Dark Horse published Star Wars comics for over 20 years, but now that George Lucas‘ franchise is in the hands of Disney, the license has shifted over to Marvel — which Disney owns. They’ll be launching several new Star Wars comics series next year, and just like the new movies, the Rebels animated series, and, well, pretty much everything Star Wars related from this point out, it will all take place in the same official, overarching canon. Beginning with Star Wars #1 in January 2015, we’ll get new comics stories focusing on the original trilogy’s core trio of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia…plus a series focusing on everybody’s favorite asthmatic cyborg, Darth Vader himself. And it turns out he’ll be launching the comic that bears his name in style — by confronting another of Star Wars‘ most iconic baddies: Jabba the Hutt.
Mark Millar is one of the top names in the comics field right now, having written some of the most iconic characters in the medium for the big two (DC & Marvel), as well as creator-owned titles that have crossed over to the big screen, such as Wanted and Kick-Ass. Now he’s launching a new Image series that merges two of our favorite things: astronauts and time travelers. Called Chrononauts, the series debuted some swanky cover art on Entertainment Weekly, which you can see below.
Whatever else you can say about Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, there’s no doubt that it leaves you with questions. Depending on how much you enjoyed the film, those questions may be about the movie’s themes and plot twists, or you may just be left asking, “What the hell were they thinking with the bookshelf thing?” Either way, some of those questions are due to be answered, courtesy of a new comic filling in some of the film’s backstory.
SPOILERS for Interstellar below!
Of the various things you might expect to find on a Star Wars comic book cover, a giant green space rabbit probably isn’t very high on the list. But that’s precisely what we’ve got on the above variant cover for Star Wars #1, the first of several new Marvel comics set in George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away. And unless you were a fan of Marvel’s classic Star Wars comics back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, you could be forgiven for wondering if this signaled some sort of ill-conceived Star Wars/Bucky O’Hare crossover. That’s exactly the sort of hare-brained scheme fans were worried about when it was first announced that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm!
But no, he isn’t Bucky, but rather a blast from Marvel and Star Wars‘ past. The space bunny in question is actually named Jaxxon. He was created by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin way back in 1978 and first appeared in the eighth issue of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars comic series. That put him in the second story arc in the series run, and also made him one of the earliest original characters to be introduced into the embryonic “Expanded Universe.” And like the rest of the original EU, he’s been swept aside to make room for Disney/Lucasfilm’s more interconnected and closely policed Star Wars canon. Don’t worry, he won’t actually appear in the new Star Wars series; Jaxxon just drops in for the “Party Variant” cover, which will only be available at Star Wars #1 launch parties. Bonus points if you show up to one dressed like him and refuse to answer to anything but “Bucky.”
By its name and short synopsis, the mini-miniseries Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse sounds like a fantastic piece of satirical escapism. The movie and tabloid industry’s elite are brought together for the next great superhero blockbuster, and it’s interrupted as Hollywood falls victim to a plague of body-chewing zombies. It’s the kind of logline that inspires heightened anticipation, so it’s a massive disappointment that Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha’s plotline eschews any form of actual storytelling and relies mostly on a stereotype-heavy shooting gallery of half-assed movie star insults.
Here’s the nutshelled narrative: unknown actor Michael May gets a job as the lead in League of Defenders, and he takes his godawful friend with him to the Roosevelt Hotel for a costumed script reading, for social media purposes. Though the comic hides from last names, the “movie” also stars Dwayne Johnson as a brain-dead child, Shia LaBeouf as…Shia LaBeouf, Tom Cruise as the method actor who suddenly becomes his superhero, Bryan Cranston as someone who hasn’t left Breaking Bad behind entirely, and more of that kind of shit with other actors. (Somehow Michael Bay is also a character, despite there already being a Michael May here.) It’s the kind of satire Mad Magazine would use if it were an elementary school newspaper insert. I’m also fairly certain neither of these writers understands how marijuana works.
On a brighter note, David Lorenzo Riveiro’s art is pretty good, although these zombies are of the grey-face-and-small-wounds variety, so there’s not a lot of distinction happening. But it doesn’t make up for this cast of personality-purged characters and a paint-by-numbers setup. I mean, how does one ruin Justin Bieber getting bitten by a zombie? Pick up a copy of Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1 to find out.
Even though Dredd fans are still waiting for a live-action sequel to get the greenlight, it’s rather amazing that the box office failure has managed to inspire not only a crazyballs bootleg animated series, but also official comic book sequels. Enter Rebellion’s Dredd: Uprise #1, the first in a two-issue arc continuing the cinematic storyline of Dredd. It’s mildly disappointing that this intriguing storyline will already be completed by this time next month, but it will hopefully assist convince producers and studios that we need more big-screen Dredd in our lives.
In Dredd: Uprising, some citizens of Mega-City One — particularly those in the slummy part called “The Spit” — are protesting the massive mega-block construction called Oemling being built right in the middle of everything. When one Judge unknowingly steals the car of a community hero, the level of unrest grows monumentally. Behind it all is a faceless Anonymous-type threat that calls itself “Uprise,” with a more progressive and bullet-ready approach to protesting. But who is Uprise?