Thursday, October 24, 2013


I reviewed Jeffrey Brown's new Star Wars: Jedi Academy comic/prose hybrid book for kids (and Star Wars fans of all ages) for Good Comic For Kids. Above is the page in which our young protagonist, Roan Novachez, meets one of his instructors: Yoda. My favorite bits involved Yoda's interaction with the students, and the ways Brown chose to depict the communication of the Wookie gym teacher and resident astromech with the students.

Here are two things I didn't mention in my review.

First, I was struck by how racist Roan's comic strip Ewok Pilot scanned to me, as its premise is that a primitive, spear-chucking savage who can't speak space-English is a fighter pilot; I'm positive it wasn't Brown's intention, but imagine its Earth-bound equivalent, like, say, Pygmy Cavalryman, about an African pygmy who joins the British cavalry and the hilarity that ensued. That would have been wildly offensive were it published anytime after, like, the 1940s, wouldn't it....?

Second, I kept wondering how close this was set to Episode III, and if Roan and all his classmates were going to be massacred by Anakin Skywalker shortly after the events of the story.

Elsewhere, I reviewed Paul Pope's Battling Boy for Las Vegas Weekly today. It is a very good comic, and I liked it a whole lot.

If you'd like a second, longer, more thorough opinion, might I suggest Charles Hatfield's review for The Comics Journal...?  I agree with much of what he said, although I did not find the size of the book—typical First Second trade size—to be any sort of detriment. It was manga-sized, or thereabouts, which seemed to fit Pope's pacing just fine (On the other hand, I didn't read that chapter that was previously published in a larger format, so I didn't have something to compare it to the way Hatfield did).

Worth noting? It's a very Kirby-influenced work, with the title character being the son of a character that Pope seems to have arrived at my meshing Jack Kirby's Fourth World hero Orion (and the character's setting and cast) with that of Jack Kirby's Thor (and that character's setting and cast).  So I couldn't stop thinking about Keith Giffen and John Romita Jr.'s Marvel/DC "Amalgam" comic Thorion of the New Asgods, which literally amalgamated those characters together as part of the two publisher's line-wide crossover/event.

These "Ligons" from Hinterkind annoyed me so much. Almost as much as the zebra on top of the skyscraper. Everything else was pretty good though.
And, finally, today at Robot 6 I reviewed the launches of a quartet of the Vertigo imprint's new seriesCoffin  HillCollider/FBP: Federal Bureau of PhysicsHinterkind and Trillium—and I finally got to use a dumb headline joke I've been dying to use for longer than I want to admit.

In other, non-Caleb news...

—When I mentioned Marvel's plans for finally releasing Miracleman serially via over-priced, variant cover-laden floppies the other day, I barely took the time to note that good God that's a lot of variants, and to laugh at how weird Alan Moore's "Written by He Who Shall Not Be Named" credit looked, so I'd recommend Mike Sterling's thorough post dissecting that solicitation and Marvel's apparent plans. Not only is it never not a good idea to check out Sterling's blog (well, almost never), but as a guy who sells comic books for a living and as someone very familiar with the original series (I've never read a panel of it), Sterling's thoughts on the matter of what might be the best way and what might be a not-so-good-way to make that material available for today's market place are probably worthy of consideration.

—And hey, speaking of Miracleman, Tom Bondurant's column at Robot 6 this week is all  about the character and how he's similar and different to Fawcett-then-DC's Captain Marvel, the character he was created to take the place of. One of the striking things I noticed while reading Bondurant's column is that DC doesn't seem to have ever just tried to do Captain Marvel "straight" (Ordway's attempt being probably the closest). Rather, they are always trying to reinvent the character in some way to make him work, but they don't seem to have really ever tried the path of least resistance, despite having had several continuity reboots in which to attempt doing a DCU version of the character as he was originally created. As with Wonder Woman, I really don't see what's so damn hard to "get" about the character, but (again) like Wonder Woman, he seems to be a character the publisher is constantly trying to fix.

—I'm going to have to assume that this post on Comics Reporter, in which Tom Spurgeon solicited his readers to suggest books that are perhaps in danger of going under-appreciated this year (and with only about two months left until we're neck-deep in best of 2013 lists) is a good one, as I personally have only read and reviewed two of the 35 on the list (and I had only heard of, or remember hearing of, maybe a half-dozen or so more, one of which I only remember because someone, I think Spurgeon, ran a picture of its cover before, and that cover features a naked lady, which is a pretty good mnemonic device). Spurgeon offers additional commentary here.

1 comment:

Bram said...

There's something about Coffin Hill … I wasn't even going to give it a shot, but I'm inclined to try a couple more issues and see where it goes. Might just be the New England upbringing, and/or nostalgia for Midnight, Mass.

Overall, I'm impressed with what Vertigo's trying in its new direction. By and large, it's not my taste, but it I think it's solid stuff.