Barb Wire #1 Written by Chris Warner
Art by Patrick Olliffe
Inks by Tom Nguyen
Colors by Gabe Eltaeb
Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover art by Adam Hughes Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99
Barb Wire #1 brings one of Dark Horse Comics’ original successes to publication for the first time in years, and what a return it is! This book is the same great comic that I remember reading almost 20 years ago.
Series creator Chris Warner returns to write the series, and he hasn’t missed a step with this debut issue. It’s got all the biting, satirical jabs at modern-day society that were a hallmark of the original series. Besides featuring a really solid story, Warner sneaks in some laugh-out-loud moments that are truly great. Underneath these moments are opportunities to actually stop and THINK about the message that Warner is sending, hopefully the message will get through to its intended audience. Now, don’t worry about this being a “preachy” social commentary comic, because it works on two different levels. The other level is that of a really entertaining, kick-butt story that’s loaded with action and fun, that also has some surprising twists and turns.
Ten issues in and Brian Wood‘s Star Wars persists in delivering the goods, and while this issue comes across as more of an effort to position our characters for the events of the next chapters, it was still a delight to read, with some beautiful artwork to complement the writing.
On an undercover mission, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles are hidden aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer – one tracking down the location of the Rebel Fleet. Whilst awaiting their inevitable upcoming battle, the two share a private moment that is both distant yet touching, highlighting the developing friendship between them. It is during this moment the moniker “Rogue Squadron” is raised, adding an origin element to the famous X-Wing squadron.
Brian Wood‘s Star Wars comic from Dark Horse persists in delivering the punches, with a flavor that will make you hear John Williams’ soundtrack as you read. Recovering from a less-than-stellar episode a few issues ago, Wood has positioned our heroes in a variety of settings, magnifying the risks, and exploring character interrelations where possible.
The Rebel Alliance is in a dire situation as it’s believed a spy is in their midst, tipping off the Empire of their locations and operations. Princess Leia, along with Luke Skywalker, and Wedge Antilles form a new Stealth X-Wing squadron, to take on black-ops missions in an effort to root out the mole. Han Solo and Chewbacca, meanwhile, are on a separate mission for Mon Mothma in the heart of the Lion’s Den: Coruscant aka Imperial Center.
Star Wars #9 opens with Leia returning to the ruins of Alderaan to observe a private moment of remembrance. There she comes across a hijacked Star Destroyer from the Clone Wars era, with one passenger: a lone Alderaanian who is seeking to preserve elements of his planet’s culture and history. But there is more to this character than meets the eye, and Leia’s astromech droid’s concerns are not without reason.
Invincible Universe #6 Written by Phil Hester
Art by Todd Nauck
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Lettered by Rus Wooton
Cover by Todd Nauck and Gabe Eltaeb Image Comics
Release Date: September 4, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
Invincible Universe #6 starts with people in the control room of GDA Headquarters in Washington D.C. watching the big screen. There’s a man covered in blood screaming the end of the United Nations. General Cho, after slaughtering many people in the U.N. headquarters, swats off the attacking squad by breaking all of Monster Girl’s bones in a blur, then he disappears.
The story, starting out loud, slowly reveals all the details as to how the event was even able to happen. Through this, we see how Cecil, Director of the Global Defense Agency, comes to a conclusion that will change how they operate and how they interact with the world in issues to come. The artwork is just as awesome, strong and bold, and fits it well.
To put it mildly, the previous issue of Brian Wood‘s vision of Star Wars was a disappointing installment in the series. While the latest seventh issue of the new Dark Horse line doesn’t see a return to the form seen in the first five chapters, it is much better than #6, and establishes several new elements and movements that begin to move the story along again.
Within the Rebel Alliance, there is a spy of some kind, betraying information to the Empire – the sabotage is preventing the freedom fighters from finding a new base of operations, finding them limping through deep space. While returning to Tatooine to finally lay his aunt and uncle to rest, Luke proposes a covert mission to Leia, in which he and Wedge will infiltrate the Star Destroyer that keeps intercepting their efforts.