Tag Archives: Clint Eastwood

Review: “East Of West, Volume I: The Promise” by Jonathon Hickman & Nick Dragotta

Title: The Promise
Writer: Jonathon Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Series: East Of West (Volume I, issues #1-5)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Image, 2013

Apparently this was one of the hottest creator-owned books to come out last year, and I totally missed it. No longer! I was recently scanning the graphic novel/comics section at the local library for that eye-catching sticker designating new acquisitions for my greedy perusal, when I ran across this particular gem. Science-fiction-slash-Western, you say? Well, I doubt it can top Firefly, but I’ll give it a go. Alternate history? I like alternate history. I find alternate versions of any familiar world interesting, especially ours. The apocalypse? I love a good impending apocalypse. Probably why I watch both Sleepy Hollow¬†and Constantine these days, among a slate of others. All of these factors together? That’s gotta be interesting….

The Four Horsemen walk the Earth, heralding the end of days. Surprisingly, however, they do not stand united….Following a staggering betrayal, Death stands opposed to his former comrades, and may just prove to be the only hope humanity has left. The forces against him are legion, including a cabal that would hasten the apocalypse, and he has few friends left standing. But one simple fact remains: eventually, Death comes to every man….

That synopsis really doesn’t do the book justice, of course. Half the fun here is slowly figuring out exactly what’s going on. That can be a little difficult at times, admittedly–the book does you no favors in terms of presenting backstory in a timely manner–but is well worth it nonetheless. It’s less alternate history than it is a future based on an alternate history, but that difference is somewhat academic. Now, what else can I say about this without spoiling it for you? It’s delightfully over-the-top, the product of numerous impulses that blend together to give a flavor that is sometimes Tarantino, sometimes Eastwood, often manga/anime/whatever-you-call-it, and always amazing. I can’t wait to read the next collection….

CONTENT: Profanity on a PG-13 level. Some brief sexual innuendo and non-sexual nudity (it’s a childbirth scene, in case you were wondering). Over-the-top, bloody violence. I’m not sure occult is the right word, but we’re dealing with the Four Horsemen here. I’m not sure what other word to use. Oh, and there are a couple Native American witches. I suppose that qualifies as well.

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Filed under Books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Reputation” by Ari Marmell

Title: Reputation
Author: Ari Marmell
Artist: Tom Hodges
Series: Star Wars (Technically Legends, but tied to the Clone Wars)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Titan Magazines, 2012

I was going through some old Star Wars Insider magazines the other day, and I ran across this short story. I don’t know how I missed it before, but I did fall pretty far behind there for a while and am only just catching up. Anyone who’s watched much of the Clone Wars series probably remembers the bounty hunter Clint Eastwood Cad Bane. You know, the guy with enough brass to stage a heist in the Jedi Temple itself, proceeding to kidnap several Force-sensitive infants, busted Ziro the Hutt out of the slammer on Coruscant by taking several senators hostage, and then proceeded to sign on for a mission to kidnap Palpatine himself? He’s a cool character, to be sure, and this tale picks him up as he’s just first trying to make a name for himself. War is coming, Bane is sure of it, and that means money up for grabs….if one has the nerves and the reputation to claim it.

For most of the story, from Bane’s musing on the state of the GFFA to his sparse dialogue throughout the tale, Bane’s voice is spot-on. I could almost literally hear it in my head as I read. The story also explains why he has so many gadgets that we see almost nowhere else in the entirety of the franchise, such as the rocket boots he’s rocking while everyone else wears heavy jetpacks.

Trying to place this into the timeline of the Galaxy Far, Far Away illustrates the slightly awkward position the division of the canon puts me in. Officially, anything published before the cutoff date that isn’t the films or the actual Clone Wars cartoon is considered “Legends” canon. However, the Clone Wars cartoon (and thus all related material) doesn’t fit with the previously-established “Legends” timeline for the Clone Wars. Thus, I’m choosing to be slightly rebellious and include the Clone Wars tie-in material in the official canon timeline. Cool? Cool. Anyway, this story is set just a scant two years before the outbreak of the Clone Wars. (That’s 24 BBY for my fellow Star Wars geeks….)

So far as I know, the only place to find this story is in Star Wars Insider #136, where it was originally published.

CONTENT: Mild profanity, mostly specific to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Some moderately gruesome violence. No sexual content.

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Filed under Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars