The Buy Pile: R2-D2 Is the Honey Badger of the Star Wars Universe

Star Wars #36


Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the "read" pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get his thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...


Star Wars #36 (Marvel Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. If you ever saw an episode of The Clone Wars or Rebels focusing on astromech droids, you could almost always switch it off and move on, knowing not only would it have zero impact on the overall story but would normally be on the limp side as well. This issue seeks to overturn that for once and for all, a done-in-one issue featuring R2-D2 on a rescue mission that borders on epic. Using every tool at his disposal (and some which weren't), the original trilogy's smartest character chases down a star destroyer where his "counterpart" C-3PO is funny and engaging as it captures the madcap energy of Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie running through Death Star hallways. This Jason Aaron script is fantastic, and the sterling visuals from Salvador Larocca, Edgar Delgado and Clayton Cowles deliver on every page.

Transformers Lost Light #9 (IDW Publishing)

Transformers Lost Light #9
Bots before THOTs in Transformers Lost Light #9.

If you're not already reading this series, just stop here. There is very little to help new readers understand much of what's happening or who most of these characters are. If you're already well versed in this quirky corner of the toybox, then you're virtually bathing in some of the finest science fiction available. Would you give up your best friend for your one true love? That question lies at the center of this issue as a very eccentric and self-aware group of giant robots try to do a little business and fail at almost all of it in the most fascinating possible way. Writer James Roberts is unapologetically creating mythos out of thin air with another character driven script that (if you know who these people are, especially that last page reveal) is gripping. The artwork from Priscilla Tramontano, Joana LaFuente and Tom B. Long brings intimate facial acting, great detail and clear storytelling. Not for the neophyte, but nifty nonetheless.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24 (Marvel Comics)

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24
The cover of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24 lies, Kraven is not in this issue.

Ultron is a dinosaur now. There's really nothing else you need to know, but there's more: He's a sassy, amnesiac, homicidal dinosaur. If you're not already rushing to buy this book, spirit knows what's wrong with you. If you know anything about coding, there is a joke in the border of one page that is a solid forty five seconds worth of laughing by itself. As if all that wasn't enough, despite this book being predominated by one long fight scene, so many other plot and character driven things happen. This script by Ryan North is diaphanous, and the sequential storytelling from Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and Travis Lanham were superbly enjoyable. Alas, poor Antonio the Doombot ... wow. Great comic book entertainment here.

Time And Vine #3 (IDW Publishing)

Time And Vine #3
It's Time And Vine #3, not time after vine. Sorry, Cyndi.

Jump from the Read Pile. Time travel via a magical winery. From that intriguing premise, the two leads explore personal moments in the past, expanding their characters for each other and the reader and solving a family mystery along the way. Writer/artist Thomas Zahler excels in presenting these intensely personal stories, using effective shorthands to make the elements of these stories connect. These are always a pleasant surprise and this is no exception.

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