The Essential Clone Wars: “Sabotage”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E17 – “Sabotage”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Dee Bradley Baker, Kari Wahlgren, Tom Kane
WRITER:
Charles Murray
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
February 9, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Anakin and Ahsoka investigate a bombing at the Jedi Temple.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode, while nice in terms of being ominous and mysterious, doesn’t work for me for one major reason: If it’s suspected that a Jedi was involved in the temple bombing, there’s no way the Jedi themselves would be allowed to investigate it. The Senate, assuming they aren’t all complete morons, wouldn’t allow it. A third, truly unbiased party would be brought in determine whether or not the Jedi were involved. Often times, that’s what big companies will do when incidents occur, and it’s not clear who the blame lays with.

I understand that it’s a TV show, and Anakin and Ahsoka are the heroes. But how about this: Instead of involving a CSI droid, or whatever Russo-ISC is supposed to be, create a detective character for the Star Wars universe. Something in the vein of a classic private eye. Then, make Anakin and Ahsoka his liaisons with the Jedi Order. That way they can still be in the episode, but you don’t necessarily have that huge conflict of interest present.

Although let’s be honest, from an in-universe perspective, having Anakin involved in the investigation at all is a pretty dumb decision. The Jedi Council knows that Anakin can be rash and emotional, for no other reason than Obi-Wan, Anakin’s old master, is part of the group. Actually, if you had to involve a Jedi in this whole scenario, Obi-Wan wouldn’t be a bad choice. He’s level-headed, and has proven himself trustworthy enough that he was invited to the council. Hell, he conducted the investigation into Padme’s assassination in Attack of the Clones. So he’s even got a history of detective work under his belt!

Clearly, we were lacking some Jedi wisdom in this episode.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

An X-Terminators #1 Micro-Review – “…if Barbie Was a Sex Addict.”

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

X-Terminators 1, cover, 2022, Federico Vicentini, Matt MillaTITLE: X-Terminators #1 (of 5)
AUTHOR: Leah Williams
ARTISTS:
Carlos Gomez, Bryan Valenza (Colorist), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Federico Vicentini & Matt Milla.

RELEASED: September 21, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Picture what movies like Bridesmaids or Rough Night would be like in the Marvel Universe, and you’ve basically got X-Terminators. That’s a compliment. This first issue is a lot of fun, with our three girls (Dazzler, Jubilee, and Boom-Boom) having fun and getting into trouble.

Early in the issue, Jubilee gets a triad of awesome zingers on Boom-Boom. The best of which being: “You look like if Barbie was a sex addict.”

And yes, there is a sexy dimension to this book. So if that’s something you enjoy in your comic books, you’ll be satisfied here.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Wolverine vs. T-Rex!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Here we have an image that asks a question: Who would have the more terrifying roar: Wolverine or a T-Rex?

This image from Ian Saunders has a lot going for it. The simple figure choice and positioning both work well. The idea of a confrontation between these two is a great idea on its own. The bright yellow to dark orange background creates a nice and intense vibe, will also obviously invoking a sunrise. The glow it casts on Wolvie in particular is great. I also love the spittle around the T-Rex’s tongue, which adds that little extra touch of realism.

The really fun thing about this pic? You can hear it. Wolverine’s primal bellow mixed with the gargantuan T-Rex roar from Jurassic Park. It’s enough to give you chills.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

An Andor, “Episode 1” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: Andor
EPISODE:
S1:E1. “Episode 1”
STARRING:
Diego Luna, Kyle Soller, Adria Arjona, James McArdle, Antonio Viña
WRITERS:
Tony Gilroy
DIRECTOR:
Toby Haynes
PREMIERE DATE:
September 21, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Cassian Andor becomes a wanted man.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let me say this straight away: I did not like Rogue One, the movie to which Andor acts as a prequel. I didn’t think any of the characters were sufficiently developed. The only one with any charm or heart was the robot, K-2SO. It’s always seemed to me like people were fooled into thinking they liked the movie because of all the classic Star Wars stuff in it, along with its darker tone, which I admit does appeal to a large group of fans. But for me, a dark tone by itself doesn’t cut it. I need something underneath the dark packaging to sink my teeth into.

I don’t expect to change people’s minds about Rogue One. At this point, people believe what they believe. Furthermore, I don’t expect Andor to change my mind about Rogue One. But the good news is, changing my mind about Rogue One isn’t what Andor needs to do. This show’s job is to be good in and of itself. What I hope for Andor more than anything is that it does something Rogue One didn’t do: Make me like and care about Cassian Andor.

Disney+ premiered Andor with its first three episodes. It did something similar with Obi-Wan Kenobi, dropping the show’s first two episodes on its premiere date. Apparently, releasing multiple episodes out of the gate helps the show make a bigger splash in terms of viewership. Me? I’d be happy with a single episode premiere. It draws things out, makes the experience of the show last longer, etc. (Plus, it makes it easier to review.)

In our opening scene, we get the time stamp “BBY 5.” Star Wars geeks know this means five years before the Battle of Yavin, i.e. five years before the original Star Wars film. But more casual viewers? They won’t have a clue what that means.

Was that an intergalactic strip club Cassian went into in the opening scene? This being Star Wars, somehow I expected more Carrie Fisher style slave girl bikinis.

We knew we were likely going to get some scenes with child-aged Cassian. He had that line in Rogue One about being in the fight since he was six. It looks like he comes from a world that’s not overly industrialized. The group he and his sister are in looks vaguely tribal.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was bored by this episode. But it did feel like there wasn’t much happening. I’ll chalk it up to first episode exposition and character introduction. But I won’t be inclined to be quite as nice next time…

Okay, I get it. Cassian has lots of friends and connections. Did we need to establish that four times? First there was the Brasso character. Then we had Bix Caleen and Timm Karlo. Then there was the encounter with Nurchi and Vetch. Finally, we had the little exchange with Pegla. Am I supposed to care about these people? The only one that really accomplishes that goal is the Bix character, played by Adria Arjona.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1 Micro-Review – Sins of the Son

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Batman - One Bad Day Two Face 1, cover, 2022, Javier Fernandez, Jordie BellaireTITLE: Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS:
Javier Fernandez, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer)

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue is centered around a seemingly reformed Harvey Dent throwing a birthday/retirement party for his father. Kudos to Mariko Tamaki, as I don’t think we’ve met Harvey’s dad before, have we? I know he’s been referenced…

There’s a great sense of dread that permeates much of this story. It’s like reading a Greek tragedy. You pretty much know what the ending is going to be, and you know it’s not going to be good. But somehow you can’t look away.

What’s more, it’s a beautifully drawn and colored Greek tragedy, thanks to Javier Fernandez and Jordie Bellaire.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Flash #786 Micro-Review – Flash Family Fun

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

The Flash 786, cover, 2022, Taurin ClarkeTITLE: The Flash #786
AUTHOR: Jeremy Adams
ARTISTS:
Amancay Nahuelpan, Jeromy Cox & Peter Pantazis (Colorists), Justin Birch (Letterer). Cover by Taurin Clarke.

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

What Jeremy Adams has managed to do, at least with these last several issues I’ve read, is turn The Flash into a fun book about a family of heroes. This, as opposed to a book that’s simply about Barry Allen or Wally West. These Dark Crisis tie-ins in particular have been a nice supplement to the main miniseries.

Wally, Linda and the kids mingle with some heroes from the larger DC Universe in this issue. Robin has a couple of cute interactions with Irey. Amancay Nahuelpan and our colorists also give us a hell of a Justice Society.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #7 Micro-Review – A Sidekick For Superman

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Batman Superman World's Finest 7, cover, 2022, Dan MoraTITLE: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #7
AUTHOR: Mark Waid
ARTISTS:
Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain (Colorist), Steve Wands (Letterer)

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Dan Mora once again gets to draw the classic Teen Titans in this issue. At what point do we just give this man the keys to a Teen Titans book?

Mark Waid nicely crafts a very sympathetic backstory for David, the character who’s about to become Superman’s sidekick. His backstory also has some tragic commonalities with that of both Superman and Batman. Both these factors work wonders in getting us invested in a character whose story will no doubt continue to be tragic.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: Venom and Batman by Clayton Crain

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Venom as a patriotic, flag-waving hero? Stranger things have happened, I suppose. At the very least, Clayton Crain juxtaposed the black and white of the Venom character with the bright colors of Old Glory for this C2E2 exclusive variant cover for 2020’s Venom: The End #1.

This cover is pretty epic on its own. But what brought it to my attention this week was the recent revision Crain did for it on his Instagram page, featuring yet another “dark” hero in the same pose with the American Flag…

Who wore it better? You make the call.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Nightwing #96 Micro-Review – The Anti-Batman

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Nightwing 96, cover, 2022, Bruno RedondoTITLE: Nightwing #96
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS:
Bruno Redondo, Caio Filipe (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer)

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue really encapsulates what I’ll call the “Anti-Batman” spirit Taylor, Redondo, and the gang have created with their run on Nightwing. Meaning Dick lives his live with hope, draws people together instead of shutting them out, etc. There’s even a line in this issue about Dick having to “fight a lot of Bruce’s more toxic programming.”

That quote comes from a pretty great scene between Dick and Barbara. This Taylor/Redondo run has done more for them as a couple than any other story in more than a decade.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Black Adam #4 Micro-Review – Hell and Hijinks

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Black Adam 4, cover, 2022, Irvin RodriguezTITLE: Black Adam #4 (of 12)
AUTHOR: Christopher Priest
ARTISTS:
Rafa Sandoval, Matt Herms (Colorist), Willie Schubert (Letterer). Cover by Irvin Rodriguez.

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

What I said last time about my inability to get interested in Black Adam’s exchanges with godly characters still stands. But once again, Malik White’s adventures get me through the issue. This month, a certain rhyming Demon visits him at home. Hell and hijinks break lose. Great stuff.

So can we talk about how “White Adam” is apparently Malik’s supehero name? My initial instinct was to facepalm at that. But let’s be honest: Is it that much worse than Black Adam?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.