Astonishing Art: Starlight by Anthony Helmer

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I must confess, I’m far from caught up on The Boys. Truth be told, I haven’t even finished the first season. But I can still recognize great art when I see it.

That’s exactly what we get here from Anthony Helmer. He captures just enough of actress Erin Moriarty in this image, while still doing his own thing. When you’re drawing from life, that’s one of the hallmarks of a great artist.

Anthony Helmer, Starlight

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A Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 Micro-Review – In Good Hands

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

Dark Crisis Young Justice 1, cover, 2022, Todd NuackTITLE: Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 (of 6)
AUTHOR: Meghan Fitzmartin
ARTISTS:
Laura Braga, Luis Guerrero (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer). Variant cover by Todd Nuack & Matt Herms.

RELEASED: June 21, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Meghan Fitzmartin has impressed the hell out of me lately. Not just with this issue, but her handling of Tim Drake’s emergence as bisexual. Tim’s new ongoing series is in good hands with her.

Fans of Tim, Conner Kent, Bart Allen, and Cassandra Sandsmark should lap this one up. It’s got nods and tributes to their history in and beyond the original Young Justice series. It also has a very relatable core story about this seemingly lost generation of heroes struggling to find their place in the world. I’m all in on this one.

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A Nightwing #93 Micro-Review – Corrupt Cops and a Stupid Villain

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

Nightwing 93, Pride variant cover, Nick RoblesTITLE: Nightwing #93
AUTHOR: Tom Taylor
ARTISTS:
Bruno Redondo, Wade Von Grawbadger (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer). Variant cover by Nick Robles.

RELEASED: June 21, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is something of a feel-good issue. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon take on corrupt Bludhaven cops. One of those parties gets their comeuppance. I’ll let you guess which one.

Heartless, a new villain for Nightwing that was introduced at the beginning of the Taylor/Redondo run, makes a really stupid mistake in this issue: He underestimates Blockbuster. Like, it’s so stupid that it’s almost out of character. Though I can’t officially say that, as we don’t know who’s under that mask yet…

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A Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #4 Micro-Review – More of Mora’s DCU

***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 4, cover, 2022, variant, Dan MoraTITLE: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #4
AUTHOR: Mark Waid
ARTISTS:
Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain (Colorist), Aditya Bidikar (Letterer)

RELEASED: June 21, 2022

While I’m not a fan at all of other heroes popping up in a Batman/Superman book to pull focus away from our titular heroes, I can’t deny that the big selling point of this book so far has been Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain’s rendering of a variety of different DC heroes. In this issue alone we get more of the Doom Patrol, plus Green Lantern, Black Canary, a couple Teen Titans, and more. It’s a real treat.

As the cover illustrates, we get a new take on the Composite Superman/Batman here. It’s a decent design. Very slick.

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A Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Part VI” Review

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi poster, Owen LarsSERIES: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
EPISODE:
“Part VI”
STARRING:
Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Hayden Christensen, James Earl Jones (voice), Joel Edgerton
WRITERS:
Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton, Stuart Beattie, Hossein Amini
DIRECTOR:
Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE:
June 22, 2011
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan must face Darth Vader once again.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We got a lot of callbacks in this episode. We got some Empire Strikes Back with the ship being chased by a Star Destroyer, Vader on the bridge, and the musical callback to John Williams’ score. We got another later in the episode with Luke’s line, “I’m not afraid.”

We had some more more verbal callbacks with Ewan’s lines, “I will do what I must,” (Revenge of the Sith) and “Then my friend is truly dead” (Return of the Jedi). Palpatine (more on him in a bit) had one about Vader’s thoughts being “clear.” One can even make an argument for Reva’s hunting of Luke in the dark being a nod to Return of the Jedi.

All…interesting choices. I’m not sure I would have gone quite that heavy. But there it is.

Ha! After Obi-Wan says, “I will do what I must,” he does what I’ll call the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below), with the lightsaber in one hand and his other extended outward. Great little touch.

The second fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader was about what it should have been. Obi-Wan had a little bit of his mojo back, but was still doing a lot of evading.

That broken Vader helmet thing was done on Rebels. So there is a certain cheapness to doing it again. But I’d argue this was more effective, by virtue of us having the involvement of both Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, as well as Ewan McGregor.

This episode gave us what I thought was the show’s only major misstep: Obi-Wan knowingly leaving Vader alive. That’s an objectively stupid move. At least in Revenge of the Sith, he thought Anakin was dead when he left Mustafar. But here there’s no excuse. Obi-Wan has accepted the notion that the Anakin he knew is gone. He’s standing in front of Darth Vader, who has slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of people. The right thing to do would have been to finish the job.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI, pose

What boggles my mind is that they could have easily had the Grand Inquisitor fly in with a squad of TIE Fighters and attack Obi-Wan, prompting a hasty retreat. Or something like that. But to just leave the evil dictator alive when you’ve got him right where you want him? Nope. Fail. So is Obi-Wan now culpable in every life Vader takes from here on out?

Reva’s redemption obviously opens the door to more stories with her. Supposedly she has her own series in the works. I can’t say I’m dying to see her story continue. But who am I kidding? I’d watch. If nothing else it would be poetic justice for all the racist crap Moses Ingram got.

Great to see a Palpatine cameo from Ian McDiarmid. He’s always great. Poor guy had to lie about it at Star Wars Celebration.

There’s been a lot of talk about Leia’s outfits in this show being reminiscent of stuff she wore in the original trilogy. But I’d argue her final outfit in this episode, and the series itself, was very similar to what Luke wears on Tatooine. That’s fitting, for obvious reasons.

So…Obi-Wan just stopped by Alderaan for a quick visit? That’s a little weird. They couldn’t have done that via the holo-communicator?

I can already here the crybabies out there calling foul over Obi-Wan meeting Luke. But Luke did know who “Old Ben”was in A New Hope. There was nothing there to directly contradict him meeting Leia, and there’s even less to indicate that he hadn’t met Luke at least once. Maybe even two or three times. Cool your thrusters, fanboys…

Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI

Aaaaaaand of course Liam Neeson made a cameo as Qui-Gon. I called it. They couldn’t not pay that off after Obi-Wan spoke to him multiple times over the course of the show. I’m happy Liam Neeson is back in the Star Wars fold. I enjoy the Qui-Gon Jinn character. Quite a bit, actually.

There was a time period where Star Wars really harped on hope. Especially in Rogue One and The Last Jedi. But in its own way, Obi-Wan Kenobi was about hope too. Specifically, Obi-Wan regaining the hope he lost so many years ago after Anakin’s fall. Thankfully, this series didn’t point at it the way those movies did.

Obi-Wan Kenobi went by fast, didn’t it? But the show, despite its critics, delivered. I’d still argue The Mandalorian is better. But not by much. Obi-Wan Kenobi has been, and perhaps should be, judged by very different standards. People came in with much higher expectations. But I honestly don’t see what more the show could have done to appeal to fans new and old. For that, I tip my hat to it.

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

Toy Chest Theater: Obi-Wan and Leia by Victor Garcia

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I couldn’t help but dip back into the “Toy Chest Theater” bag this week when I saw this shot of Obi-Wan and Princess Leia from Victor Garcia.

Garcia has an entire page filled with Star Wars shots using the figures by Hot Toys. But this shot spoke to me because of Leia’s unexpectedly large role in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, which ends today. Obviously Ewan McGregor and Vivian Lyra Blair have played the roles there. But this shot of Obi-Wan and Leia as we first saw them has a nice, vintage, classic Star Wars feel to it.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, Victor Garcia

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An Amazing Spider-Man #4 Micro-Review – Blood and Authenticity

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

Amazing Spider-Man 4, cover, 2022, John Romita JrTITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man #4
AUTHOR: Zeb Wells
ARTISTS:
John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna (Inker), Marcio Menyz (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)

RELEASED: June 22, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Spidey is bleeding from the face in this issue, and naturally, the blood soaks through his mask. It looks a little splotchy in certain panels. But I appreciate the idea nonetheless.

Zeb Wells is as good as any author I’ve read in recent memory at writing the “Parker luck.” In other words, the weight of Peter’s responsibilities bearing down on him, and how he struggles (and often fails) to balance them all. It makes for a product that feels very authentic.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Mandalore Plot”

***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.”

Star Wars The Clone Wars The Mandalore Plot, Duchess SatineSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S2:E12 – “The Mandalore Plot”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Jon Favreau, Corey Burton, Greg Proops
WRITER:
Melinda Hsu
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 29, 2010
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan reunites with an old friend to solve a mystery on Mandalore.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Episodes like “The Mandalore Plot” expose a problem with the show: Obi-Wan’s costume. For whatever reason, characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka appear in the same singular outfit episode after episode. That’s not a drastic problem, as they’re Jedi and virtually always wear similar outfits. But for Obi-Wan it’s a problem, as they opted to put him in battle armor for his singular outfit. That works fine for battle sequences. But this episode starts with a diplomatic mission to Mandalore. As such, the armor is inappropriate. Obi-Wan really should have been in Jedi robes, akin to what he wears in all three prequel films.

Making the Mandalorians their own society of super commandos presents a problem: It devalues Boba Fett and Jango Fett, as we now virtually have a planet full of characters that all have similar costumes and gadgets. Considering what pivotal roles Boba and Jango have in the saga at large, I would have deemed that unacceptable, regardless of whether that’s how the Mandalorians were originally conceived.

Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Mandalore Plot, Pre Vizsla

What’s more, it’s a problem that Star Wars wasn’t able to even try and solve until more than a decade later, when we got to The Mandalorian. When we get to “The Tragedy” in season two, we’re able to see how Boba Fett’s fighting style is much more brutal than Din Djarin’s, and presumably the rest of the Mandalorians. I’d still prefer Boba and Jango had the whole helmet and jetpack M.O. to themselves. But that helped.

On the subject of The Mandalorian, the man who would become its showrunner, Jon Favreau, plays Pre Vizsla. I’m not enamored with that casting choice, though. Maybe it’s the stark contrast of his nasally American accent against the ones James Arnold Taylor and Anna Graves give to Obi-Wan and Satine. (I say that as a guy with a nasally American accent. It’s not an insult, I promise.)

The Clone Wars is a kids show, right? At least in theory? I say that because it’s not often you see a suicide on a kids show. We hear the sound of his body hitting the ground and everything. I ain’t mad at it. I’m just saying you don’t see it often. If ever…

Before strapping Obi-Wan into that Adam West Batman style death trap, the Death Watch soldiers thought enough to take Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. However they apparently didn’t think to check him for communication devices. Bad form, gentlemen.

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Toy Chest Theater: Obi-Wan Kenobi by @jdv_edits

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Tomorrow, Obi-Wan Kenobi wraps up on Disney+. While the series definitely has its share of critics (Some Star Wars fans really hate Star Wars…), I’m among those who’ve enjoyed the series overall.

In that spirit, here we have a Lego image from @jdv_edits, depicting the scene in “Part IV” where Obi-Wan holds back the ocean water from rushing in through the window. I think that what pushes this pic over the edge is how it’s lit. It’s not an exact replica of how that scene on the show was lit. But it’s enough to make it look like it should be in one of those Lego Star Wars games.

Lego Obi-Wan Kenobi, jdv_edits

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George Lucas on Star Wars: The Kurosawa Influence

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

C-3PO, R2-D2, Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

The Scene: The original Star Wars film opens from the point of view of two droids, C-3PO and R2-D2.

George Lucas Says (via the A New Hope commentary track): “…we follow the two most insignificant characters, which are the droids. This was an idea I was enamored with that was used by Akira Kurosawa in The Hidden Fortress. Where you take the least important characters and you follow their story amongst this big intergalactic drama that they don’t understand.”

I Say: The influence of Akira Kurosawa’s work on Lucas and Star Wars has been widely documented. In George Lucas: A Life, Brian Daley notes that such influence included the “used, repaired, then used again” look of Kurosawa’s films, along with the practice of dropping audiences in the middle of a grand setting without the benefit of backstory, were also among the more notable elements Lucas borrowed for the original film.

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