STAR WORDS: Shattered Empire

Romance - Issue 1 - Morning Kiss

A tender goodbye between Shara and Kes.

Journey to the Force Awakens – Shattered Empire, a four issue comic mini-series written by Greg Rucka (Smuggler’s Run) follows A-Wing pilot Shara Bey and her husband Kes Dameron, a Pathfinder specforce commando, through the months following the Battle of Endor. The comic achieves a surprisingly grand scale in just four issues.  It tackles many themes and questions – honor, duty, and the personal cost of war among them – that are typically addressed in lengthier novels or films. It is an incredible piece of work. I’ve spoken highly of Princess Leia and Lando here on STAR WORDS before but Shattered Empire surpasses them both as an artistic achievement.

Accompanying Rucka on this odyssey is a small collective of artists – Marco Chechetto took the lead and was featured in all four issues; playing backup were Angel Unzueta and Emilio Laiso. Their work on Shattered Empire cannot be overstated. The book succeeds because the art and prose are knit together seamlessly, supporting one another and creating a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Chechetto has an uncanny ability to convey complex emotions in the characters he draws. The range of emotions Shara displays can be heartbreaking at times. The dialogue is fairly minimal at times with the emotion of the drawn characters carrying the narrative. [Read more…]

Thoughts From The Dugout: World Series Preview

Image of Eric Hosmer

At this time last year, I was alternating between performances of a show at Second City (I was one of six co-writers in the Advanced Writing program) and running to the nearby Old Town Social or catching the Clark bus to walk to Murphy’s Bleachers to catch the tail ends of a thrilling postseason. It was a fantastic time to be writing, and a splendid time to write about baseball – and like many other Americans, I fell in love with the Royals. Which made the climax of the World Series that much harder, as they were stifled by the heroics of Madison Bumgarner (still the best postseason pitching performance I’d seen since probably Josh Beckett in ’03 and ’07.

I didn’t think the Royals could come back. Too many things worked against them. Their success was a fluke, a combination of momentum and luck that couldn’t be equaled.

[Read more…]

J&STAC: Talking Cap (and Other New #1s)

-J. Michael Bestul is a writer for the Addison Recorder. Stephanie Ruehl is an artist who works in a comic book shop. They’re married and have a lot of discussions about comic books and graphic novels. Combine all that into a biweekly feature and you get “J. & Steph Talk About Comics.”

It’s a very Marvel J&STAC this week, with a special appearance by Image. We normally don’t do back-to-back new #1 reviews, but there are a lot of them, one of which got a lot of media attention. You can probably guess which one based on this tweet from Kurt Busiek:

Let’s start with Cap, shall we? [Read more…]

STAR WORDS: Lando’s Five

Lando No. 1

Marvel is producing fascinating character studies for the notable characters in the galaxy far, far away. Darth Vader delves deeply into the Dark Lord of the Sith’s psyche, dredging up the pain and torment behind the inscrutable mask. Princess Leia showed her heroic quest to save her people and come to grips with the loss of Alderaan. Continuing this trend is the Lando mini-series, which follows everyone’s favorite scoundrel on a heist that doesn’t go as planned. Words by Charles Soule, drawings by Alex Maleev, colors by Paul Mounts, and lettering by Joe Caramagna. [Read more…]