Ryan Thomason

From the Comic Hold: Genghis Khan, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and 7%

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Sometimes when there isn’t a ton of comics I’m crazy eager to read, I’ll just let my hold build for a couple of weeks .

Secret-Battles-of-Genghis-Khan-IDWSecret Battles of Genghis Khan
Daryl Gregory and Alan Robinson
IDW Publishing

Gut Reaction:

I am somewhat of a giant nerd for Genghis Khan related, anything. I’ve read more books on the man that I can think of and written far too many history reports on him. So, when I found out IDW was doing a graphic novel based on some “secret battles” I was very interested to try and have some fun with my favorite dead guy in world history.

Secret Battles of Genghis Khan features a bunch of battles that are secrets to people who don’t know about him. I mean, obviously these aren’t exactly how it the particular battles happened, but the nod to the amount of detail for historical accuracy was pretty good for me. It was fun to read through the graphic novel and soak in the landscapes, the deatils of the mongol horde and of course, the battles. The novel is the story of Temujin, (the given name at birth of Genghis Kahn) on his deathbed, asking for Jochi, his first son (though, not exactly his son). The book is the Kahn telling stories of the battles that he fought and how they built The Great Mongol Empire. From learning to build siege weapons by killing everyone but the artisans and engineers to taking whole citadels held by The Shah, Sultan of the Khwarezmid Empire. If you started getting bored and thinking you were back in high school history class. Shame on you. This is a good comic, and it does a great job of bringing Temujin to life.

Art and Writing:

The artwork is top notch, I really dug it. The landscapes of Mongolia, deserts of the middle east were all wonderfully done. Even down to the attire, which would be easy to slack on, but Alan Robertson did his homework and delivered. I may be a nerd for this part of world history, but I’m not a snob, it was just a very visually appealing book to read. The writing was great. I’m not sure why, but from reading the title Secret Battles of Genghis Kahn I for some reason though that it was going to be battles of Temujin fighting giant Ogres or something. If someone who wasn’t knowledgeable about Temujin other than knowing he kicked some serious butt on a global stage is only a span of 25 years. Then they might actually take some knowledge away from this book. I’m glad that it was written like this and Daryl Gregory gives a tip of the hat from me.

battlestar-galactica-dynamite-1-coverBattlestar Galactica #1
Dan Abnet and Andy Lanning, Illustration by Cezar Razek
Dynamite Publishing

Gut Reaction

Hey, that’s not Adama. Wait, why is Starbuck a dude? That’s not Apollo! WHO IS THIS KID SCIENTIST GENIUS.

Oh yeah, there was a whole Battlestar Galactica before the reboot that happened a few years back. The reboot that got my wife for the first time in our nearly 10 years together watching a Science Fiction based show WITH me. It’s easy to then acknowledge that yes, I’d never seen any of the original series when I jumped into the reboot of the franchise.

It’s going to be a tough transition for me. I honestly didn’t even look into anything about this comic just assuming it was the rebooted chracters I was going to be reading. It wasn’t until I saw the cover that yes, this is the original crew. Not that it’s bad by all means, it’s just going to take me a couple of issues to adjust and re-learn the characters that are ingrained in my head.

Art and Writing:

The art looks good, it’s not sloppy on the space elements. You know, starships and ‘splosions in space. Cezar does a great job making me take in the pages and not focus on something that bothered me. The writing is going to take me a couple of issues to get used to. It’s not their fault by any means, it’s just a huge adjustment in terms of the story. I feel like this is like that time when my dad, who had a moustache for a lot of my young life. Walked out of the bathroom it is shaved off, and it blew my mind that some asshole stranger was using my parents bathroom. It’s the same Battlestar Universe, just a different face I have to get used to. The story is interesting so far, and as a first issue it warrents a 3 issue test to see if the story can really hook me in.

7percent3cov7% #3
Luke Keith, Jeremy Fist and Jarreau Wimberly
Red 5 Comics

Gut Reaction:

Crom, I love this comic. It’s just so damn beautiful to read. Of everything that I read, this one takes the longest. Why? Because I’m staring at every nook and cranny of every panel, soaking it in. There is just something special about the artwork, the science fiction elements and just how the story has been coming together that has me sucked in. We get to see some more of the extent of what the Psion Machine did to Soldier 032 and how he becomes more unleashed. Not just in terms of his developing abilities, but being able to disconnect from the Stone Corp mind control that was in place. I can’t wait for the next issue, this is one of my favorite comic books right now.

Art and Writing:

I’m not kidding when I say that this is the best art in any of my current comic books I’m into right now. Every page, every panel just pops and oozes with talent, love, passion. As every new issue comes out, I’m becoming more hooked into the story, more hooked into the artwork. These guys are going to spoil the hell out of other comics for me. They’re going to make me demand more out of the comics that I read, I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but the story that is developing here is being missed by a lot of people and you really shouldn’t be missing out. Hell, just frigging o to Comixology already and download all the issues out right now, you don’t have a ton to catch up on.

Star-Wars-5-coverStar Wars #5
Brian Wood and Carlos D’anda
Dark Horse Comics

Gut Reaction:

Mmm, Star Wars.

With Leia in ever more pressing troubles as it seems that whoever is handling her top secret dossier is actually the person trying to get her killed she can’t see to find herself a break. Even when she blows up a bunch of fighters and Star Destroyers with just Wedge & Co.

Solo is in the thick of the Underworld on Coruscant. Now, he’s got a certain Boba Fett and Bossak on his tail. Can a saniation worker really be his ticket out of the hornets nest? We’ll see.

It’s really hard trying to not be so incredibly Meta with this story. We all know how The Empire Strike Back starts and where everyone is. This cool little side trip into a story of what happened in that span of time before the Rebels get a fistfull of ATAT walkers up their ass is fun. But, it’s hard to really have any concern for the main players, we KNOW how their story ends, so the juggling act of keeping fans engaged and entertained is a tough act to handle.

Art and Writing:

Well, you all should know by now how much I’m into pretty much into every story that isn’t Marvel that Brian Wood is writing. Like I said before, I think this is a tough story to write about. Everyone knows the characters, they know how the story ends, so keeping these little side adventures going are a feat in itself. I’m not a die hard Star Wars fan, and I won’t be stopping picking these comics up. They’re fun and giving something new to a story that’s been told to death. The artwork is spectacular. Aside from 7%, Carlos is doing work that I’m in love with. It’s a beautiful comic to look at, his character expressions are spot on. And seriously, how he manages to just get a pure sense of emotion when you look at Dark Vader is a tip of the hat to both Carlos and the writing by Brian. Getting something out of a guy with a black mask isn’t easy to do, but I can feel it when I read just how Vader says something, and that subtle reflection off his dark mask. You’re really missing out if you for some reason can’t find yourself picking up this Star Wars comic.

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