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Comic Review: The Last Of Us: American Dreams
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Cashmere Smoking Jacket   |  
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Dark Horse Comics: The Last of Us: American Dreams cover by Julian Totino TedescoThe Last of Us: American Dreams
Trade Paperback
Written by Faith Erin Hicks and Neil Druckmann
Artwork by Faith Erin Hicks
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Cover Price: $16.99

So, The Last of Us: American Dreams, is based on a recent hit video game. This has been happening a lot lately. Like, a lot a lot.
It’s also co-written by Neil Druckmann, who is the writer for the aforementioned video game: The Last of Us. He is the creative director for the game and has written for a few other big budget video games. Now, the story lines of video games have come a long way since Doom, or even Quake. In 1998, when Half-Life was released, it was hailed as a landmark in storytelling in an FPS. Since then, the quality of the story has become more central to the quality of game. You know this, I know this, anyone that is even remotely into gaming knows this, and I don’t need to make this a recent history recap. Still, this smacks of a commercial cash-in, and one that serves only to sell a new action figure, or some such, and eke out a few more dollars from the beleaguered masses. Hooray.

But it isn’t. Not really, anyways. Faith Erin Hicks (Friends With Boys), has been gaining popularity for a bit now, and while I wouldn’t say this is the culmination of that, she isn’t Alan Dean Foster, or a similar warm body contracted for a product tie-in. What she and Drukmann have managed to create is a teenage-rebellion story enmeshed in the post-apocalyptic world of a zombie-infection outbreak.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2
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RevN4   |  
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IDW Publishing: Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2 cover by Tommy Lee EdwardsDoctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2
Written by Tony Lee, Jonathan L. Davis, Matthew Dow Smith, Al Davison, Matt Sturges
Illustrated by Al Davison, Matthew Dow Smith, Blair Shedd, Kelly Yates, Brian Shearer
Colored by Lovern Kindzierski, Charlie Kirchoff, Phil Elliot, Al Davison, Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettered by Chris Mowry, Robbie Robbins, Neil Uyetake, Al Davison, Shawn Lee
Cover by Tony Lee Edwards
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Cover Price: $29.99

Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2 is a massive collection featuring the tenth Doctor, as portrayed by David Tennant. It collects issues #1-16, as well as the 2010 annual comic, and an eleventh doctor story, “A Fairytale Life.”

Now, I’m a pretty big Doctor Who fan, and the tenth doctor is my favorite, but this collection largely fails to capture that Whovian magic I was looking for. I would have expected to have larger, more explosive stories in a comic because the special effects budget has no limits, but I found the majority of the stories were contained to a handful of “sets” and sometimes felt claustrophobic.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #6
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #6Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #6
Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by Brian Albert Thies and Rachelle Rosenberg
Covers by Livio Ramondelli
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

After closing the introductory story arc of the new Legacy series, we now find Ania Solo heading into the next chapter of her destiny. The orientation of the first chapter out of the way, our main characters now begin to take their places in the ever changing backdrop of the Star Wars galaxy.

Fresh from her confrontation with Darth Wredd, Ania Solo is now known by Empress Fel as both having a common ancestor in the form of Han Solo and Princess Leia. She is summoned to Coruscant to meet with the Empress, and is in transit on board the Imperial Star Destroyer Animus. AG-37 and Sauk, meanwhile, are given an opportunity they cannot pass up.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #4
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #4Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #4
Showdown with a Sith!
Script by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by Gabriel Hardman and Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover by Dave Wilkins
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 26, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

Picking up the outstanding groundwork established in the original Legacy series, and creating some new outstanding work of their own, the creative team of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman continue delivering the goods with the new Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2, focusing on a descendant of Han and Leia, named Ania Solo.

Unlike Cade Skywalker from the first series, Ania has no formal Jedi training, and is more in the vein of a Han Solo smuggling underworld type of character. Following the gargantuan galactic war with the One Sith led by the formidable Darth Krayt, the galaxy is now run by a new Triumvirate, a conglomeration of multiple governments working together to form a prosperous and peaceful time to come.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #3
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cGt2099   |  
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Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #3Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 2 #3
Script by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by Gabriel Hardman
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover by Dave Wilkins
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 22, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

While the creative team behind the original Star Wars Legacy concentrate on Dawn Of The Jedi, a new team is carrying the torch for a new Legacy series, focusing on a descendant of Han Solo and Princess Leia named Ania Solo. The new art style with a solid new plot make for captivating reading, and it can be said that the legacy of Legacy is in safe hands.

Set not long after the events of the first series that focused on Cade Skywalker, the collapsed Sith Empire of Darth Krayt is shattered. Rumors of Sith remnants are scattered across the galaxy, though in the place of the dictatorial Empire, former leaders of the Galactic Alliance, the Fel Empire, and Jedi have joined together to form a new government: the Galactic Triumvirate.

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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: Alabaster: Wolves #3
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Alabaster: Wolves #3Alabaster: Wolves #3
Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Art and Letters by Steve Lieber
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover by Greg Ruth
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

Set in the deep South, this is the tale of Dancy Flammarius and her quest to destroy the evil that haunts this world. Alabaster: Wolves #3 is a story within a story, another stepping stone on the path to redemption. Unfortunately for her, Dancy had a parting of ways with the angel who originally stood at her side.

Imagine a time, in the not too distant future, where society has collapsed, magic and monsters are real, and no one is to be trusted. Simply wandering through a town can be deadly if you cannot defend yourself. So what teenage girl in her right mind would take on the task of traveling about in these conditions? Perhaps that is the real dilemma. Dancy is armed with not just her wits and skills, but also travels with a talking raven for a guide and a companion in the form of a ghost (of the werewolf she killed).

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Comic Review: Alabaster: Wolves #2
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Spartacus!   |  
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Alabaster: Wolves #2Alabaster: Wolves #2
Written by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Art and Letters by Steve Lieber
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover by Greg Ruth
Designer Amy Arendts
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 9, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a strange title pounced out of Dark Horse last month and leaped onto comic review sites (including this very one), causing critics to shout their approval for Alabastor: Wolves. People spoke of the art by Steve Lieber and the writing (the dialogue in particular) by Caitlín R. Kiernan as being strong and fresh and unique. What particularly piqued my interest, however, was just how vague folks were in describing what actually happens in the book. Most reviews I read went something like this: “It’s about a little Albino girl who speaks with a southern drawl, walking a wasteland filled with werewolves and other monsters, who talks to a bird and an angel who tells her who to kill. Oh, and she might be crazy.”

“Heck,” I thought, “I can describe a comic better then that.”

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Comic Review: Alabaster: Wolves #1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Alabaster: Wolves #1Alabaster: Wolves #1
Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Art and Letters by Steve Lieber
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Covers by Greg Ruth, Michael Avon Oeming
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 11, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

As luck would have it, I just randomly chose some of the comics up for review this week. And I scored with this one, let me tell you. I read this and loved every moment of it. Alabaster: Wolves #1 stands out from the average comic book in a multitude of ways.

Caitlin R. Kiernan‘s protagonist, Dancy Flammarion, is a remarkable character in that she is both an atypical teenager and a complete badass. Backed by one of the creepiest looking angels ever, she is a dangerous slayer of all things evil. Her no nonsense attitude and inability to back down from a fight makes her a very deadly opponent, indeed. Add to that her albino skin and total disregard for niceties and you get one of the best anti-heroes I have ever seen or read.

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Annual #1G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1
Written by Larry Hama
Art by Ron Frenz, Ron Wagner, and Herb Trimpe
Inks by Sal Buscema
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Shawn Lee
IDW Publishing
Released February 29, 2012
Price: $7.99

I said plenty of times how much I am loving IDW’s line of G.I. Joe comics and one of the things I love the most is the Real American Hero series, which picked up from the end of the classic Marvel comics run, and wisely brought back G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama to bring back some of the old magic. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Annual #1 is a great one-off story that perfectly captures the feel of those old stories and speaks straight to the 10-year-old in me.

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