Friday, August 29, 2014

Goodbye to Dark Horse Comics

The other day at the Comic Book store I picked up my selected titles including Star Wars Legacy #18.

I felt a touch of sorrow as I realized this was the final Star Wars title published under Dark Horse Comics.

The ending was inevitable when Disney announced it was purchasing Star Wars.

A few years earlier Disney had also purchased Marvel Comics, so there was no way Dark Horse was going to be able to keep any of the series.

The collaboration between Dark Horse and Star Wars began around 1990.

It was a dark time for fans of the galaxy far, far away.

George Lucas hadn't touched the series for several years, and for all we knew we weren't getting anything new from Lucas Film ever again.

Most novels, graphic or otherwise, kept story lines within the original series.

Then came The Thrawn Trilogy.

The series written by Timothy Zahn dared to take fanboys and girls into the future of our trio of adventurers.

Suddenly, writers understood they didn't just have to stay in the four year period between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

Dark Horse took this idea and ran with it.

Tales of the Jedi took readers back 5,000 years before Luke Skywalker was born when brave adventurers were still mapping the hyperspace lanes that Han Solo took for granted.

It told of the first meetings between the Jedi and Sith which of course led to disaster and war.

But it wasn't just the past.

The Legacy series told the story of the descendants of Luke, Leia and Han more than 125 years in the future.

In the past few years, Dark Horse went even further with the Dawn of the Jedi which takes place somewhere between 25,000 to 36,000 years before Anakin's fall to the dark side.

These stories told of the Je'daii living in a remote star system and straddling the balance of the light and dark sides of the force.

All of these stories now fall under the category of "Legends" with Lucas Film hoping to have a stronger hold on the peripheral stories of Star Wars.

All is not lost in the graphic novel realm as the first comic books from Marvel are coming out this January.

And, Marvel is reprinting Dark Horse comics under its Legends Collection.

Still, for years I have read the Dark Horse comics and loved so many of them, it is a bitter sweet parting of the ways for so many fans of the company.

Do you have a favorite series from Dark Horse? Are you looking forward to something from Marvel? Let me know in the comments...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New Doctor Who? Meh?

I am writing this less than an hour after watching the premiere of "Deep Breath" the first show in Season 8 of Doctor Who.

I wanted to get this down before getting tainted by other people's opinions other than the few I saw the show with tonight.

Also, I admit, I am not very good at giving reviews, because I tend to think most things I watch are pretty much awesome.

But, I am not as overwhelmed as I feel I should be about "Deep Breath".

In my mind, I am trying to compare this episode with the first episode of any new Doctor.

"Eleventh Hour", the first Matt Smith episode, made me excited about him, especially the moment when he walked through the holographic representations of his past selves.

"Rose" and "Christmas Invasion" which kicked off the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras respectively were wonderful adventure stories.

Again, by the end of both episodes I was thrilled to join the new Doctor in the TARDIS.

I can't necessarily say that about this Doctor.

Now, to start, I am not judging Peter Capaldi himself.

I think he could make an excellent Doctor, but the first episode wasn't that exciting.

In many ways I have to go back to classic Who in comparison.

I hate to admit it, but my initial similarity when looking at a first Doctor episode is "The Twin Dilemma", Colin Baker's first episode.

That's not good.

"The Twin Dilemma" is typically ranked down near the worst episodes of the past 50 years.

Colin Baker's take on the doctor didn't sit well with audiences then or now as he seemed a little crazy and at one point even tried to kill his companion.

Some people argue that Colin Baker's doctor was the beginning of the end as the series was canceled just five years later.

I think I now understand why BBC sent Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on a world wide tour to get fans excited about the new season.

This episode left me feeling rather bland about what's coming.

Will I still be watching? Sure.

I will likely keep watching "Doctor Who" until it is taken off the air again.

The concern is not for the die hard fans, but for the ones who were just watching for the young Tennant and Smith portrayals of the Doctor.

I think it's the reason for a surprise phone call near the end of the episode.

It wasn't a call for "Clara", but for those fans who might stop watching now.

Certainly Moffatt might be playing the long game here and hoping to wow us by the end of the season.

I certainly hope that's true otherwise I have to say I am worried about this series.

So, what were your thoughts on the show? Let me know in the comments...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ready for New Who!

I must admit I have desperately missed Doctor Who.

I feel like in the words of the Beatles "It's been a long, cold, lonely winter."

Of course this being Oklahoma it's been more like a long, hot, earthquakey winiter/spring/summer.

For eight months, fans of Doctor Who have been without the Timelord.

The last time the Doctor regenerated was in 2009/2010 when we went from David Tennant to Matt Smith.

If I remember correctly, the last episode of Tennant was in December of 2009 and the first episode of Matt Smith's was April of 2010.

So that was only a wait of four months.

Now, admittedly eight months is nothing compared to the near decade and a half I had to wait for new Doctor Who.

Of course there was the TV movie in 1996, but that felt more like a tease, and only seemed to add the final nail in the Doctor's coffin.

But, this time seems even worse.

First, we have known Peter Capaldi would be playing the Doctor for more than a year.

We even got a peak at him in the 50th Anniversary special Day of the Doctor.

We also got a brief moment with Capaldi at the death of Matt Smith's Doctor in the Christmas special.

All we gleaned from that is the TARDIS is again crashing following a regeneration, and, for some reason, Capaldi's not overly fond of his kidneys.

Soon after the Christmas special, we get word that IDW Comics lost the rights to release Doctor Who comics but instead would be created by Titan Publishing.

Unfortunately, the new titles would be on hold until July.

So, now finally I am ready to see the new stories and exciting adventures of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor.

Long Live Doctor Who!

Are you excited about the new season of Doctor Who? Let me know in the comments...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall TV Looking Pretty Cool (From a Geek's POV)

Word came down on Tuesday that Star Wars: Rebels is premiering on Disney XD October 3rd.

The show will then run on a regular schedule starting that Monday.

Star Wars: Rebels is the first Lucas Film product created under the ownership of Disney.

It features a ragtag group trying to survive 14 years after the empire has taken over the galaxy and 5 years before Star Wars IV: A New Hope.

This is Disney's first step into a larger world as it moves eventually into the new feature films in 2015.

Also on tap this fall is Series 8 of Doctor Who on BBC America.

Peter Capaldi takes the reins of the TARDIS in what I am hoping is a new and exciting time for us Whovians.

Doctor Who's new season starts on August 23rd

But wait there's more...

Fall 2014 promises the return of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on September 23rd.

When we last left the team there were betrayals left and right with S.H.I.E.L.D. lying in ruins because of the infiltration of Hydra which was revealed in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

But that's not the only comic book based show airing this fall.

Flash, the new show featuring the Fastest Man Alive, premieres October 7th on the CW.

The day after that on October 8th, Arrow, the show focusing on a younger, hunkier Green Arrow returns for a third season.

To tell the truth, I am just catching up on the first two seasons of Arrow.

So far I'm enjoying the show and looking forward to seeing both Flash and Arrow.

I might also mention that Gotham premieres on September 22nd on Fox.

But given that it's a story about Gotham without Batman I'm not all that interested in it.

Also, it's airing on Fox, and I haven't trusted that network since it canceled Firefly way too soon.

So what shows are you looking forward to this season? Let me know in the comments...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Timelord Triumphant Returns

This Saturday, Doctor Who returns to television after the death of the 11th Doctor on Christmas Day.

Finally, we can see what Peter Capaldi will bring to the character after knowing he was going to play the part for more than a year.

I have been telling people that if you have never watched Doctor Who before, this Saturday night's show could be the best place to start.

Of course, I can't say that for certain because I haven't seen it yet.

So let's say you know nothing about Doctor Who.

Well, you've come to the right spot because in just a few lines I will tell you every thing you need to know.

  1. The Doctor, a 2,000 year old alien who looks and sounds British, travels through time and space in a ship that looks like a 1960s Police Box.
  2. The big blue box is called the TARDIS which stands for Time And Relative Dimension in Space.
  3. The TARDIS which is bigger on the inside because of Trans Dimensional Engineering was invented by the Doctor's people, the Time Lords from the planet Galifrey.
  4. In a massive war waged across time and space, Gallifrey was lost and presumed destroyed.
  5. Time Lords get 12 regenerations where they appear to be someone entirely different which is why they can live so long.
  6. In our last episode, it appeared the Doctor had run out of all his regenerations and was going to die for good.
  7. But, the Time Lords of Gallifrey hiding behind a crack into another dimension gave the Doctor a whole new set of regenerations.
  8. That's when...
Wait, this is getting ridiculous, let's try it again:
  1. The Doctor, a 2,000 year old alien who looks and sounds British, travels through time and space in a ship that looks like a 1960s Police Box.
Now, stop right there!

That is all you really need to know.

The beauty of the show is he can travel any place and any time so each episode is different.

My advice is to turn on the show Saturday night on BBC America and get ready for the ride of your life

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Brings "Adventure" Back to the Adventure Genre

I just finished seeing Guardians of the Galaxy this afternoon and what an amazing picture.

I certainly don't want to give away any spoilers.

I will say that when you see it get ready to buckle up for a ride you can't imagine.

The beauty of Guardians of the Galaxy is it goes beyond your typical adventure flick.

This is more than Thing A crashes into Thing B, and the hero rushes into save the day.

In most movies of this type the audience already knows the good guy and cheers that person on to defeat the bad guy.

But, not the Guardians.

The movie starts with characters we don't know, they don't know each other and, frankly, they don't even know themselves.

Every great narrative must include characters who have room to grow, and GOTG has them!

The gang of five, Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot, need each other to complete a quest to become the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Too bad no one told them.

They are thieves, assassins and bounty hunters only interested in their own affairs.

But, the creators of this movie and the fantastic actors,Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, crafted three-dimensional people.

The same holds for the amazing artists behind Rocket and Groot voiced beautifully by Bradley Cooper and Vin Deisel respectively.

The joy of reading comics is watching a character develop over many issues month after month.

Guardians of the Galaxy did the same thing in just two hours.

I went on an adventure with them, and personally can't wait to see them again.

So what did you think of the movie (no spoilers please)? Let me know in the comments...