Brink: Book Two
My thanks to those who recommended this as much stronger volume than its predecessor, for so it proved to be.
It reads far smoother, as if Abnett and Culbard have a better grasp on what they’re up to with this. Certainly, the book’s combination of corporate skulduggery with ancient horrors subtly manipulating events is far more effective this time around.
Deadpool Vs The Punisher (Panini)
Another MW recommendation, which was also a huge amount of fun.
Shaolin Cowboy: Start Trek
For that this is a truly gonzo tale, utterly unsuited to 20-odd pages a month - at the start Darrow spends 10 pages alone on showing the horde of adversaries that has ambushed the Shaolin Cowboy, before kicking off pages of insanely detailed carnage - but wonderfully suited to an Absolute-size hardback. Yes, this is once again DHC issuing a big hardback at a crazy price that merits being rewarded with purchases.
There’s only one weakness to the volume and that is that it is oddly inconclusive. There is a bridge of kinds in the text intro to the next volume, Shemp Buffet, but for this volume the story builds, becoming ever more madcap and then it just stops.
Star Wars: Rogue One OHC
In the end this didn’t have quite the embellishment I was hoping for - sure, there’s an extra scene or two but nothing that really takes advantage of the medium to contribute more. The Cassian and K-2So one-shot is pretty good, but if that’s your only angle of interest, just buy the comic.
It’s a perfectly adequate rendering of one of my favourite SW movies, but the limits of the comic form, the lack of space mean quite a few of the big moments end up being brutally compressed - to their detriment. Film has a certain grandeur and epic scope that just isn’t here and, regardless of who creates it, can’t be.
Star Wars OHC3
This collects the final issues of Aaron’s run, which had one hell of a start but has been steadily declining ever since. That’s not to say it’s not good, simply that nothing has come close to those first six issues with Cassaday on the art.
Talking of the art, here is where an ongoing controversy begins as they transfer Larroca over to SW, but his run on this book, in contrast to his work on Darth Vader, is far more reliant on photo-reference. At the same time, there are scenes where art and photography are being blended together to provide facial imagery and it does not work. There’s a reason the two are separate and these images demonstrate why. For all I can understand it as a shortcut, they really do break the spell of the story-telling. That said, I would consider the extent of the chatter over this to be quite overblown - as while the faces are an oddity, they are a fractional part of the overall product and I don’t find anything else wrong with Larroca’s work. Clearly other SW fans are less forgiving than I.
As to the stories, there is one arc on Yoda which finishes the Kenobi journal tales. Then there’s a set of shorter stories and, given how they work, it’s a shame Aaron didn’t do more of them. From a story of Luke and Leia stranded - with the only flaw being that an AT-AT is taken out with a bomb arrow! Really? Yeah - to a story of Sana conning everyone - yeah, I’m not convinced Sana is that good - to Han dealing with Jrakkus to SCAR squadron and R2 rescuing 3PO, a long dangling plot thread. Plus a couple of annuals that are OK, but not great.
Aaron’s best work on this were the Skywalker Strikes and Vader Down arcs, but this is a perfectly fine finishing off.