Monthly Archives: March 2007

“Star Wars: Dark Empire I”

starwars-darkempire-1.jpg“Star Wars: Dark Empire I” by Tom Veitch

Six years after the Battle of Endor, The Empire has been reborn –guided by a mysterious new leader, and possessed of a weapon more terrifying than the Death Stars.

Princess Leia and her husband Han Solo struggle to hold the fledgling New republic together, even as they fight to protect their unborn child from the bounty hunters and imperial troops who dog their steps, but their greatest danger my lie in the troubled heart of a hero – as Luke Skywalker succumbs to the lure of the dark side!

I as many want the final three episodes. I found this on the shelf of my public library. Published by Dark Horse comics I don’t know if its George Lucas canon but its holds an interesting tale told between its covers. It expanded the universe and continued the struggles our heroes have even after the downfall of the emperor. It showed Leia as having recognized her connection to the force and showing signs of Luke’s tutelage.

“Dark Empire I” held that same fast pace, swashbuckling adventure that Episodes 4-6 had. The dialogue and draw brought you back into a familiar world. If you’re familiar with the movies then you can instantly jump into this story.Remembering the journey Luke took in “Return of the Jedi” its interesting to see the return of an old foe, and his tempting embrace the dark side. What was most surprising for me was Leia abilities with the force. The way she started to embrace the force and how strong her connection to her brother was. Seeing her weld a lightsaber was especially satisfying.

It’s been bound into three volumes. This is only Volume one it only has the first six comics of the series. I have not been able to get my hands on Dark Empire 2 or Empire’s End. This was a third edition published in 2003. If anyone out there knows where I could get a hold of the final two volumes of the Empire trilogy, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Filed under 2003, Adventure, Book Review, Comic Book, Darkhorse, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Star Wars, Veitch, Tom

“Runaways, Vol. 1”

runaways.jpg“Runaways, Vol. 1” by Brian K. Vaughan

They were six normal California teenagers linked only by their wealthy parent’ annual business … until a chance discovery revealed the shocking truth: Their parents are a secret criminal society known as The Pride. For years, the Pride has controlled all criminal activity in Los angels, holding the entire city in its iron grip. With their true nature exposed, the members of the Pride will take any measures necessary to protect their illicit organization – even if it means taking out their own children!

Now on the run from their villainous parents, Nico, Chase, Karolina, Gertrude, Molly and Alex have only each other to rely on. And they must not only survive on their own, but also somehow take down their own powerful parents before it’s too late.

Sans traditional Super Hero costumes or codenames, Runaways is a thoroughly modern tale on the conventional “teen-team” comic book. With fully realized characters and an unpredictable storyline, writer Brian K. Vaughan and Artist Adrian Alphona have crafted a breakout hit that transcends traditional comic book formulas. This volume collects the complete Runaways series, plus an assortment of DVD-style extras providing a behind the scenes look at the books’ creation. – From inside cover.

Published by Marvel that description hit the nail on the head but is so much more. It’s a refreshing change to the comic book genre. I instantly fell in love with these characters. They all don’t have costumes, or powers but each brings their own uniqueness that makes them a formidable team to be reckoned with.

It’s instantly relatable and gives a realistic portrayal of kids facing the realization that their parents are fallible. I liked how it didn’t portray them as a tight knit group, it showed them having personality flaws, conflicts of interests, and them fighting over the things that teenagers fight over. These characters mature before your eyes, but still have their immature moments.

I thinks that’s why Marvel’s Runaways resonance with readers. You can see yourself or someone you know, in one of these characters. The plot and storylines are interesting from the start and the mystery of the traitor in their group drives the story. The ones that do develop powers or “power-ups” are interesting and unique. It’s surprised me at how quickly I came to like this comic and I think you will too.

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Filed under 2006, Book Review, Comic Book, Graphic Novel, Marvel, Runaways, Vaughan, Brian K.

“Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest”

green-arrow-thearchersquest.jpg“Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest” by Brad Meltzer

Best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer (The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires and 2004’s The Zero Game) brings his taut, suspense-filled storytelling to the Emerald Archer in Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest. Collecting Green Arrow #16-21, The Archer’s Quest takes Oliver Queen on a moody, dangerous trip down memory lane as he and his former ward Arsenal seek out a series of legendary artifacts from his past, joining in the journey is the acclaimed art team of Phil Hester and Andre Parks, continuing their uninterrupted run on this new comic-book classic. –From the back cover.

Never being a fan of Green Arrow I read the graphic novel “Green Arrow: Quiver” after he debuted on the CW’s Smallville played by Justin Hartley. I found it interesting is that this follows Quiver where it saw Queen rise from the ashes of his death to be alive again. In “The Archer’s Quest” finds that upon Queen’s death his executor of his last will and testament didn’t complete his job. So fully alive now Green Arrow sets out to complete the task.

At first I wonder why these things were such a big deal and as the story progresses you realize why. It answered a question that had always been in the back of my mine when you read about superheroes dying. Being a superhero is messy business. What happens after a characters is gone, who protects their secret identity.

I can say that it was enthused to read it. DC has always promoted Green Arrow as a second tier hero in the shadow of the big three, Superman, Batman, and Woman even though he’s a founding member of the Justice League. After watching his character arc on Smallville and reading Quiver I can appreciate him more.

What compelled me to read, “The Archer’s Quest”, I wanted to know what the artifacts were and their significance to the Green Arrow. Its story was ok but nothing jumps out to make this story memorable. This story arc was more of a character develop arc. It gave the character a chance to reconnect with allies from the past, show how he has changed, and take a walk down memory lane.

The one thing that I took from this graphic novel is that Green Arrow’s mental Achilles’ heel. Oliver Queen has an almost homosexual emotional attachment to Hal Jordan’s Green Arrow and the Barry Allen’s Flash. These two deaths have and having been recently resurrected have severely left him emotional crippled in the past, with the fixation of death.

Even with this tale being about him facing his own demise, its only when he talks about these characters does the emotion resonant in the book. In the end when all the artifacts are gather and their emotional weight is revealed it didn’t resonant with me as a reader. I still say its worth a read, it gives the reader a insight into a character’s history.

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Filed under 2004, Book Review, Comic Book, DC Comic, Graphic Novel, Green Arrow, Meltzer, Brad

Jumper (Jumper Series 1)

Jumper (Jumper Series 1) by Steven Gould

Davey lives alone with his father. But the truth is, it isn’t much of a home. When things get so bad that Davey decides he has to run away, his big question is: Where? And how will he live?

The magical answer: anywhere Davey wants!

Davey discovers he has the power to “jump” from one place to another. Not just a few feet. But hundreds, even thousands of miles! As Davey explores his new power he learns that the world is literally his for the taking. But there are consequences, too as Davey will learn.”

What would you do if you mother is gone and your father is an abusive alcoholic and during one of his beating you discover you could teleport. Where would you go? What would you do? How far you would you go to save the women you loved from the government? These are some of the questions posed to Davey Rice the protagonist of Steven Gould’s first novel Jumper. It’s a coming of age story told in the first person by Davey. It’s an exciting, compelling, and engrossing novel.

The characters are well thought out and you can understand their views and motivation throughout the book. Gould articulates Davey’s emotional growth, from a teen runaway to a young man coming to grip with his life, his powers, love and lose, to the point that I could identify with Davey’s journey.

Gould tells a story that grips you from the first page. I would finish one page and want to continue with the next. The first time I read it I stayed up all night to finish it. I immediately wanted to start it over but I needed sleep and it permeated through my dreams.

It was surpassed my expectation. It had everything I find entertaining. It had the sci-fi, the action and adventure, and espionage. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and where it was going to take me. Gould display Davey’s ups and down. Even at the end it’s a complete narrative with so much story left to tell.

The reason I discovered Jumper is because of a website that tells what books are being made into movies. So I picked it up because it had an interesting plot and most movies due an awful job of books. The first time I read it I just read it, and just loved it, instantly becoming one of my favorites. There is a sequel Reflex (Jumper 2).

Using your imagination is fun to me and one of the main reasons for reading, but having a distinct face makes it easier for to imagine the story. I looked it up on IMDB for the stars of the characters. The casting pleasantly surprised me. It will star Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Rachel Bilson. Having a clear picture of their faces and voices to go along with word made it more enjoyable for me.

One thing I notice about the movie, that I’m questioning, is the addition of another jumper. I’m interested to see what this change will do to the story. Will it enhance the story or destroy it; I guess I’ll have to wait until it comes out. Even with the movie slated for a 2008 release, I recommend you read the book. “Hollywood” rarely captures the magic of the books. Most screw it horribly as filmmakers did Eragon and Timeline.

I give Jumper 5 out 5Gs.

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Filed under 2007, 5, Book Review, Fantasy, Gould, Steven, Novel, SciFi, Teleportation