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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-15 17:10
Taking different directions with the stories in the Original Trilogy
Star Wars Omnibus: Infinities - Chris Warner,Dave Land,Adam Gallardo

Alternate history ranks among the more robust genres in science fiction, as authors frequently explore the consequences of what might have happened had historical events taken a different turn. Far less common, however, are what might be termed alternate stories: other takes on notable fictional works. While both Marvel and DC have explored the possibilities in such storytelling (in their "What If" and "Elseworlds" titles respectively), for the most part it's a form little seen outside of comic books. Thus, for Dark Horse Publishing to undertake alternate storytelling of the famous "Original Trilogy" of Star Wars movies marks something of a novelty. In three separate limited-series comics (brought together here in a single omnibus volume) their writers and artists envision what might have happened had events in some of the most famous movies in history had taken a slightly different turn.


The first of these comics builds upon the events of the fourth film, A New Hope. In it, the proton torpedoes Luke Skywalker fires into the exhaust vent only damage rather than destroy the Death Star. With the Rebel base on Yavin-4 destroyed and Princess Leia recaptured by Darth Vader, Luke travels to Dagobah to begin his training with Yoda. This sets up an interesting dynamic, with Vader attempting to turn Leia to the Dark Side while Luke more readily embraces his training to become a Jedi. Yet the ending leaves something to be desired, with the resolution just a little too pat for my tastes.


In the second of these tales, the focus is on the events and the characters featured in The Empire Strikes Back. Here the divergence is a small event with enormous consequences, with Han Solo's tauntaun dying before he can locate Luke in Hoth's frigid wastes. Luke's own subsequent death from exposure because of this sets of a new chain of events, with Han, Leia, and Chewbacca fleeing directly to Bespin before going to Dagobah themselves. This was by far my favorite of the three, both for Dave Land's story (which is inventive while remaining true to the elements of the movie) and for how he develops Leia as a Jedi, which allows him to explore the possibilities of what is by far the most disappointingly unexplored aspect of the entire Star Wars franchise.


It would be hard to top Land's story, and the final comic, which is based on Return of the Jedi, emulates the film in the franchise by falling short of its predecessor's high standard. In this story, the team's failure to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's fortress forces Luke and Leia to continue their search for his carbonized body. While this alters events somewhat, the story's divergence is considerably less than that of the two previous ones, with the final events for the most part playing out as they did in the movie. Though the ending is interesting, it's something of a letdown after the more creative explorations in the first two series, even if it does end up fitting in with the pattern of the original trilogy of films.

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review 2019-01-05 07:51
After 1987's Predator, There Are The Comics...
Predator - The Essential Comics Vol.1 - Mark Verheiden,Chris Warner,Ron Randall

When Predator was released unexpectedly in 1987, it was one of the finest science fiction movie of its time since the release of Alien in 1979. In 1989, Dark Horse published Predator, the comic book series as an in-direct sequel to the movie before 1990 Predator 2. I have not read any of the comic versions until finally, I bought this... and I have some mix feelings towards it.


Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1 features three reprinted mini-series that was published before over the years and one never before published adaptation of Predator 2 until now. In Predator: Concrete Jungle, the story takes place in New York city where during the hottest summer, the Predator is on the hunt again... except, he brings his compatriots. Detective Schaefer, brother of Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, together with Detective Rasche investigates the murders and the conspiracy of one certain general that was involved from the movie. As the Predators invade New York City, it take Schaefer and Rasche to save the day. In Predator: Cold War, the Predators are now in Siberia and once again, on the hunt. Schaefer and Rasche once again together with a beautiful Russian soldier will stop the Predators on their hunting game... only the Russian government and the American government and a certain general want the Predators technology. In Predator: Dark River, its summer all over again and this time, a crazed Predator from Schaefer's past returns and wreck havok in South America. Once again, Schaefer investigates and this time, he will put an end to it.


The comic book series is filled with a lot of one-liners and cheesy action. I can see that writer Mark Verheiden really love the movie and so, his style of writing is similar to how the 1980s are then but it doesn't get any better. Although I do feel the concept of the Predator universe is some what not understood, its not exactly the best of its own when it comes to reading. On art, Chris Warner and Ron Randalldid a good job capturing the presence of the characters. Its not really good and its not that terrible. Its just how it is when reading a Predator adaptation comic and felt as if a fan would have envision it. Overall for me, Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1 would appeal to fans but not as an introductory story to those who are not familiar with.

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review 2018-07-06 22:54
AVP: War
Aliens vs. Predator: War - Chris Warner,Randy Stradley

I was happy to get back to the Perry's. But this book was a total letdown. The first 50 pages were a rehash of a flashback scene from the second book, but details were changed to completely distort the outlook. Several plot points were changed which made the second book pretty much impossible. It makes me wonder if this book is supposed to be canon or not. It also doesn't make any sense to me why you write 2 books in chronological order then go back and write a book that falls in the middle but is full of continuity issues. I don't get it. At least Noguchi was still a bad ass.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-04 22:06
What if meets Star Wars
Star Wars Omnibus: Infinities - Chris Warner,Dave Land,Adam Gallardo

This is what if Star Wars.  There are three stories in this omnibus - for New Hope, Empire, and Jedi.  The weakest for me is New Hope, mostly because I doubt that Leia would have given into anger.  I'm sorry.  Look, Luke whines quite a bit and then when things get tough, runs off to some planet.  But Leia puts her nose to the grind stone.  Yes, I know the movies want us to see Leia largely though the lense of Luke and Han (she, who lost her whole world and family, comforts Luke because of Kenobi's death.  She didn't know about his aunt and uncle then).  Honesty, if I wanted one of the Skywalker kids as a Jedi, she's the one you pick.


Which is what happens in Empire in a way.  Jedi changes what happens in Jabba's palace.  These two are stronger and in some ways deeper than the first.  


In fact, all three make note of the idea of everyone fixating on the Skywalker son as opposed to Leia.

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review 2017-01-19 00:00
Akira, Vol. 6
Akira, Vol. 6 - Yoko Umezawa,Katsuhiro Otomo,Chris Warner,Jo Duffy Okay now I see the movie wasn't as far off as I initially thought. This was kind of trippy? I'm not even sure how to explain it. It's all violence and supernatrual powers. It's about power and evolution and the birth of the universe. Like I said, trippy. Akira...I'm not even sure why this whole thing was named after him. Maybe because he was the beginning, but he was also the end. He wasn't evil; he was just a child who was experimented on--and eveloped earth shattering powers. None of it was really his fault, although he was the cause. But in the end, he was the solution. Tetsuo was practically the main protagonist of this series...poor Tetuso. In the end you feel for him because he was just a lonely, bullied kid who only wanted love and frienship. It wasn't his fault the government chose to experiment on him and unleash his powers. In the end he couldn't handle it; in the end he called for Kaneda, not Akira. It was almost kind of sad...once you get past the confusion and the insanity. This may warrant a re-read.
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