Tag Archives: Mark Waid

Review: “Star Wars: Princess Leia” by Mark Waid & Terry Dodson

Title: Princess Leia
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Terry Dodson
Series: Star Wars (Official Canon)
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Marvel Comics, 2015

I recently reviewed the first volumes of both Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars books (Star Wars & Darth Vader). In conjunction with those two series, Marvel is also rotating through a slate of character-specific miniseries focused on the likes of Chewbacca, Lando, or in this case, Princess Leia.

It is a time of celebration for the Rebellion. Striking from their hidden base, the brave pilots of the Rebel Alliance have successfully destroyed the Empire’s terror weapon, the Death Star. But that victory came at a terrible cost–both the pilots who gave their lives, and the very secrecy that the Rebellion depends on to keep their forces safe from Imperial attack. What’s more, the peaceful (though Rebel-friendly) planet of Alderaan was destroyed in a cruel display of the Empire’s military might and disregard for its subjects. Now, further angered by the destruction of the Death Star, the Empire has begun hunting down surviving Alderaanian refugees for reprisals. Princess Leia Organa has watched the Empire take her entire world. She’s not going to let them take her people too….

This one was….decent. The ideas were there, the characterization managed to walk the same tightrope between stately senator and reckless fighter that we saw in the films, and the art was excellently executed. The story itself though? A bit bland, a bit aimless, and a bit too riddled with plot holes. Leia sets out to gather her people and find them a safe home, and to a point she succeeds. She visits three planets with Alderaanian enclaves and evacuates them ahead of Imperial strikes, relocating them to a planet with a significant local militia that could supposedly keep them safe. But…really? You expect me to believe that this planet could successfully hold off the Imperial fleet if they put their mind to taking the planet? You could perhaps argue that such a high-profile operation would hurt their public image, but that doesn’t hold up. They just blew up Alderaan, reducing one of the major cultural centers of the galaxy to an asteroid field. We’ve not been told yet in this new canon how they spun that one in the news holos, but odds are they can do it again if they have to. Sure, the Death Star is gone, but even a single Star Destroyer could reduce all life on the planet to ash with an orbital bombardment once the planetary fleet is dealt with. A simple blockade to keep anybody from leaving, and then rain bloody hell on the entire system. I’m not advocating such a policy, obviously, but the Empire is certainly capable of such brutality. Then too, Leia visits three planets and then declares her mission a success. Are we to conclude that those are the only Alderaanians left in the galaxy? Surely not. Perhaps she simply intends to spread the word about the safe haven, allow any refugees to make their own way to safety. Which would be fine, except for the part where the Empire is actively hunting them….At the end of the day, this could have been better. Or at the very least, better explained. It really covers a lot of the same ground as Razor’s Edge back in the Legends canon, except that novel did it better.

CONTENT: Mild to no profanity. Some violence. No sexual content.

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Review: “Kingdom Come” by Mark Waid & Alex Ross

They called him the Man of Tomorrow, but for Superman tomorrow has come and gone. For all his physical superpowers, the most inspiring thing about the Man of Steel has always been his unflinching sense of right and wrong. No matter what, Superman will not kill or sanction the use of deadly force. Unfortunately, the world has moved on from these “quaint” and “outdated” ideals. Faced with a world that condoned the actions of “heroes” he considers to be murderers, Superman retired. Most of his compatriots followed suit, leaving the world to the protection of the next generation. The next generation has, however, grown out of control. Battles between so-called “heroes” rage through the streets, and collateral damage is of little concern. The humans once regarded the superhumans as gods, looked to them as saviors, but that trust has evaporated long ago. Now superhumans are mistrusted, even hated. And when a misguided battle gets out of hand with catastrophic consequences, pulling Superman and his old comrades out of retirement, events are set in motion that just may end the world as we know it….

With Kingdom Come (*****)Mark Waid writes an epic what-if tale here that asks a number of the most nagging questions that linger about a world of superheroes. Where is the line between hero and villain? Would the world be a better place if there were no superhumans? And most troubling to a man who has done nothing with his powers but try and make the Earth safe, is it possible that in saving them so often Superman has prevented mankind from reaching their full potential? Woven throughout the tale is a running commentary from the book of Revelation as The Spectre and a disenchanted preacher bear witness to the coming apocalypse. Paired with Mark Waid’s stellar writing is a visual feast painted by the inimitable Alex Ross. Ross’s style lends itself especially well to painting the DC Universe, as unlike his work on Marvels he doesn’t have as much Spandex to deal with and can focus on his strengths. I can honestly say that this is one of the most visually stunning works I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Content: Appropriate for most readers, I think. Power Girl makes a brief appearance, but on the whole the costumes are pretty PG. Some violence, maybe mild language. Nothing too bad.

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