Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Reads of the Week!

Anakin Skywalker and his new padawan learner Ahsoka Tano travel with Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Zygerrian System, intent on tracking down the slavers who frequent the area and finding out what happened to the thousands of Togrutans who went missing from the colony world of Kiros. The clock is ticking however, as Count Dooku begins spreading rumours that the Jedi themselves wiped out the populace, and the likelihood of finding anyone from Kiros begins to fade...

Henry Gilroy, one of the staff writers from Lucasfilm's hit new computer-animated TV series The Clone Wars, signs on with Dark Horse to help chart the long years of war that stretch between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. If you're not already a fan of Star Wars, this four-issue series might not be enough to change your mind -- but if you think the show airing weekly on the Cartoon Network is must-see TV, then this comic is just the thing to help you fill up the seven-day lag between episodes.

Check out a free online preview at Dark Horse's website, right here!

Writer/artist John Byrne continues to explore the unseen corners of the original Star Trek series with The Hollow Crown, his third trip to Gene Roddenberry's famous sci-fi universe. As the crew of the Enterprise continue their famous five-year mission, here we see more of the hidden machinations of the Romulan and Klingon Empires -- their secret pacts, their shadowy agreements... and how it all went sour, dragging both empires into conflict.

This series, like Byrne's Assignment Earth before it, has been a real treat for comics fans and Trek fans alike. Each issue is packed with material, making the best use of every page -- and in an era of seemingly endlessly decompressed multi-part meandering storylines, Byrne's punchy, direct approach has made for a welcome change of pace. His respect for the original Star Trek series comes through here in spades -- particularly noticeable as he makes the choice to ignore some of the weirder elements of the Romulan Empire tacked on in the later years of the ailing TV franchise in favour of the more elegant "Roman Empire in space" concept cooked up in the 1960s. Next up for Byrne and Trek will be his Crew miniseries... can't wait!

Our dimension-hopping art thief protaganist tracks Annie's killer back to the parallel world he just left... where we get a glimpse of Rasl's strange past and bump into an alternate version of a woman he once loved a lifetime ago. But before he can get too comfortable, the snake-faced murderer reappears -- intent on killing this world's Annie!

Bone creator Jeff Smith continues to wow me with this out-of-left-field adult sci-fi adventure that comes packed with so many twists and turns I literally have no idea what might be coming on the next page. And when was the last time you could say that about any comic?

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