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Review: Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #6, The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion

It’s a pretty light week for Dark Horse, at least as far as my pull-list is concerned, but there’re still some great things to be reading. Note: The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion does not go to market until September 11, 2013 (this is an early review). Also, if you’re a fan of Bechko and Hardman, you’ve got to check out the one-shot from Dark Horse, Station to Station.

Star Wars: Legacy, Volume 2 #6

22238The current volume of Star Wars: Legacy is one of the few monthlies that I wish would come out each month as a graphic novel four times the size of a single issue. Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman have done an absolutely fantastic job crafting a Star Wars tale that captures the essence of what SW has become for an entire generation. That is, the way I and many others see it, Star Wars is a massive political game in which Jedi and Sith somehow find themselves caught. All of the great Star Wars tale of late have been focused heavily on politics and the better ones showcase a galaxy that suffers from the constant demands of the eponymous word “War.”

Legacy V.2 #6 takes us into the second story arc for this volume, giving us personal looks at characters ranging from Ania Solo to Sauk the Mon Calamari to AG, an assassin droid. Legacy generally features some of the coolest characters, including the line-up above but also the enigmatic and fan-favorite K’Krukh. This issue throws the new Empire into political disarray, with Darth Wredd killing off Sith who’ve infiltrated high government positions.

I believe it was in the issue #5 letter column that someone confessed to thinking Assam Jao is one of the most interesting Star Wars character in a long time. I couldn’t see it then, but with issue #6 I’m definitely in the Jao fandom (Jao-dom?). In addition, one of the greatest things about this volume of Legacy is getting to see things you never thought you would as a Star Wars fan: a Snivvian Sith Lord, Jedi in Imperial Guard armor, K’Krukh working for an Empress of the Empire…all sorts of topsy-turvy for original trilogy fans.

The greatest downside to issue #6 is the change in artist, with Brian Albert Thies replacing Hardman’s fantastic work. This is sad news for me, since Hardman is one of the best young sci-fi artists, and paired with Corinna Bechko writing, they are one of the best sci-fi teams in comics today (if you haven’t read a Planet of the Apes comic from BOOM! Studios, you’re really missing out on something). But Thies does not disappoint greatly in taking on this heavy mantle, and provides an artistic style that seems frantic and busied, but with faces that are coolly communicative—an interesting blend.

If you aren’t a hardcore Star Wars fan, or at least a Legacy fan, maybe Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 2 #6 isn’t for you; it’s certainly one of the Star Wars comics that needs a true fan to appreciate it. So if that’s you, I recommend you buy #6 and continue this incredible journey that Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman are weaving. Otherwise, at least read it!

Story: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman  Art: Brian Albert Thies
Story: 8.5  Art: 6.5 Overall: 7.5  Recommendation: Read

The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion

HalloweenLegionI’m a child of the 1990s, and I can really say that because I consciously experience most of the ‘90s and remember with powerful and wistful nostalgia so many of the cultural artifacts of that time. When it comes to children’s horror, I remember with great fondness the film Hocus Pocus (filmed just 10 miles from where I am now, and fast approaching its 20th anniversary). Anything that can capture the wit, fun, and feel of media like that automatically stands out to, which is why I was ecstatic about reading The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion.

With one of the coolest Halloween-time line-ups imaginable, Halloween Legion is an incredible peace of art and literature. Maybe not all comics could (or should) be called literature, but Halloween Legion definitely qualifies as great children’s literature (that may offend some, since many comics journalists are forced to constantly argue to the public that comics aren’t only for children).

Halloween Legion, in short, shows us what happens when psychic-vampire goblin-aliens invade the town of Woodland and stand against the world’s magical defenders, The Halloween Legion of Skeleton, Witch, Ghost, Devil, and Autumn (the black cat). Martin Powell does a great job weeving a light-hearted and fun story, developing the characters to a depth that was surprising for such a short graphic novel. Ideas and concepts therein are fascinating, from a completely strange enemy to a cat that seems all-powerful, and a witch who gets her power from being old and shuns her younger self (that’s like the opposite of all witch narratives, right?).

I called The Halloween Legion a work for kids primarily because Powell’s writing is simplistic. Sure, there’s plenty of solid ideas and great character development, but the reading is easy going, sometimes a bit repetitive (I dislike lots of st-st-stuttering f-f-f-rom a-all the ch-ch-characters). It doesn’t damage the story, but it’s not particularly likeable. What really makes The Halloween Legion incredible is Diane Leto’s art, which itself is very hard to describe without being vague and unhelpful, so check out the book yourself knowing that I am highly critical of art and wouldn’t recommend anything unlikeable!

So why aren’t you buying The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion? You’d be daft not to, even if you have to stay away from more mainstream titles for a week or two, you’ll be pleased you got this incredible Halloween adventure. Can we have more, Dark Horse?!

Story: Martin Powell  Art: Diane Leto
Story: 7.5  Art: 8.5  Overall: 8  Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review