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Comic Review: The Star Wars #1
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Mel16   |  
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The Star Wars #1The Star Wars #1
Written by J.W. Rinzler
Illustrated by Mike Mayhew
Adapted from an Original Rough-Draft Screenplay by George Lucas
Colored by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Cover by Nick Runge
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 4, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

At first glance, the “The” in The Star Wars #1 looks like an unfortunate typo. After all, everyone knows (or should know) that the George Lucas-created Star Wars franchise doesn’t and never has carried an article before the title. It’s simply Star Wars. The “the” in this comic book series, however, isn’t a typo or mistake. It’s intentional. It’s the new eight-issue mini-series produced by Dark Horse Comics based on, as the cover proudly proclaims, Lucas’ “Original Rough-Draft Screenplay” for Star Wars (“Longer ago, in a galaxy even further away…” per the cover copy), as in the first screenplay Lucas produced on the long road (three years) between the release of American Graffiti in 1974 and the release of Star Wars three years later.

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Comic Review: Mass Effect: Foundation #2
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TheRawrMonster   |  
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Mass Effect: Foundation #2Mass Effect: Foundation #2
Written by Mac Walters
Art by Tony Parker
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Covers by Benjamin Carré
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

In Mass Effect: Foundation #2, we are brought through a day at the citadel. Wrex and Rasa separately are trying to track down Mr. Fist. With Rasa’s purpose to delay Wrex, whose aim is to kill Mr. Fist. Wrex though is having fun fighting through the “distractions” and by distractions, I mean thugs and hired killers.

The writing in this issue is great and flows amazingly well. The story is easy to follow, and not particularly long. This is a much more engaging story than the first issue.

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Comic Review: Mass Effect: Foundation #1
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TheRawrMonster   |  
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Mass Effect: Foundation #1Mass Effect: Foundation #1
Written by Mac Walters
Art by Omar Francia
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Covers by Benjamin Carré
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 24, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Mass Effect: Foundation #1 is the first of a 13-part series based on the popular science fiction video game franchise, Mass Effect. Written by Mac Walters and illustrated by Omar Francia, the story takes place 22 years before the first game, looking into the past to establish the origin story for what we can assume will be the main character going forward.

The comic has potential but has a few flaws. The story seems a bit forced and the dialogue more suited for a video game than a comic. The art is inconsistent in a way that seems almost detrimental to the flow. It also didn’t help with following the plot and catching all the exposition. There is nothing particularly great about it, and the problems I mentioned aren’t very obvious, but they are when you read it more than once.

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Comic Review: Star Wars #6
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars #6Star Wars #6
Script by Brian Wood
Art by Carlos D’anda and Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

While the first five issues of Brian Wood’s Star Wars "self-titled" series from Dark Horse have been spectacular, the latest chapter seems to take an unusual turn, as the story delves from what felt and seemed to be an inevitable conclusion to a transitional tale.

Stranded in the middle of space, Leia’s small stealth group of starfighters float helplessly – after being discovered by an Imperial fleet and attacked, the group retreated blindly, resulting in the Princess’ X-Wing sustaining extensive damage, and with her dangerously wounded. Luke, along with new friend Prithi both rush to the rescue of the stealth group – but the Empire is on to them, and it is only a matter of time before that Star Destroyer shows up.

The new Star Wars series has brought with it some substantial character-focused content, highlighting elements (both emotional and transitional) that have rarely been opened up in previous Expanded Universe media. This has been a welcome breath of fresh air – though with issue six, the writing is relatively void of this content. Though we follow a spacewalk-based rescue (which is actually pretty damn cool) revolving a dilemma into a tactical advantage (also cool)… The action is then followed by a sequence of events that do very little to wrap up significant elements and instead act as lackluster teaser material for the next installment.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier #5
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars: Dark Times: Fire Carrier #5Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier #5
Script by Randy Stradley
Art by Gabriel Guzman
Colors by Garry Henderson
Cover by Douglas Wheatley
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

The Dark Times series of Star Wars is, mostly, as what the title says: a darker era of the saga. This largely unexplored epoch of the history of the galaxy is ripe for exploration, examining the events of those two decades between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While the series has largely followed new personalities, two of the dramatis personae are known to many fans: Darth Vader (of course), and Jedi Master K’Kruhk, first introduced in the Dark Horse comics.

I have a soft spot for K’Kruhk, and he has become one of my favorite characters, mainly because (like the droids C-3PO and R2-D2) he is a metatextual symbol of the followers of the Star Wars saga, be they viewers of the films, readers of the Expanded Universe, or both. He is ever-present in the galaxy, first surfacing in the prequel era of the comics, and not only outlasts Order 66, but lives on in the Star Wars: Legacy series, which is over 100 years after Return of the Jedi. It seems that K’Kruhk’s species of Whiphids also have very long life spans like Wookiees or Yoda’s species.

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Comic Review: Akaneiro #1
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Akaneiro #1Akaneiro #1
Written by Justin Aclin
Illustrated by Vasilis Lolos
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Cover by Shu Yan
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 22, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Little Red Riding Hood may not have been as helpless as we all thought. Dark Horse introduces us to a new take on the classic fairytale in Akaneiro. Written by Justin Aclin with art from Vasilis Lolos, we find a young girl eager to become a warrior in a world infested with demons.

During a ceremony to the gods, the Japanese village of Ainu in which Kani lives is attacked by the Yokai—demons from another world. Two warrior women known as Red Hunters from The Order of Akane, are hot on the demons’ trail but are not able to get to Ainu in time in order to protect it. The Yokai takes over the body of the sacrificial bear, becoming a hideously grotesque beast. As her father is about to be slaughtered, Kani saves his life, attacking the monster with an ax and helping the newly arrived Red Hunters kill the Yokai. Once the mayhem has concluded, the Ainu elders seek war against The Order of Akane for their lack of help in preventing the devastation that has occurred. In a desperate plea to avert this outcome, Kani chooses to join The Order as a representative of the Ainu and both parties agree; but Kani, now donning a red cloak, will need to prove her worthiness to The Order of Akane by making a long and arduous journey on her own—in which Yokai and tricksters alike will stop at nothing to thwart her progress.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #1Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #1
Prisoner of the Floating World, Part One
Script by Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman
Art by Gabriel Hardman
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering by Michael Heisler
Cover by Dave Wilkins
Designer: Jimmy Presler
Assistant Editor: Freddye Lins
Editor: Randy Stradley
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 20, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

In Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #1 we return to the universe created by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema based on George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. I have to admit, although I really liked the original series, I did stop reading after awhile, so I went into this series fresh, but filled with excitement.

Writers Corinna Bechko & Gabriel Hardman immediately brought me back to that “sub universe” of Star Wars that I loved so much. This is SO different that any Star Wars setting that we’ve seen in that past, that you almost don’t recognize it immediately as Star Wars. Thankfully, some of the trademarks fall into place rather quickly and you’re reminded of just where you are. There is a LOT of story in this issue, but not too much, and the whole premise behind it is pretty shocking, and no, you won’t get spoilers here. Sorry.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: Purge-The Tyrants Fist #1Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist #1
Script by Alexander Freed
Art by Marco Castiello & Andrea Chella
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover by Dan Scott
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

It’s Darth Vader baby! Yeah! Fans of the classic AND prequel trilogy can rejoice because Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist #1 features what everyone loves-Darth Vader being an awesome bad-ass villain. What more could we want? Thank you Dark Horse!

Alexander Freed writes an…unusual Darth Vader. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. He writes a Darth Vader that, quite honestly, we’ve never seen before. We now know the WHOLE story of Anakin Skywalker (At least, until Episode 7 comes out) so Freed takes advantage of that and writes him with little hints of Anakin from the prequels thrown in. Now, he’s not crying out for his mom or yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!,” but you see subtle hints of the character that we watched evolve during Episodes 1-3.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Darth Maul – Death Sentence #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence #2Star Wars: Darth Maul – Death Sentence #2
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Bruno Redondo
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover by Dave Dorman
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 29, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

In Star Wars: Darth Maul – Death Sentence #2, we find the roles reversed and Darth Maul put into a situation where he actually has to HELP people instead of kill them. But, that doesn’t mean he’s any nicer about things.

Writer Tom Taylor gives up another chapter in the Clone Wars era of the Star Wars universe. Now, we’ve seen Darth Maul ‘die’ in The Phantom Menace, and we’ve seen him come back to life in the Clone Wars cartoon series, but beyond that, we don’t know what truly happen to him, so this mini series is a bit of a mystery. Will he die for good this time? Will he survive and wander the galaxy while the “original” Star Wars films are going on? Who knows?

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Crimson Empire III – Empire Lost #5 and #6
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars: Crimson Empire III - Empire Lost #5Star Wars: Crimson Empire III – Empire Lost #5 and #6
Story by Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley
Art by Paul Gulacy
Colors by Michael Bartolo
Cover Art by Dave Dorman
Dark Horse Comics
Issue #5 Release Date: March 07, 2012
Issue #6 Release Date: April 25, 2012
Issue #5 Cover Price: $3.50
Issue #6 Cover Price: $3.50

The explosive and amplified conclusion to the Crimson Empire epic is finally here, reaching an ending that makes for a highly satisfying resolution to the series that began many years ago. Star Wars fans who have followed the adventures of Kir Kanos will thoroughly enjoy the last two issues of Empire Lost, a tale that also sets up what chronologically comes next for the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant.

Issues 5 & 6 conclusively tie together the loose ends left from the earlier installments, as Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn journey to meet Imperial representative Feena D’asta, in an early effort to bring peace between the two major factions. They discover themselves betrayed, as antagonist Ennix Devian begins unleashing his strategy to open up his aim to retake the Empire under his own iron fist and perverted new order. Kanos and Sinn find themselves placed in a standpoint where they must stop Devian’s forces, to help any future chance at peace between the Republic and the Empire.

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