Force Friday is over, and many of the new Star Wars toys and goodies were unveiled, and since we know that all comics, books and video games from this point forward are all official canon, Disney are revealing lots of products ready for December’s new film, The Force Awakens.
Chuck Wendig’s book focuses on events after Return of the Jedi and is available now, and you can read an excerpt here.
The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Emperor killed, and Darth Vader struck down. Devastating blows against the Empire, and major victories for the Rebel Alliance. But the battle for freedom is far from over.
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance-now a fledgling New Republic-presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world-war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is-or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit-to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies-her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector-who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
I’ve been reading less comics and more novels these days, but occasionally the two meet in a harmonious manner. Comics scribes such as Greg Rucka and Peter David are also prolific novel writers, for example. However, lately I’ve noticed three examples.
This week I picked up The Girl With All The Gifts, as I’ve seen it mentioned on a few websites, and also in the spotlight from some of my local bookstores. I was intrigued by the author’s name – M.R. Carey, and after reading the author blurb I realised that this was actually Mike Carey, the British comics writer of such series as Hellblazer, and X-Men.
Writer Alex Irvine has also written for both media with an impressive list of characters and franchises to his name, including Transformers, Batman, Pacific Rim, Iron Man, as well as comics for Marvel such as Daredevil Noir, and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance online game. I saw his name attached to the prose adaptation of the classic X-Men: Days of Future Past storyline from the comics in a recent Previews catalogue, so I ordered it. I’m aware of the original comics storyline from 1980, and the upcoming film, so I thought I’d take this chance to delve a bit deeper into this much-loved tale when the novel is released in May.
Finally, Dark Horse recently released Alabaster: Pale Horse, an anthology of short stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan. The book is actually a re-release, with a new introduction by the author, (and startling illustrations by Ted Naifeh), but is a great entry in to the fantasy world of her character Alabaster. Dark Horse also have the Alabaster: Wolves Trade Paperback collecting the five issue mini-series focused on the same albino character Dancy Flammarion and her dealings with the supernatural, as well as the upcoming collection Alabaster: Grimmer Tales, with both feature interior art from Steve Lieber.
Writer Brendan Deneen wrote the impressive Flash Gordon comic debuted from indie publisher Ardden Entertainment. He’s also written Casper The Friendly Ghost comics for the publisher, and is the editor of several novels, including The Walking Dead books. All that, plus he has two quite different upcoming projects that are able to be pre-ordered now.
First off his comic originally titled Scatterbrain when it was first released in 2006 is once more available through Ardden. It features the talents of Spawn artist Szymon Kudranski, and is now titled Devil’s Hopyard.
The Ninth Circle, Deneen’s praised debut novel is available for pre-order and also as an e-book, and is described like this.
When Dan, 16, runs away from a terrible home life to join a circus, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Based on Dante’s Inferno, THE NINTH CIRCLE follows a young man’s coming-of-age as he travels with the circus through nine states. With the Ringmaster as his guide, Dan finds himself falling in love with the Bearded Lady but hated by almost everyone else, including the Strong Man, the Lion Tamers and The Sword Swallower. Meanwhile, he discovers that the performers have uncanny abilities and dark secrets, especially the person who’s looking to destroy the circus from within.
Lastly, The Island of Misfit Toys, his original graphic novel with artist George Kambadais, based on the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer TV special is also available for pre-order.
Two days before Christmas, a terrible snowstorm arrives and Charlie-in-the-Box is lost at sea! King Moonracer quickly puts together a band of Misfit Toys to rescue him. Together with Yukon Cornelius and Abominable the Snow Monster, the Misfits embark on their greatest adventure yet. But one question remains—will they save Charlie and return to the island in time for Santa? Or are the Misfits doomed to spend another Christmas without a little boy or girl to love them?Based on the beloved original television classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Misfit Toys make their debut in their first-ever original story and graphic novel. A thrilling middle-grade adventure that’s perfect for young Rudolph fans. Find the Misfit in you.