Last Week’s Winners

Star Wars: Invasion #5 CvrStar Wars: Invasion #5 by writer Tom Taylor and artist Colin Wilson. You’d think Dark Horse would be running out of steam with the Star Wars franchise by now, with series detailing all manner of eras and characters. Taylor and Wilson proved with this series that there’s still life left in it yet. By focusing on the new Galfrdian family and the larger assault by the vile, yet popular, Yuuzhang Vong race the pair have managed to knit new and intriguing elements into Lucas’ favourite playground. This last issue (for now, as the series will begin again early next year) has been a satisfying conclusion (of sorts) to this arc. Taylor has handled the older SW characters such as Luke, Leia and Han wisely, but not with kid gloves. It never feels like they’re on the page just to appear to traditional SW fans. However, with Finn and co. on board Taylor and Wilson show that the SW world is a varied beast that still has room for new concepts and characters that could very well live as long as their famous screen counterparts.

Psylocke #1 by Chris Yost and Harvey Talibao. Back in the day (ie, the mid ’90s) pretty much every X-character had their own mini-series without any real reason (apart from the obvious cynical one – $) and I thought this would be the same. It was, but I still enjoyed it. I’ve always had a mild fanboy crush for Psylocke. She is a hot Eurasian ninja after all. This first issue of four, is a great intro, or re-intro, to the character. It begins with a fight on the island of Utopia, before a flight to Japan with Wolverine, which leads to a run-in with the local authorities, a splendid bout with a few Hand ninja in a cemetery and a declaration of vengeance. Pyslocke’s narration offers the odd quip about souls and identities, which is fitting enough with an origin as complex as Betsy’s, and also included is the first part of a back-up series focusing on Cable and the young Hope. This is pencilled by Steve Dillon, which would be great in anything but a superhero book. It just doesn’t seem the same when he’s out of the more “realistic” worlds of Punisher and Preacher.

Pope Hats #1 CvrPope Hats #1 by Ethan Rilly. Every month when I do my ordering from Previews, I make sure to support at least one indie title. That was the reasoning behind this purchase. They’re not always nice surprises, but you got to try. There was a slight feeling that I was missing something here, like beginning with Season 2 of a TV series, but overall it was enjoyable and funny. Centering on a young woman named Frances, her drink-loving friend Vickie and an odd ghost that only Frances can see who offers random statements (“Sometimes I go into the woods and carry  a bear on my back.”) it makes for a light, and amusing tale. Essentially filled with scenes of conversation with dialogue that Kevin Smith would be proud of the black and white approach to the art is just as simple as the narrative, but it all hangs together well and seems like the kind of witty and off-beat story that you’d find in the arty section of your local Blockbuster.