Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Farscape: D'Argo's Lament

BOOM! Studios continues their excellent Farscape comics with Farscape: D'Argo's Lament. Once again, it's based on a story by Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and scripted by the excellent Keith R. A. DeCandido, although this time it takes place during the show's third season.

It's a great a story. KRAD shows how well he can capture the tone of D'Argo and Jool, who aren't in the regular Farscape comic. D'Argo is one of the characters I'd miss when I'd go a while without watching the show... I'd just find myself thinking, "I wonder what D'Argo's been up to?" like he was a real person or something, and then I'd start watching episodes again. So it felt good to revisit D'Argo here.

It really feels like a lost episode, right down to the fact that you never see Crichton, Aeryn, or any of the other characters even when D'Argo and Jool are on Moya-- because, obviously they're busy filming the other comic at the same time. ;)

The artwork is by Tommy Patterson and Neil Edwards, and it's also excellent. There are two other Luxons in the story, and you never wonder who's who.

So I really feel bad that I'm going to have to stop reading the D'Argo comics.

BOOM's approach seems to be that there's always two Farscape comics being published a month, one of the further adventures of John Crichton, and one of flashback tales of D'Argo. I almost passed on D'Argo's Lament when it was solicited, because I'm trying very hard to keep my comic book budget down to $50 a month. But I decided to get it anyway because, (1) I figured what happens to D'Argo in the flashback comic might end up becoming important in the "main" comic, and (2) as I mentioned above, I always liked D'Argo.

But my comic book orders keep coming in a t $61.60, so something's gotta go. And unfortunately, this comic was so well written that I realized I didn't need to know what happened in it to enjoy the main comic. D'Argo's Lament references a TV episode that I couldn't remember, but it did such a good job of giving me the information I needed to know that it didn't matter. Since KRAD writes both comics, I trust that if the events of any of the D'Argo comics come into play in the regular comic, he'll give me the info I need to know. Which in a way, I feel is very unfair to KRAD-- he shouldn't be punished because he's a great writer.

But the bottom line is I just have to stick to my budget, so I have to get tough. I'm already not buying BOOM's second Muppets comic, Muppet Robin Hood (soon to be followed by Muppet Peter Pan) because I just can't afford both that and The Muppet Show Comic Book. Same thing with Dark Horse's Star Wars: Clone Wars comic. Other titles on the chopping block are the Doctor Who Ongoing comic (because the one-shots coming out at the same time keep sounding more interesting) and Star Trek: Alien Spotlight. And the shame of it is, they're all enjoyable comics, there's just too many comics of the same series each month. If the D'Argo comics and Muppet Robin Hood were the only Farscape and Muppet comics being published that month, I'd definitely be buying them; as it is, since I have multiple comics to choose from for each series, I'm going to have to start getting pickier.

I'm still going to read the next D'Argo series, D'Argo's Trial, because I was already ordering it before I read D'Argo's Lament, and Lament was so good there's no way I'm going to bail on it in the middle of a story. But sadly, after that, I'm just going to have to learn to let D'Argo go.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds

Okay, now Rich, I know you haven't had a lot of time to read lately. And Jonathan, I know you read comics but I haven't seen you post a comics blog in a long time and I don't remember if you're reading this one.

So if you guys haven't finished this mini-series, just stop reading this post now. If you have...

Okay, let me see if I have this straight... the Legion I've been reading, the most recent one that started with Mark Waid and ended with Jim Shooter, is actually the Legion of Earth-Prime, right? Which is our Earth. So that's why they always had all the real comic books in the early issues.

The previous take on the Legion (post-Zero Hour?) turns out to be from Earth-247, which Superboy-Prime destroyed. (I'm also pretty hazy on the whole Earth-247 thing. When and where did that one come from?)

And the original (pre-Zero Hour?) Legion is in fact the true Legion of New Earth, and will be the Legion that's co-starring in Adventure Comics. (Which, incidentally, makes it seem that Geoff Johns is on a quest to totally restore the pre-Crisis DCU... bringing back Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, the original Legion...)

Have I got it right?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl

... I just wanted to prove that I read stuff besides Star Wars.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Omen by Christie Golden

Thank heavens for my local library! The latest series of Star Wars books, Fate of the Jedi, is a nine-book hardback series, with no paperback reprints scheduled yet at all. So if it weren't for my library, I wouldn't be reading it. (Nine hardbacks?!? Even if I could afford it, which I can't, I wouldn't have the shelf space for it.)

This is a fun and intriguing book. Luke has been exiled from the Jedi for not preventing Jacen's turn into Darth Caedus, and is going on a quest to places Jacen went to try to understand what led him down that path, which is giving him some quality time with his son, Ben Skywalker. In the meantime, Jedi are going crazy. And farther away, a new Sith threat is emerging-- a lost Sith colony, now rediscovering the galaxy, and ready to take it over.

First things first-- the lost Sith colony. They're very cool-- a planet that's been ruled by the Sith for 5000 years, and doesn't seem evil per se so much as living by their own, different code. Up until the whole "Oh, time to go out and take over the galaxy" part, but still. Very intriging, very interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.

HOWEVER... what happened to that whole "Balance of the Force" prophecy thing? I mean really, looking at the big picture, did Anakin's story mean anything at all? How did he bring balance to the Force if there was (1) the Sith Tribe sitting around on Kesh during all six movies, and (2)Darth Krayyt sitting around building his One Sith during the last three movies?

I love the bits with Luke and Ben. It's good to see them growing closer and being a real family.

Jaina and Jag made me smile. A lot. =)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kings (episodes 1-13)

I finally finished watching this series today, and I have to say, I'm glad I tried it out.

Once again, going light on the spoilers: Kings is a story that takes place in a modern world just similar enough to our own to be familiar and understandable, but different enough that it never has to worry about tying itself into real world events.

In this modern world, the country of Gilboa has been united by their new King, Silas Benjamin. However Gilboa is now at war with its neighboring country, Gath. During the war, soldier David Shepherd finds himself brought into the lives of the royal family.

My first reaction was that this show was trying to play off of the success of Battlestar Galactica; in addition to being a world that's close-to-ours-but-not-quite, there's the shaky camera work, the ethereal moody music, the heavy references to God and His plan. And while I still think that's true, from what I've read the show is a modern take on the entire story of King David from the Bible in I Samuel. (The parallel of David standing up to a Goliath tank was pretty obvious, but I have to confess I never was very up on the Old Testament so I didn't recognize the other parts.) But while God is definitely a central character, it never feels heavy-handed. In fact, it even goes as far as to not get too specific about any one religion; there is a reference to Cain and Abel in one episode, but other than that there's nothing overt. I think that's intended to keep the "this is not your world" feel of the show, but it also gives it a wider appeal. God's will in this show is not about religion; it's about doing what's right.

Another interesting part of this show is even in the way the character's speak. The dialogue is written in such a way as to have a slight air of royalty about it; for example, instead of contracting "I will not" into "I won't," it's contracted into "I'll not." It has a lot of flair about it, and the cast, especially Ian McShane as King Silas, really needs to be given a lot of credit for being able to sell it and make it sound so natural. With dialogue like this, it could have easily turned into something stiff (Attack of the Clones, anyone?)

The show's been canceled, and while the last episode doesn't necessarily end all nice and tidy, all the characters are in place for an obvious conclusion, so I felt it was satisfying enough. And if I really want to know what happens next, I can always dig out my Bible!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Wow, this was a good movie. I'm going to try really, really hard to keep this spoiler-free, since this movie is in limited release and very few people have had a chance to see it. (Oh, who am I kidding? I know Rich hasn't seen it and I don't know if Jonathan has yet, so I'm going to try very hard not to ruin anything for you guys, my two loyal readers!)

Moon is the story of corporate astronaut Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell), who's been stationed alone on a moonbase for a three-year contract. And as you'd expect, things start getting weird.

What makes Moon stand out is that not only does it have twists in the storyline, the story is not so much about the twists themselves and more about how Sam then has to deal with those twists. It's a movie where things that seem like nitpicks actually have reasons behind them. It's one of those great movies that gives you something to think about afterwards, as things that seemed to not make sense suddenly click into place.

And lastly, on a personal high note for me, is the special effects. While I love how realistic CGI looks these days, one of the things I don't like about it is it moves too fast, and you no longer get time to look at the small details. But in this movie, the moonbase exterior, the lunar rovers, everything about it has that classic model feel. I don't know how much of the effects were models vs CGI; there's very little model work done these days, so either this one actually used models or the CGI was deliberately treated to harken back to those classic days of 2001, Alien and other classics where the wonder wasn't so much in making things go boom but the feel of actually living in an alien environment.

By all means, if you get a chance to see Moon, don't miss it!