Review by C.J. Bunce
Fans of Firefly and Common Grounds have a great new comic book series to look forward to each month. Image Comics released Issue #1 of Copperhead this past week, a new Western that takes place on what appears to be a future planet Earth. We’d call it a police procedural, but it feels more like a classic Western.
Written by Jay Faerber, with art by Scott Godlewski, and colors by Ron Riley, Copperhead is the new hometown of Sheriff Bronson, a tough lawkeeper looking for a fresh start with her son Zeke. Copperhead is not a friendly town, it’s a dusty place just near the Badlands—we’re not sure yet whether these are the American Badlands or a location on a different world. But it’s inhabited by the same rough types of Earth’s Old West, only these folks all appear to be of various alien origins.
Heading up the cast of characters is a slightly ruffled deputy named Budroxifinicus, a giant hamster built like The Rock. He’s been passed over for promotion so he’s not too welcoming of Bronson. He seems harmless enough but we’re thinking he’d being set up to be an interesting partner for Bronson. Just don’t call him “Boo.”
As the mercenary crew of the Perses leave the horror of LV-223 behind them, one passenger reveals a terrible new danger, and the crew soon find themselves in a deadly struggle between predator and prey…
Dark Horse Comics expands its Fire and Stone line with the new Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone series, coming to comic book stores in October. After the break, courtesy of Dark Horse we have a first look at the series Issue #1 as well as the book trailer for the series.
Christopher Sebela will write the series with artwork by Ariel Olivetti.
Here’s the preview of Issue #1:
Review by C.J. Bunce
Starting next Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the Bionic Woman is back. This time, in her third comic book series in the past two years, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Six Million Dollar Man, it’s a continuation of the original television series, right where the series last left our bionic heroine.
Dynamite Comics is publishing the new series written by Brandon Jerwa, with interior art by David T. Cabrera. Issue #1 features cover art by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes and a photo incentive cover featuring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.
So how does Issue #1 fare?
They have the introduction right, presumably to begin each issue like an episodes of the series. As to moving the series forward in continuity of the era, the tech gets a slight–but only slight–upgrade, with walkie-talkies replaced with wireless comm-links in Jaime’s ears. Dr. Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman are back, too. So the setting checks out.
It’s going to be another big comic book store Wednesday with plenty of new releases from the best in independent publishers.
The re-started Dark Horse Presents series features Issue #2 this week. Chris Roberson and Paul Lee reveal an untold tale from Aliens featuring favorite character Hicks. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey provide a new Action Philosophers! story. Plus, new chapters of Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s Resident Alien, Brendan McCarthy’s Dream Gang, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Andy Kuhn’s Wrestling with Demons, and Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley’s Sabertooth Swordsman.
Also from Dark Horse Comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Issue #7, features a play on Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple featuring Xander and Spike. It even has a great alternate cover that plays off like the classic ad for the movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau and TV series with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
In case you missed it, we previously previewed Dark Horse’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone, Issue #1, here.
From Dynamite Comics, The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six is already up to Issue #6 this week. And fans of Mars Attacks will want to see this new artists edition from IDW Publishing, Mars Attacks Art Gallery, here.
Check out the rest of the previews after the break:
WELCOME TO EARTH-4
A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain
I love when a story starts me guessing like “The Wall of Darkness” by Arthur C. Clarke. I have so many notions of walls and barriers that once Clarke reveals there’s a mysterious black wall in the dark lands where the planet’s sun doesn’t reach, my mind immediately guesses likely conclusions.
Due to the surge in popularity of all things Game of Thrones, the Wall of Westeros first came to mind. A structure built of ice and stone to separate the civil from the uncouth and things unimagined. The dangers were so serious that an elevator is needed to get you to the top of the wall for it is so high. Would the wall of darkness be the same? What monsters must inhabit the lands devoid of starlight where the wall only becomes accessible at the highest days of summer? Would they be blind? Would they be legion, held back by the material of the wall, waiting for a foreign object to infest so as to spread throughout the light?
Then again, the other side of the wall could be something more akin to George R.R. Martin’s inspiration for the Wall – Hadrian’s Wall. On the other side might be a separate version of the planet’s inhabitants, people that have learned to live without the warmth and light of a star. They may have fashioned great cities lit by artificial light and have evolved in different ways while exploring cuisines that flourish in the night. (Think lots and lots of catfish sautéed in mushrooms.) Maybe this time it’s the Morlocks that are kind and just and they built the wall to keep out the Eloi. It’s much more romantic than thinking of the Romans and Scotsmen of the very earliest part of the AD centuries separating with a wall due to differences in distance over now adjacent time zones on the same continent. It’s more romantic to think of Starks and white walkers. As an earthbound human, our walls are just another case of separating ourselves from those that are “different.”
During a vicious xenomorph outbreak, terraforming engineer Derrick Russell leads a desperate group of survivors onto a rickety mining vessel. They hope to escape the creatures overrunning their colony—but they’ll face horrors both in space and on the strange planet they crash on.
Dark Horse Comics is gearing up for a new mini-series tie-in to the Aliens and Prometheus universe. Chris Roberson and Patric Reynolds will be the creative team on Aliens: Fire and Stone.
Equal parts horror and sci-fi, the first images from Issue #1 look pretty good. After the break, check out this first look at excerpts from Issue #1 of Aliens: Fire and Stone, on sale September 24, 2014, at comic book stores everywhere.
Review by C.J. Bunce
How did the Empire power all those Star Destroyers anyway?
The new, Disney era of Star Wars story continuity begins today with the release of the novel Star Wars: A New Dawn. Fans of the Star Wars tie-in novels shouldn’t be disappointed with this new story and completely new characters living in that galaxy, far, far away between the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Its primary draw for those fans willing to give the new Star Wars a chance is the introduction of a trained Jedi named Kanan Jarrus and a mysterious Twi’lek named Hera. But its best success is in author John Jackson Miller’s world building (or galaxy building)–one with more lead female characters than male.
In the galaxy that George Lucas built, the rarest creature to be found was a woman, whether a human, a rebel, an Imperial, or an alien. Miller does not skip a beat to redefine Star Wars from chapter one. We meet a black female captain of a Star Destroyer named Captain Rae Sloane, a character who could be on her way to be the next Mara Jade. She’s young but smart, and exactly the kind of leader a government led by Emperor Palpatine would need to conquer so many systems. Unlike even the original trilogy, including its often bumbling stormtroopers and officers that fail to follow their Dark Lord’s orders, the personnel building the Empire in A New Dawn don’t make the same mistakes.
Sloane works for a typical Star Wars villain, Count Demetrius Vidian, a cyborg like Darth Vader and General Grievous, which would lend us all to believe a defining piece of Star Wars is a dark cloaked bad guy who has already been blown apart a few times. The word survivor does fit Vidian. He is a decisive imperialist, precise, unyielding and villainous–everything you want from your Star Wars bad guy.
Review by C.J. Bunce
With the historic reboot of Doctor Who in 2006 and all of Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat’s world building since then with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and their five companion voyagers– what if the creators have been holding back? What if we haven’t seen nothin’ yet, if all these great science fiction episodes were all leading up to the real payoff with the 12th Doctor? I got that feeling last night with only the second Doctor Who episode of the season. This new Doctor is here to stay, and the writers are driving full steam ahead, plunging Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor straight into the darkness without giving us a chance to breathe.
We’ve heard it before: Resistance is futile. But this time the phrase is not about Star Trek and the futility isn’t about we humans, as the new Doctor stumbles into his latest encounter with one of his most hated borg nemeses: The Daleks. With “Into the Dalek” Steven Moffat has created what I am sure we’ll look back on as an episode up there with the David Tennant episodes “Waters of Mars” and “Silence in the Library” or Matt Smith’s “Cold War.”In only his second outing as the Doctor, Peter Capaldi is already comfortable in the role he was destined to play since his days sending fan letters to the BBC as a young boy. With last week’s season opener “Deep Breath,” we were introduced to Capaldi’s Doctor in a typical Doctor Who post-regeneration episode–part with the Doctor learning to “love the skin he’s in” while also getting a taste of how his companion is going to adapt, wrapped in a Tanagra/El-Adrel IV story.
WELCOME TO EARTH-4
A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain
I just finished my third book written by Cormac McCarthy. The first was Blood Meridian, the second was No Country for Old Men, and the third was The Road. Reading McCarthy is unlike any other literary journey I’ve taken. What will I remember from reading The Road? Bleakness. Emptiness. How man can become a monster. Not that different from the others I suppose, but it led me to a question – where does hope come from?
In all fantasy, science fiction and apocalyptic tales generally a hero emerges. A man or a being similar to man steps to the fore and as a reader I can pin my hopes upon him (or rarely her as even coming up with female sidekicks was a chore in the series that popped off the top of my mind. Amy Pond. Leia. Gamora. Uhura.) Superman. Wonder Woman. The Doctor. Sheriff Rick Grimes. Tasslehoff Burrfoot (or the more heroic but less fun Tanis Half-Elven.) Frodo Baggins. Luke Skywalker. Rick Deckard. Groot. Mr. Spock.
Through these characters and many more like them we can find the possibility of averting crises. We can see a proverbial light at the end of the darkening and constricting tunnel. Survival, though bleak, has a chance.
I think McCarthy likes to explore the world where there are no heroes. There is only survival and to survive, horrendous choices must be made because after the apocalypse, scarcity rules. A person cannot go back in time. A person cannot till the earth by himself, trying to bring non-irradiated soil to the surface. A ring, a starship, a building or an artifact cannot be destroyed through the hero’s quest. There is only the earth. There are only Homo sapiens. If something happens, powerful heroes won’t emerge, instead it will just be the basest urges within us all that come forth.