Monday, July 27, 2015

Cap's Comics - Lando #1

Lando Calrissian has always been everyone's second favorite smuggler in the Star Wars' universe.  And now Marvel is giving fans a chance to see his adventures before he hit the big screen.  Will it all be smooth talking and trouble free?

As "Lando Part I" opens, our hero is enjoying some private time with his lady.  It turns out that his lady is an Imperial Moff, a mass murderer and someone who enjoys precious stones.  Lando had plans to liberate some of her art and repay a debt.  But when repayment does not meet his needed terms, Lando and his partner Lobot pull together a team for the big heist that should put them ahead again.  The heist though could lead to undesired Imperial entanglements.

First and foremost what gets my attention is Lobot.  Lobot talks!  Lobot and Lando are super tight and even have titles for each other that show how close these partners are.  Lobot is not just a lackey, he is a near equal to the future administrator of Cloud City.  Additionally, we find out why Lobot is enhanced.  I do not know why but I have always been interested in Lobot, so getting official Lobot back story including an explanation of why he is enhanced was totally in my wheelhouse.  

Second, Lando is smooth.  And that goes with his ladies, his nemesis and finally his crew!  He is just one man using his sly tongue to get himself ahead in the world.  And do not tell anyone but I might like this Lando story more than the version on Star Wars: Rebels.

I am not always a big fan of writer Charles Soule, though I think this is a strong offering for him.  The art by Alex Maleev is strong and fits the caper story.  But it may be a little scratchy for my personal tastes.  But again, it does visually feel like a caper! 

The big question is will I continue with Lando, buy the Lando trade or borrow from the library.  I liked this a lot more than Princess Leia, which ended well.  I took that series all the way to its conclusion.  So I think I will try the same here, so I am in for at least two more issue.  And by then I might as well finish it off. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Between Books - Lords of the Sith

Usually we think of Darth Vader as the hunter.  But in Lords of the Sith, Vader is in fact the prey.  And readers discover what happens when the galaxy's apex predator is targeted.

In Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp, the Emperor and Darth Vader are forced to challenge the growing resistance on the planet Ryloth led by Cham Syndulla.  Syndulla is an expert strategist and his attacks while not fracturing the Empire is at least causing it a black eye.  The Emperor himself prepares to visit Ryloth and brings Darth Vader with him to make a show of force to the oppressed world.  Syndulla discovers this visit, using his expert spy network, and launches an attack against the two Sith lords that puts them in peril in the safety of a Star Destroyer and the wilds of Ryloth itself.  All the while, Vader attempts to show his loyalty to his Master and escape the memories of his past life as a Jedi.

Cham Syndulla is important to Star Wars fans.  Cham is the father of Hera Syndulla of Star Wars: Rebels.  So it helps provide background on how Hera became both a rebel and a great strategist as her father seems to be thinking several moves before his competition.  Most of all, it might be Cham that taught Hera compassion!  While he is a great military leader he is also a greater man.  And his plans actually do put the Lords of the Sith at risk, though the tension is eased by the fact that one knows neither can die.

At times the Sith do seem invincible.  And this is especially true as we see Vader through the Rebels eyes.  Vader takes a some physical steps that no one would expect if they just saw the movies.  The Rebels keep questioning who is this man that he can stand against them like he does, and completes incredible and terrifying feats.  Having seen Star Wars: The Clone Wars I knew that Aiken could do massive jumps and move large objects.  But for the Rebels these moves strike terror, often before someone dies.

Lords of the Sith is another Star Wars borrow for me.  The book became more interesting as it progressed. And the relationship dynamics of the two Sith was fairly interesting.  But in the end, while I am glad I visited this book I cannot see myself re-reading it again in the future. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cap's Comics - Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge 1 (405)

It still seems strange to me.  Disney owns Marvel Comics.  And Disney has a long tradition of comics featuring Mickey, Donald and Uncle Scrooge. Yet instead of publishing new comics with these characters under a Marvel imprint, Disney has licensed these core characters to IDW!

Variant Derek Charm Subscription Cover
Uncle Scrooge #1 or legacy #405 contains three stories.  The first story, "Uncle Scrooge vs Gigabeagle King of the Robot Robbers" by Rodolfo Cinino and art by Romano Scarpa pits Uncle Scrooge against the Beagle Boys who of course wish to steal Uncle Scrooge's fortune.  This time the robbers use technology, creating a giant robot beagle who uses his massive strength to make an attempt to swipe Uncle Scrooge's money bin.  The entire Duck crew is called in to keep Uncle Scrooge calm and face down the villains.  The second story, "Pure Viewing Satisfaction" by Alberto Savini with art by Andrea Freccero is a one page tale that features Uncle Scrooge's television viewing habits.  The third story, "Stinker, Tailor, Scrooge and Sly" by Scarpa and Luca Boschi with art by Scarpa demonstrates Uncle Scrooge's cheapness as a robber attempts to steal his very aged jacket.  The story includes Uncle Scrooge attempting to get his coat fixed for free, since the cheap job from over decade ago is finally wearing thin.  The readers discover that the thief has a very important reason for wanting the coat, a secret discovered by the Duck fashion community.  

I have some mixed feelings about the book.  First, the book features Duck experts from the Italian Disney comics scene.  So I do like the idea of them receiving exposure in the United States.  But I did find the story a little slow.  I personally liked the story from Walt Disney Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: A Matter of Some Gravity.  But the Between Kid still enjoyed the story, it appeared.  Though I was convinced the issue was too slow paced for a young appetite.  And there was a request from issue #2 which has a cover featuring Huey, Dewey and Louie on a pirate ship.  Though I will admit I have not bought it yet.  

I do think this is a great priced comic.  $3.99 for 48 pages!  This price cannot be beat for a monthly title.  So I would say if you want to dip your toe into a comic title these Disney titles may IDW may be a good place to start.
Andrew Pepoy Disney Legacy Adventureland Variant Cover

There are a variety of variant covers.  I did debate buying the Adventureland Variant because of my love of the Jungle Cruise.  I have not paid the higher fee yet, but I will likely continue to debate the purchase every time I go to my local comic shop.

I would say that IDW has treated Uncle Scrooge fine in Uncle Scrooge #1.  Experienced Duck creators are being given a greater exposure.  And the price is very competitive.  I may not grab Uncle Scrooge #2, but I will likely grab Donald Duck #1 just to see if these trends continue.