issue 4

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Review – Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #4 of 5

Script: Haden Blackman
Art: Agustin Alessio
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Dave Wilkins
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

We haven’t covered the Ghost Prison on Bamfas yet, but it is in contention for being one of the better Star Wars releases of the year, taking a traditional approach in art, story and focusing on Vader puts it in our top considerations for the year. We join up in issue 4 with Vader on the Prism in the midst of all out chaos. Rioters battling away not only for a chance to live but for their pursuit of power, it is a demonstration of complete violence and Vader stands at the top of the pile, putting down anyone who dares oppose him.

While Gentis prepares himself to take his spot as head of the Empire we see that Vader, Trachta and Tohm are getting ready to move after their arena challenge reaches completion and the winners board up. New faces come into the story and while that seems like a given after a mass recruitment it’s only a strong 2 that really make impressions not only on Vader and the crew but on the reader as well. Not only does the payback for the attack on the Emperor seem to be well on the way but it could prove to be a mass obliteration of those in Vader’s path.

Personally I enjoy that most of this has been a character exploration just as much as it has been about action and the unknown. Haden Blackman paints unique narratives that give a sense of danger and struggle, and also these same narratives show how unwavering Vader is at all times as an absolute power. His view on recruitment and personal slaying of anyone who dares step into his arena are signs of how intense he really is especially with the Emperor in recovery.

Agustin Alessio compliments the issue with illustrative work that shines through, while some issues in the series go for a painting impression, we don’t see that. Each panel is incredibly detailed and bold in line usage, expressions run wild and gestures help tell the story that words cannot. Seeing survivors torn apart and barely holding together trying to plea for mercy, it gets in-depth for emotion to say the least and the duo manage to drive the story while feeding off each others creative energy.

Issue 5 is just around the corner, those who haven’t caught this series should really give it a shot, I can say it’s well worth the investment if you want some classic Star Wars drama and Vader showing his cold iron fist.

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (coming soon)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
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Review – Mass Effect: Homeworlds #4 – Part 4 of 4

Story: Mac Walters and Sylvia Feketekuty
Script: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Omar Francia
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Anthony Palumbo
Alternative Cover: Mike Hawthorne
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The final installment of the Homeworlds series is here, we jump in with Liara T’soni before the Mass Effect 3 storyline kicks off. Functioning as the Shadow Broker she seeks every shred of information possible to stand a chance against the Reapers. It has become an impossible task for her to find the information that she needs but her persistence and connections are what carry her onward to find even the slightest glimmer of hope.

In Homeworlds #4 we see Liara pushing the limits of her relationships, associations and more and it’s finally wearing on her. We get a sense of her mental fatigue processing so much endless data, we see the juggled commitments and those she’s personally tied to expressing their concern of where this is all going. Although one has to admit, if the entire universe was on the brink of annihilation this wouldn’t be all that surprising or unexpected to come across, it’s just the gravity of the situation hasn’t come crashing down yet.

With desperation growing, Liara goes from authority to fresh game, Cerberus may be partnered up with her but it doesn’t take much to signal them to put a knife in her back if an opportunity presents itself. Their own personal quest for information has clashed with her with the Reapers going into higher activity. It’s an interesting exchange and Liara continues to use the knowledge and skills that got her where she is to show who the force is in this deal. For her, burning a few bridges is nothing if it means saving the universe from ceasing to exist, she just gets even tougher and heads forward even stronger than before.

We leave with her story going straight into Mass Effect 3 and conclude this arc of Homeworlds stories.

Release Date: August 29, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (coming soon)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
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Justice League #4 sells out, goes back to print again

It’s a good time to be a comic publisher, DC is loving the attention as they send Justice League #4 back for a third printing to get the books out to fans. While this doesn’t top issue #1 which has made 7 trips to the printer it’s still a feat and even issues 5 and 6 are going ahead to the printers to keep the supply flowing.

It’s an important issue to the series, showing off Aquaman, introducing Cyborg’s transformation and of course… Darkseid.

May 16th marks the arrival date of this third printing so hold on tight and keep up while DC pushes to get the supplies back in order.

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Review – Prototype 2 #4 – The Survivors Part 2

Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Chris Staggs
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Chris Staggs with Michael Atiyeh
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Prototype 2 The Survivors Part 1 left us with an odd taste, jumping into a completely new story and another set of dilemmas to navigate through in the pages of the book. The survival group goes on a fast paced journey from isolation and self-preservation into full action trying to spring themselves loose from the heavily contaminated Red Zone of the city, given some bad luck they end up crashing short of their promised land and wind up in the Yellow Zone.

Part 2 picks up right after this, we see a darker truth to improvements of the Yellow Zone, yes people are alive but they’re still surrounded with mutants and there’s a bad air about the situation as a whole with what Blackwatch is really doing for this entire situation. The group bands together again on a final journey, the escape to the Green Zone where they can break free once again, unfortunately luck in the Prototype Universe is clearly not on their side. The situation feels lighter than ever as they execute on their plan, soaring above the patch of freedom below, soon to be their home thanks to persistence and drive. Well, almost. Fate has a different plan in mind and Conrad didn’t even see it coming, we’re left to wait for the game to come out or possibly this next set of installments to help clear up all these loose ends and get some closure.

The art is a slight improvement for The Survivors Part 2, shape shifting isn’t nearly as common although the fish eyes still tend to pop up with Conrad making for some odd moments. Overall it was a style shift and it has to be accounted for, it’s more an issue that across a series there is some level of continued style expected as well. Design did improve and color delivered the drama with moments like Conrad resigning himself for the good of those who he wished to protect the most. As a whole though it’s getting tough to live with all these cliffhanger sections, we see a sweeping rush of conflict and hope and then complete hole to be filled by the game or another installment.

If you’re following the digital releases be sure to get your issues in pairs or the series will not make much sense, one can only guess what the final arc will bring before the release of the game.

Release date: March 28, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:☆☆☆☆☆ 

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