ;)

    Or look at Jennir! We all know he's got a death mark on his head and there's a very, very good chance he might not come out of Dark Times alive, but it doesn't diminish the good he does to the people who he meets and manages to help. And if anything, in comparison to Jennir I'd say Kerra has had more successes, since she's brought a lot of hope to the people of Grumani.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 12, 2012
  9. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, if you're going to take that viewpoint then a great deal of interesting stories will be denied to you!
  10. Foltliss Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2010
    star 2
    I guess I'll try to read the book again, then start easing my way into the comics.

    Sad part is I have an autographed copy of the book. And the only reason I bought it is because John Jackson Miller was twenty feet away from me.
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, the order structure is:

    Aflame
    Knight Errant novel
    Deluge
    Escape

    Might be of use to you.
  12. cdgodin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2009
    star 4
    What about that short story and all the Official Website articles?
  13. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    You know I can't find Knight Errant volume 1 anywhere.
    Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse was amazing. Looking forward to seeing the 2nd TPB
    Loved KOTOR War. Bring on a sequel!
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I was going by what I thought what was most easily obtainable main items, as I've no idea how those might be got! Pity to hear that Aflame might have already gone out of print too.
  15. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    YAY! My copy of Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm has despatched! I'll hopefully receive it between Xmas and New Year.
  17. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    The KE short story is online here. It's set before the first arc of the comics, so it's the earliest Kerra Holt story.
  18. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    DOTJ: Force Storms was amazing. Can't wait for the next arc to come out in TPB.
    Also just got Quinlan Vos: Jedi In Darkness Omnibus. Have to say I am very impressed with it so far. Twilight and Infinity's End were amazing. Reading Darkness currently and liking it so far
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Oh, you're just getting started on the Vos arc FH!

    My copy of DOTJ: Force Storm arrived far faster than anticipated, be fun to read.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 23, 2012
  20. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I know some of the basic details that happen especially some of the stuff that happens in the Clone Wars. I am very impressed. I think I will have to add the first 3 comics at the minute in there to my list of favorite arcs ever.
  21. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I know the trade's not out until next year, so I'll not go into any detail about the plot, but... I finally read Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison tonight.

    And O. M. G. :eek:

    That was awesome.
  22. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Read the TPB's in the Omnibus' Quinlan Vos: Jedi In Darkness and Clone Wars Volume 1. Amazing. Why didn't I get into the comics years ago? The Quinlan Vos arc is amazing. Really well done. The story and the art is superb. Oh yeah because I needed to get all the books.
    cwustudent likes this.
  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm

    This is perhaps one of the most stupidly ambitious stories I've read in ages! Will it get the chance to achieve its galaxy-spanning ambitions? I'd like to think so.

    First, there's that opening page, the one that says the story is set 36 millennia before Star Wars! In cosmological terms, 36,000 years is a blink of an eye, but in lifespan terms, its eons! Thus, from the outset, it is clear we are entering terra incognita. Yet, at the same time, there are enough terms of sufficient closeness to terms we know that it isn't entirely alien.

    Second, this is a Star Wars story that clearly loves the mystical elements of it. For the last few years there's been a quite existential or even atheist trend in Star Wars where the Force and its dark side is concerned. The idea of places being imbued with the dark side of the Force has seemingly diminished, this brings that and more back to the fore. We have a world where the ecosystem responds to changes in the Force, where they are places that are extraordinarily dangerous for a Force-sensitives.

    Third, Force philosophy that embraces both the personal and the mystical - an example is the admonition given to Sek'Nos to not experiment with Force Lightning due to it drawing solely on the negative emotions. This is quite distinct from the films, but close enough for speculation over how it flowed from one position to another over the centuries.

    Fourth, the Rakata. As villains go, these are good. An evil Empire of Force-users, their appearance is both mysterious and malign. We may not know much of them, but clearly they're not good. Towards the end of the volume, we see the revelation that their technology is imbued with the dark side, which in turn explains why the planet reacted so violently to a Rakatan ship crashing upon it. While those familiar with the KOTOR games will likely know more of the Rakata, that they are as much a mystery to the reader as to the Jedi works in the story's favour.

    Five, world-building. Clearly a lot of work has gone into constructing the Tython system and its history and societies, that pays off when reading as the various depictions have a weight of plausibility to them, it draws you in very effectively. It may be said the opening pages are naught but exposition, but it's very well-done exposition and a set of info that drives the story. There's a good amount of references to the events summarised so the reader needs the info, so the story just gets that done at the start to clear the way for more interesting stuff.

    Take this lot and whip up into a cocktail and the result is a very potent brew indeed - and a very well-illustrated one at that! I haven't said much of the art, but due to this being from the team of John and Jan, what remains to be said? Certainly, depicting a new world and numerous new locales must have been quite an artistic challenge, fortunately Jan was up to the task.

    All in all, this was utterly excellent and I'll be grabbing the next volume once it's out.
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Trades solicited in DHC April 2013 listing below, it is a shame that the Legacy hardcover looks to be the same, smaller page dimensions as the Omnibus and the DE/CE trilogy hardcover collections, I had hoped it might be the same format as used for the BPRD Plague of Frogs hardbacks.


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  25. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    Will the entire Legacy series be in three hardcovers now? If so, I have to say that these hardcovers are getting out of hand. I still don't know whether I should buy them or wait for regular Omnibuses, which may not come at all or come when everything else has been collected.