Movie

Review: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

silver-star-hcTitle: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Image Comics (hardcover collection), Pacific Comics (original issues)

Cost: $34.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (creator/writer/pencils), Mike Royer (inks/letters, issues #1-4), D. Bruce Berry (inks/letters, issues #5-6).

Truly Jack Kirby’s wildest concept, Silver Star tells the story of Morgan Miller, a name who is the next evolution of human: Homo-Geneticus! During an engagement Viet Nam, Morgan displays a feat of incredible strength, by lifting a throwing a tank, and afterward discovers his true potential, as a super-powered being. Wearing a silver suit, designed to contain his powers, Morgan becomes the Silver Star, a man with the abilities of atom rearrangement (think Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen), he can teleport, astral project and create with a thought. He becomes aware that his father, a doctor and scientist, had experimented on many subjects, including his own son, while they were in the womb, in order to create a version of man who could withstand the atomic bomb. Morgan is connected to these “Others” and wishes to seek them out in order to stop one of their own, the villain Darius Drumm, a powerful Homo-Geneticus who was raised by a cult, which has given him many mental scars (to match his outward ones) and seeks to remake the world as he sees fit. Drumm and Morgan seek the “Others”, with Drumm killing off most but Morgan is able to find a few, one of which is a female stunt woman named Norma Richmond, with whom he starts a relationship and helps him defeat Drumm.

My synopsis on this one isn’t great, because there is a lot going on here, but if you liked anything that I mentioned, then you must read this, because I absolutely loved this story! I love, pretty much everything that Jack Kirby has created, so I can’t tell if I’m biased or not, but I thought that there were some very interesting concepts here, that could have been explored, had this been written in a post-Watchmen era. Jack’s art is fantastic and the new coloring makes each page stand out, especially Jack’s double-paged splash pages. The story is good, but most of the dialogue is a bit dated by now, but that’s to be expected. This collection also includes a copy of Jack Kirby’s original screenplay, because this story was meant to be a movie with the ability to expand into other mediums.

I picked this one up on a whim, not knowing what to expect from it and I’m glad that I did! This was the last series that Kirby did and I think that he ended his creative and professional career on a high note!

Recommended

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Review: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook

the-art-of-he-man-and-the-motuTitle: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Cost: $39.99

Writers: Alan Oppenheimer (foreword), Tim and Steve Seeley (captions) with James Eatock (captions chapter 4)

The first book of (so far) five announced He-Man collector’s books published by Dark Horse Comics, the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is curated by a host of ‘Masters’ experts and is a wonderful addition to the collection any MOTU or toy/animation enthusiast.

The book is broken down into 10 chapters, each focusing on one aspect of the ‘Masters’ Universe, from the classic toys, to the comics, the 80’s motion picture and the current collector’s toy line. With hundreds of pictures and captions, this book contains a wealth of information on everything ‘Masters’, no matter your interest in the property. I really enjoy the first chapter, which goes over the creation of He-Man and the development of the toy line.

Whether you love art books, coffee table books, actions figures or the ‘Masters’ property, you can’t go wrong with this book!

Recommended

 

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Thought Balloon: Celebrating Star Trek

star-trek-50th-anniversary

This past Thursday, September 8th was the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, a property that is very near and dear to my heart. While I didn’t become a “Trekkie/Trekker” until I was already in high school (and Star Trek: The Next Generation had already ended) I quickly devoured everything Star Trek that I could. I stayed away from the novels, which I wasn’t sure was continuity, and mostly stuck with the multiple series, movies and supplemental literature, such as the episode guides and technical manuals. I found the world…er, universe, very interesting and thought provoking, the kind of science fiction that I needed at the time. My first entries into Star Trek were Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and the movie, Star Trek First Contact.

I saw First Contact in the theaters, twice, once with the newly formed Star Trek Club in my high school and once with my dad, who was already a Star Trek fan, but had never pushed it upon me or my other siblings. My local Fox channel was airing DS9 at 5pm on weekdays, so after school I was able to catch up to the current season of DS9, which was airing on UPN (now the CW, after a merger with the WB). So, suffice it to say, after almost 20 years, I’m still the biggest Trekkie/Trekker that I know!

When 2016 kicked on January 1st, I knew that this was Trek’s big five-oh, and I couldn’t be happier! I couldn’t wait for the deluge of 50th Anniversary merchandise: models, die cast vehicles, novels, comics, action figures, collectable stamps and coins. While I haven’t purchased everything that I want, I have selected a few choice pieces to add to my collection, which now includes a Barnes & Noble Hardcover Collection of several TOS scripts, a Mega Bloks (think Legos) Guardian of Forever set, and all of the US and Canadian commemorative stamps, as well as one of the Canadian minted coins. There is still more to come and I can not wait, I just think my wallet wants this to end!

I did enjoy Star Trek Beyond, which was released in theaters this year and stared the crew of the reboot movies. I felt that the movie was great, better than Star Trek into Darkness, but about equal to Star Trek. I can’t wait for it’s release on BluRay, and will definitely pick up the copy with the best “extras”.

Now, as to celebrating Star Trek on it’s birthday, my roommates and I had a mini-marathon of Trek episodes, hand picked by yours truly. We waited until Friday to celebrate, seeing as how most of us are off on the weekends, but on Thursday, we did watch First Contact, and boy is it still as good as I remember. On Friday, we watched 5 episodes, one from each Trek series, accompanied by an ‘adult’ beverage, most of our own concoction. The episodes and drinks, are listed below:

  1. The Man Trap (TOS), drink: Romulan Ale (a generic ale with blue food coloring)
  2. Parallels (TNG), drink: Suarian Brandy (a strong concoction of my making, strong)
  3. The House of Quark (DS9), drink: Vulcan Ale (a store bought Red Session IPA, created for Star Trek’s anniversary)
  4. Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy (VOY), drink: Klingon Blood Wine ( a concoction of my roommate, using red wine and some secret ingredients, very, very strong)
  5. Bound (ENT), drink: none, I had a desert planned which was Key Lime ice cream sandwiches, the green ice cream represented either the Orions or Vulcan blood, take your pick)

In all, it was fun night of Star Trek, laughs and lots of alcohol. I raise my glass to the many Star Trek crews, on and off the screen, may you, and this property, live long and prosper!

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Monday Art Attack- Star Trek- Boldly Go Cover

Star Trek- Boldly Go Cover

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Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation- The Gorn Crisis Hardcover Graphic Novel

star-trek-the-next-generation-the-gorn-crisisTitle: Star Trek: The Next Generation- The Gorn Crisis Hardcover Graphic Novel

Publisher: Wildstorm Productions (DC Comics)

Cost: $29.95

Storytellers: Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (writers) with Igor Kordey (painter)

Taking place during the last several seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, we, finally, get to see what the crew of the USS Enterprise have been up to during the Dominion War. This story begins with a revolt among the Gorn, as military guild murders all the members of the political guild, even going so far as to destroy their eggs. Picard and crew have been sent to Gorn space, in order to recruit them as allies against the Dominion, but they are quickly wrapped up among the Gorn Civil War, with each member of the crew risking everything, so that diplomacy can be preserved and that the Gorn enter the war on the side of the Federation.

A great Star Trek story, which involves my favorite Star Trek race, the Gorn. I have always been fascinated by the Gorn, ever since I got into Star Trek, going so far as to have a small Gorn ‘shrine’, which consists of a bunch of different Gorn figures, above my computer. This graphic novel is painted, which is a first for me, when it comes to Star Trek comics. It’s not a medium I thought would be used to tell the stories of the 24th Century, but it works! The graphic novel allows the story to be as long as it needs to, but this particular story feels more like an extended episode instead of a feature-length movie, which is what I was hoping. With that said, I do recommend this one, especially for Trek fans or fans of those green-skinned lizards, the Gorns!

Recommended

 

 

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Monday Art Attack: Guardians of the Galaxy Retro Star Wars Style Movie Poster

Guardians of the Galaxy Retro Star Wars Style Movie PosterMarvel

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Review: Star Wars #8

Star Wars #8Title: Star Wars #8

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Jason Aaron (writer) with Stuart Immonen (artist)

On the unnamed planet, Han, Leia and Han’s “wife”, Sana Solo have a major discussion about what’s going on, but without actually dealing with what’s going on. Sana destroys Han and Leia’s vessel and proceeds to try and sell the Princess over to the Imperial Forces in orbit of the planet. Luke tries to find a way to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and heads into a den of scum and villainy to do so, but ends up drawing too much attention to him self and gets attacked and his lightsaber ends up getting stolen by a random alien rogue!

Another great issue of Star Wars, which finally picks up after the cliffhanger of issue #6. We really don’t get any explanations about Han’s “wife”, Sana, which may have been left out due to that particular story being told in some other media, like a novel or the untitled Han Solo movie. All-in-all, this issue continues the story and gives us more adventures in the Star Wars’ timeline between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. It features a great story with great art and is…

Recommended

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Review: Kanan, the Last Padawan #5

Kanan #5Title: Kanan, the Last Padawan #5

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Greg Weisman (writer) with Pep Larraz (artist)

Using both is Jedi abilities and his natural charisma, Caleb is able to escape from his clone commander captors. Caleb is sucked into the vacuum of space, but with the aid of the Force and the quick rescue of his allies, he survives and is brought aboard one of their ships. Things look bleak for the rebels, but Caleb’s speech has turned one of the clone commanders to his side, and he sacrifices his life to destroy his own ship, killing everyone on board. With the Empire believing him dead, Caleb heads off on his own, with his lightsaber, the holocron and his very own ship and begins his life anew as Kanan!

A great ending to this…mini-series!? Well, what I thought was a mini-series is in fact, ongoing (or at least continuing for now), and going to give us more adventures from Kanan’s past. This issue see Caleb/Kanan off on his own, and with a clean slate for him to live/survive in the galaxy. I hope future issue tell us how he met the other Rebels and continued his Jedi training. A good ending to a good story with good art, this one is…

Recommended

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Review: Star Trek #48

Star Trek #48Title: Star Trek #48

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Mike Johnson (writer) with Tony Shasteen (artist)

In this new arc, ‘Deity’, Sulu is given the command of an away mission to a unexplored planet to observe the native species. Sulu has to pick his away team specialists, which includes Scotty, because he’s invented a special stealth device which will help them study and observe without being observed themselves. Once on the planet, they discover an odd five spire ritual site, but before they can study it some more, a story begins to roll in and the native population, which resemble tribal, humanoid birds, return. The tribal bird people place children along the spires and the storm begins to strike them, filling the area with energy. A massive, crescent-shaped vessel arrives in orbit above the planet as this is occurring, giving the Enterprise a massive threat. This vessel is absorbing the lighting from the storm, which is raising the children upward, toward the ship. All of the energy in the area disables Scotty’s device and the away team is discovered by the native population, who don’t seem very happy that outsiders have ruined/witnessed their private ritual!

Another great issue of Star Trek! While I’m not a fan of the designs of the bird people, it is something new that Star Trek doesn’t already have represented. I like the idea of letting other characters shine, and Sulu is a great choice as a lead character. I hope that we get to see more away team missions with other members of the crew, especially Bones and Chekov. What does the vessel want with ‘birdlings’ and will it put up a fight with the Enterprise there? Will Sulu and his away team make it out in one piece, especially since the bird people have very sharp, pointy halberds.

Recommended

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Review: Darth Vader #9

Darth Vader #9Title: Darth Vader #9

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $3.99

Storytellers: Kieron Gillen (writer) with Salvador Larroca (artist)

Doctor Aphra and her hired bounty hunters steal a fortune from the Empire, on the Outer Rim, near Son-Tuul. After acquiring their loot, the bounty hunters and the good doctor split the take and they all go on their separate ways. However, Aphra has doubled crossed the bounty hunters and kept a larger portion of the ill-gotten gains secreted away on a nearby asteroid. Vader arrives, having been in on this raid, which now gives him some currency, with which he can buy bounty hunters and fund his own growing army. Back with the Imperials, Vader is place on the case of the stole loot and is given a new adjunct by Tagge, however this new inspector is very observant, and could prove to be a thorn in Vader’s side in the future.

Another brilliant issue of Darth Vader, but one which barely features it’s title character. I really love the side characters that have been added to the Star Wars universe though this series, especially Aphra and her homicidal droids, so I don’t mind when these characters are the focus of an issue. Vader is slowly building resources, but ultimately, to what end? I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to see how he uses them! Another great issue with an awesome story and gorgeous art!

Recommended

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