Discussion in 'Literature' started by Jedi Ben, Sep 3, 2012.
If they've been omnibused, those will be some very good value packages.
I agree too. Great duo! I love the KOTOR comics. They are my favourite. I haven't read the KOTOR: War though. How is it?
KOTOR War isn't bad but it doesn't stand up when compared to its more illustrious predecessors. For me what hurts its most is the lack of the ensemble cast that made KOTOR work so well.
The Force Unleashed. It has one major virtue -- it's a much better adaptation than the novelization. Rather than being a dreary repetition of every video-game action sequence in the entire game, it cuts the endless action to get the story across, and does so by adopting a flashback frame story that tells us more about the story and gives it a different angle. So that's interesting, the art is good, and it's honestly a better narrative experience than the book or game. Unfortunately, it's still the TFU narrative, a clunky, cliched, pointless exercise in bad ideas. And the bad ideas end up played up here, with the new Rebels emphasizing Starkiller's wholly undeserved status as their "leader." Shoot me. It doesn't offer a lot, but if you want the story, this is a better option than the novelization, even though some elements are cut.
We should burn Starkiller in effigy.
There was one scene in the TFU comic in the battle between Vader and Starkiller that was awesome. Can't remember it now.
I found this blurb today on http://www.swbooks.co.uk/omnibus/ and I hope this was the right place to post it:
Star Wars Omnibus to end with Dark Times Vol. 2Commenting on their Message Boards Randy Stradley, Dark Horse Comics' editor, has revealed that the Dark Times Vol. 2 Omnibus (scheduled for US release in May), will be the last Star Wars Omnibus to be published byDark Horse Comics: "The second Dark Times Omnibus is indeed our final scheduled Omnibus. We will produce trades for all of the current series, but there is not enough time within our remaining license to publish Omnibuses. Dark Horse's goal, obviously, must be to sell as much of our inventory before our final cut-off date."
The Force Unleashed II. It was probably a wise decision to move this away from a straight adaptation, which has few virtues, to a parallel adaptation, a sort of companion story. Even though you get occasional silliness like Fett re-killing the monster Starkiller killed (seriously, what a pointless waste of an issue), at least you're getting a new story, a new insight into events, rather than just a duplicate. It's a move Shadows of the Empire used well, and TFUII borrows straight from that playbook, right down to making the comic adaptation follow Boba Fett. The main problem is that this is the worst portrayal of Boba Fett ever written. It makes old Fett moping over his dead dad and bonding with his broken family look like Twin Engines of Destruction. I'm not talking about pedestrian complaints like "Boba gets beat by PROXY disguised as Jango because whatever." No, I'm talking about starting the comic with Boba Fett hanging around a posh Nar Shaddaa suite that's apparently his apartment, in an undershirt, while his girlfriend/bounty hunting partner parades around in a toga thing and flirts with him. It's like a concentrated attempt to create an affront to DKM Boba on every possible front, presenting him as little more than a common hood. But even that's not the worst of it. No, the worst of it is turning Boba into a sappy romantic. No, seriously. Boba has a bead on Starkiller, but can't kill him because . . . he's kissing Juno. And Boba Fett is so overwhelmed by this display of love that he turns and leaves, vowing to shoot him some other, less emotionally devastating time. No, seriously. Really seriously. For real. That's how the comic ends. Boba Fett won't shoot because he's a sucker for true love. It's just mind-bogglingly bad. I read it and was like "THIS CANNOT BE A REAL THING." But it was. It was so real. So, yeah, the writing is just awful, and as a result it doesn't end up adding anything of real value to the TFUII narrative. Even without the terrible characterization of Boba, it's not doing anything particularly special with its parallel narrative.
It's got Omar Francia's great art going for it. But other than that, huge waste of potential. Inexplicably bad Fett. It's not often you get to say "This is the worst a major character has ever been written," at least not outside of Denning books, but it's true here.
Ok, let's see, was at £70 saved from Hav's reviews, add in a further 3 non-buys and the result is...
Knights of Suffering
I loved this arc. Zayne returns to Taris and we have some nice KOTOR tie ins and just some more general awsomeness. I greatly enjoyed Zayne's meet up with the Beaks. We got to see the tension between Brejik and Gadon. I'm amazed at how well Miller capture their characters; they are true to the game and have a deepened character. We also see Griff appear. I loved Zayne and Gryph's conversation about his name. Then we also get 8 year old Mission. So ya, I loved the KOTOR references.
We have good seems with Zayne and Shel. She obviously is angry with him since she thinks he killed her brother. I loved all of these conversations especially with Raana thrown in the mix. She really made me wonder about the members of the Jedi Covenant. I can't help but to be curious of they ever look in the mirror and say, " hey, I'm actually a lot like the Sith I'm so afraid of." Okay, I know that they aren't Sith, but at times Raana sure seemed close.
This issue sees the death of the first Jedi Covenant member. So the plot is truly advancing. I liked that She'll killed her because it showed that she believed Zayne. Thus it provided a nice completion to both of their arcs in this issue.
This arc was a nice continuation of the last arc, with everyone still on Taris. There is a gap because the resistance has already been destroyed when Vector starts. I enjoyed the beginning. Celeste is sent to kill Zayne and ends up saving him. Oh and we see Rakgouhls, which is a nice KOTOR tie in. The Muur Talisman was an interesting thing to center the plot around -- it's quite dangersous and the Mandalorians have it. This leads into an exciting situation on Jebble. Both Gryph and Zayne have great moments here. Lastly, Celeste shocked me when she ends up working with Zayne. She was not as fanatical as the rest of the covenant members.
This issue has an interesting scene with Lucien being appointed to the Jedi Council. That's scary, now our antagonist has a lot more power. I'm sorry Zayne, but at this point things don't look good. It was nice to see that Vrook and Bandar were suspicious of him and wanted him in the council so they could observe him. I can't believe I'm looking Brook. The video games didn't make him the most likeable Jedi. I'm not saying he's out of character -- he is definitely the same person -- he's just on our side.
The rest of the plot was a continuatoon of Vector. They used Celeste's key to access the Covenant's storeroom. Something is up when we have a group of Jedi hoarding Sith artifacts. I know they're trying to keep them hidden, but the dark side is very seductive. I'm just saying, they are playing with fire. I loved seeing how Feln has abused his authority among his people. It added to the plot, at least I thought so. Although, I question the wisdom of killing another Covenant member so soon. It's starting to feel like the main plot is going to begin moving way to fast.
The reason I haven't commented much on the characters, that's just because I don't want to be too repetitive. I continue to love them all. They are so well develo and likeable. It's really amazing.
Darth Vader and the Lost Command. Not a good comic. Leonardi's art isn't that great, is terrible at conveying what's happening on-panel, and is stuck in the eighties to boot. But the main sin is the writing, which is just bad. I understand the appeal of exploring mixed emotions in Vader as he copes with his transition from Anakin to Vader, but the execution is lousy. Moments of doubt or regret are understandable, but the extent to which Vader is portrayed as an I-want-Padme-back crybaby simply doesn't work; it works against the credibility of the transition rather than for it. The right touch just isn't there. Even aside from that, the writing of Vader is clumsy -- simplistic and brutish without feeling like it encapsulates Vader's directness and violence. At no point did I feel like I was really reading Darth Vader. Plus the plotting in general is third-rate. Blackman is no good at conveying what's happening or why, and the plot feels like a thin leap from thing to thing without any convincing depth or anything that really sinks in. It's underthought all the way through. Captain Shale is a crummy character, yet another dull iteration of the "generic Imperial officer Vader works with" iteration we're seeing too often in the Dark Times as a cheap resort. Either it's some plucky kid who is impressed and impresses the reader, or it's some ultra-bland "rival" character. Shale is the latter, and he's obscenely bland. The only notable thing he ever does, aside from get utterly lost in the muddle of the plot, is wear black stealth armor but, instead of a helmet, keep on his little beige hat and look ridiculous. He's really just a repugnantly bland character. And then he gets sucked into the total muddle of just what the hell Garoche and the woman actually want, which is to be in love and rule a system and somehow he . . . they . . . what part of this exactly is Shale in on? . . . it's just so dumb. And she and her species are terribly executed. So they're a species that looks just like humans and can cross-breed with them, but they have multiple tiny hearts instead of one heart. It's never even relevant to anything! It's just there to be stupid. Either make them aliens and DRAW THEM as aliens, or if you're going to have them be humans but with a trait that's irrelevant to anything that ever happens in the comic, drop the irrelevant trait! It's a mess of a plot that leads up to a mess of a finale.
The only thing I liked in the comic, and I mean literally the only thing, is the moment where Garoche confesses that Lady Whatsherface's appeal to him was forgiveness. Even Tarkin's son can feel the weight of conscience slowly building up, and to be confronted with the spiritual power of love and forgiveness is incredibly powerful and cathartic. I thought that was a beautiful little moment delivering a message that's perfect for Star Wars, and I thought it was a shame that it was such a minor, mishandled note buried in an awful comic.
£120 and counting....
Randy Stradley said
A heads up for our loyal message boarders I'm realized that we have only about a thirty-day supply (maybe less) of the following digests. Because of minimum print quantities, and because we don't want to be stuck with stock after the license expires, once these are gone they will not be reprinted:
SW: CLONE WARS CRASH COURSE
SW: CLONE WARS DEADLY HANDS OF SHO-JU
SW: CLONE WARS DEFENDERS OF THE LOST TEMPLE
SW: CLONE WARS ENEMY WITHIN
SW: CLONE WARS IN SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC
SW: CLONE WARS SLAVES OF THE REPUBLIC
SW: CLONE WARS SMUGGLERS CODE
SW: CLONE WARS STARCRUSHER
SW: CLONE WARS WIND RAIDERS OF TALORAAN
I'll keep checking our stock lists to see if there are other soon-to-be-gone volumes.
From the Dark Horse forum
Indeed. I panic purchased the whole lot.
I've read Crimson Empire but hadn't bought it, so I picked up the Crimson Empire Saga collection. Crimson Empire is a comic that got its popularity on the back of a badass action protagonist, a few cool concepts, and awesome Dave Dorman cover art. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much going for it beyond that. First and foremost, Paul Gulacy's art is embarrassing. A longtime industry veteran, he has the art skills of a rank amateur, routinely creating baffling errors in perspective, anatomy, visual continuity . . . pretty much everything you can screw up, he finds a way to screw up. He can create some striking compositions, and when his art isn't wonky, it can look pretty good, even with the rather dated, cartoony style and coloring work. But the art is definitely not a point in the comic's favor. That leaves the writing, and that's not holding up its end, either. There are some very neat concepts in there -- exploring an ultra-loyal Imperial Royal Guard seeking vengeance against a cabal that betrayed the Emperor, including a Force-sensitive rival Royal Guard jockeying for the throne is a great premise. It ties in well to Dark Empire, and the nostalgist in me loves all the referencing to the EU of the time -- it's pulling in stuff from DE, TTT, X-wing. But there's just not much to the writing. Kanos is a cardboard character -- we never even get an idea of what the source of his loyalty is, what he's thinking or feeling. He's just a plot device, a badass on a mission. Mirith Sinn and her band are some of the least interesting Rebels ever. I kind of like the idea of exploring a New Republic force acting behind Imperial lines like a Rebel cell long after the New Republic is established -- it's an underused premise -- but they're just such generic characters, and they're so stupid. Mirith's decisions are just a long string of inexplicable screwups, with no sense of depth or motivation -- she just does what she does because she's a character in a story doing what she's supposed to do. I can't care about that. The decisionmaking and the actual flow of the plot is just not that smart in general. Phaeda is an incredibly boring setting. The comic just doesn't get anything out of its ideas until the final Jax-Kanos showdown. And that's not enough. In the end, all Crimson Empire is is some great covers, a few good action panels, and some good ideas that don't go anywhere. That's not nearly enough to justify the nostalgia for it.
Turns out my library has a healthy collection of SW TPBs, so are going through them based on this thread. Wife is also, she's loving the TOTJ.
Just curious, but besides google, is there any book/poster(s) that has a bigger version of those sweet Hugh Fleming covers? I really like them.
The Bounty Hunters: Kenix Kil. Here's a simple, straightforward action story that works. It's a small-scale story, so it doesn't have to do as much; it can just be a badass action scenario. Kanos is actually doing something here; he's active rather than wandering around aimlessly and having fights picked with him. The art is good. It's nothing special, but it's a little slice of Kir Kanos badassery that functions as a story much better than your average Crimson Empire installment.
Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood. Well, there are some improvements. Kir Kanos gets a little hint of character this time around, though still not enough. More significantly, the story goes a lot bigger, and ropes in the political machinations of the Council and Nom Anor. That's by far the best part of the book, murder and intrigue in the halls of Imperial power, with the hilarious Carivus blundering his way through politics. The other big picture, Black Sun and Grappa and pirates (Sol Mon is the worst name. Just the worst. Though it did make me imagine Grappa speaking with a Jamaican accent every time I read it) is sort of an awkward fit and is doing too much. It can't entirely escape the tendency to muddle the flow of the plot endemic to CE. And the actual plot mechanics aren't that involving. Second-rate plotting is a recurring plague here.
Fricking Massimo is the worst character. He's just like a giant plot device introduced to be whatever different kind of jerk the story needs at that particular moment. But Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn are pretty close to the worst. They're just incredibly boring characters, paper-thin cliches motivated less by any discernible characteristics than by their placement within a plot. She meets Kanos once for like a day and she's in love with him and vowing to find him and she vowed that for vengeance but then she catches up to him and she's in love with him and totally forgot that whole Sadeet thing because forgetting it and getting on with the EPIC ROMANCE is so much easier than writing real characters. Seriously, what is up with that romance? There's absolutely no reason for it ever established. They're in love literally because they have complementary genitals and once appeared in the same comic. It's just such horrible writing.
And the art hasn't improved. I'm endlessly amused by Gulacy's high-angle shots, in which the landscape and the people standing in it are never, ever, ever, ever in the same perspective. The landscape is always drawn from a really high-angle perspective, while the people are drawn almost as if standing upright, just from a barely elevated angle. The result is people who appear to have a near-magical relationship with their own environment and the laws of gravity. He's just a remarkably incompetent artist, and CEII lacks the big splash shots of Kanos in his armor (where you can't see the cross-eyedness!) that helped save CE a little; here he's almost always in his stupid bounty hunter armor and even when he's in his guard armor, he's got the helmet off until the very final confrontation. The one thing I'll say I liked about the art is the design work for the Council, which gives it a very neo-Roman feel. It's a cool look that fits into the Star Wars setting very well. The Council really is the saving grace of this comic. I could read about stupid Xandel Carivus bumbling to power while the rest of the Council schemes and Nom Anor bosses him around all week.
So, ultimately, it is way more involving than CE. It doesn't have the nice clean mano-a-mano revenge angle of CE, but it makes up for it by not being terminally boring. It still has Kanos and Sinn, leads so terminally boring they make Odie and Erk look charismatic (I'm at the point where I literally hate the sight of Mirith Sinn -- she's just such an empty, weak character), but it's got some other stuff going on to distract you that's kind of interesting, and it's not set on Phaeda, the world that defines boring and generic so badly that you wish Wedge would just give the planet back to the Empire. It's not really that much less stupid than CE, and a big chunk of it is still as uninvolving as CE, but it's got a little more going for it even in the dull segment and it has a big chunk that is interesting.
Plus Hard Currency. Mehhhhhhhhh. It's just a throwaway story where Massimo is resurrected so Kanos can kill him. It's a waste of everyone's time, the art is lousy, and it stars Massimo, who is, as already stated, just the worst.
Are the TCW webcomics available to people? Are they good? I was going to start snooping around for anyone selling the Season 1 webcomic collection on ebay......
You should be able to find them in an archived copy of the Star Wars page.
Edit: Here you go
Some are good, some a little bland.
Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost. Crimson Empire continues its tradition of meh. The idea of Kanos realizing that he's lost his belief in the Empire is good, but it needs two things: good execution, and some understanding of why Kanos was an uber-fanatic believer in the first place, if that belief is going to get torn down. It has neither. Kanos just continues being his exact same self, except he doesn't like Devian, so he decides, screw it, the Empire wasn't what he thought it was anyway, he's going home. Which is compounded by Mirith Sinn losing her belief in the New Republic because . . . uhhhh . . . it never really says why. As ever, Mirith Sinn is just a dumpster fire of a character. After a less-than-sterling career as head of a minor Rebel cell on a planet that redefines podunk, she's now Leia's best friend and trusted confidant and head of security, who for some reason doesn't want that job anyway but is stuck in it, and has the stupidest conflict about it, and also is obsessed with Kir Kanos and maybe she hates him oh wait no she loves him because she's in a comic. And she's the most important person ever and ugh I just hate it. Devian is a garbage villain; why does this random thug have a bunch of followers and control of The Prequels Are Out Now Depot? Why do we care? We don't.
I liked checking in Pellaeon and the D'Astas and such, but the whole truce idea was dumb; it shouldn't be coming up that soon, and the whole plotline, from start to end, is lame. Also, the whole ending, where D'Asta cheerily accepts the clone of his daughter as a replacement for his dead daughter is incredibly problematic. "Yeah, my daughter's dead, but I've got another!" Han's appearance in General Solo mode is welcome, if ultimately irrelevant. Luke's appearance is super-irrelevant and lousily handled. All it does is remind you of how interesting it would be if the comic actually did something with the idea of Kir Kanos as a character and sent him up against Luke. Instead, the comic continues the trend of getting remarkably little out of the whole Kir Kanos, Imperial Superloyalist concept before ultimately dismissing it.
The art continues to be bad. It looks a little better with modern coloring, but you can't save incompetence.
I liked the moment when Kanos found out the bounty was guilty of murdering children, so shot him and took the lower bounty. An amusing little character note of the sort that's all too rare for Kanos. Other than that, there's really not a lot to latch onto and really like. The big-picture stuff doesn't even have the oomph of CEII -- it's just eye-rollingly generic. The plotline is boring, dumb, and has a silly ending. All in all, it's emblematic of the entire CE series -- a failure to get anything out of the concept, soft-pedaling Kanos, bad art, Mirith Sinn as a character disaster, and a dumb, dull plotline.
But, hey, I loved the Crimson Empire Handbook! Backstory and stuff! Always fun. Love the Handbooks.
Question: Does reading this story with the context on Devian from the Star Wars Blog do anything for it? I remember reading it at the time and was incredibly underwhelmed, even for Crimson Empire. Devian is the most worthless character ever, and making him a Tremayne rip-off just makes it all the more infuriating. Also, in terms of the clone daughter, they really didn't explain much. Who even died there? And D'Asta just accepted his clone traitor daughter with no caveat? He doesn't even know that woman. She's a complete replacement. A whole story could have revolved around reintegrating her into his "family".
I remember Luke coming off a little ridiculous in this story. I forget what exactly I had a problem with, but I remember Luke "sacrificing" himself with the explosive seemed like the last option, and he used it as his first choice. Weird. Also, I really like the comic depictions of the Yavin Academy and got a kick out of Vima-Da-Boda returning, but her warning about Devian of all people ruins it for me. It only would really make dramatic sense if the Imperial leader was actually a dark Jedi with some clout. A henchman of Palpatine from back in the day is really not good enough to get Vima's attention in my opinion. A lot of the sins of this comic could be forgiven if they had just picked a better villain. I'm not sure why they decided that a trilogy like this needed a diminishing return on villains.
I. Carnor Jax - A combined wannabe Sith Lord and ex-Royal Guard
II. Xandel Carivus - A propped up nobody declared Emperor of a dying Empire or maybe Grappa - a two-bit crime lord that lives in the boonies.
III. Devian - A one-eyed henchman of Palpatine that appears to have less training than a Royal Guard. And no explanation for why he commands respect of any kind.
It would have been nice if they weren't going to have Kanos face off against Luke, that they at least use a Luke stand-in, ie a Force-user with a lightsaber.
No, because he's still a jumped-up thug with no connection to Kanos and no real reason for Kanos to care about him. The idea that he could offer Kanos an alternative, a new hardline Empire, is never really pursued, and the execution of Kanos's rejection of it is botched, so there's still really nothing there to work with.