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They Came From The '80's: July
reviews by Mish'al Samman

Only one man on our staff has the courage to wade through this wave of nostalgia. That man, of course, is Mish'al Samman.

Why is he the one? Because he once lit his bike on fire in order to play Battle of the Planets.

Occasionally, Mish'al breaks from his reverie to gather his thoughts and share them with you.

Giving a great introduction to probably the best two revivals of '80's cartoons to date, this issue takes place in a cozy alternate universe. We can all be comfortable with it, and it's not too far off for either trademarks.

The Transformers have yet to be unearthed, G.I.Joe is yet to be formed, and Cobra is making its debut to the world. While Cobra takes control of the idle robots, they plan to make a statement to the world that ARBCO is here to stay, but wait, do they have control?

There isn't much in this book that people will dislike, and if there is, I can bet you 10 to 1 that when Megatron transforms into a gun… For crying out loud, he's almost 20-30 feet tall, how could he fit in a holster? It's one of those disappointments.


Battle of the Planets #11
Mark awakes from a nightmare, and goes through a short recall of recent events. Surprise! Thundercats vs. Battle of the Planets actually fits in the timeline (Or was it the Battle of the Planets vs. Thundercats)? One of the two… Also it ties in with BOTP: Mark, and BOTP: Jason also. Which is quite odd, considering they could have easily been #11, 12, and let this be 13.

The president is out to make a speech to all the world leaders, and starts pointing the finger at those who aid Spectra, but alas Spectra has this planned out, and G-Force is about to go for round two with Spectra's new monstrosity. And you know there is a subplot lurking where Mark and Jason are going to go at it… again.

This book is still not disappointing, but reading it tends to go by awfully quickly.


ROBOTECH: Love and War #2
Now that the back-story of Roy Folker is out of the way, (sniff sniff). We now turn to another of the great ROBOTECH pilots, Max Sterling.

In issue 2, we are taken back to around 2009, where we have now been introduced to the Zentradi force's new weapon. The Quadrano Battalion's latest member is inaugurated, and there is a question on whether or not they should be introduced to the fighting forces alongside the current soldiers. The issue at hand of course is that the battalion consists only of females.

Yes, one will be torn on whether this is humor they are attempting or one of the mysteries of the galaxies has been solved on page 8 of the book. As we cut back to the SDF-1 it is already in orbit and Max is impressing as usual with the computer simulations, traditionally as I recall being introduced to him the first time around in the cartoons.

Along with the main story, there is a second series being told at the end. Although not particularly interesting, it is assuming to be telling Minmei's personal crush on Rick while she is filming a KungFu flick on the SDF.


And really nothing to do with the eighties...

Sentinel #4
If you haven't picked up the book yet, you may want to start now. A turning point has been reached as Juston Seyfert has completed reconstruction of the downed Sentinel. We are left to wonder "What now?" as this issue comes to a close.

Tempted to see how the big Giant Robo will take its place in the already set universe of young Seyfert, my mind can only hope that the guys at Marvel have a creative plot that can continue this story. It's the little things in this series that's bringing about some interesting story telling, and thoughts I haven't been accustomed to. The last 3 issues have focused on Juston's personal life, and his daily troubles and life in general with best friends Alex and Matt, the school bully, and the cute senior that already has a boyfriend.

Having the traditional triangle, oppression, and seclusion in the tale, it is very Japanese in art and story telling, just as Marvel's Tsunami line intended.

When you do your research and find out a Sentinel is a mutant hunter, and your best friend thinks the X-Men are way cool, and you decide to reactivate the darn thing's weapon system… you've got some interesting explaining to do, especially when the big guy is starting to talk all hip. Word.


Star Wars Republic #55
So far the so-called expanded universe of Star Wars has created much more meat than what Mr. Lucas has had to offer in the films. Rightfully, I must give my props to Dark Horse Comics for being in the limelight of such creativity in expanding this marvelous world.

Now that the cheer is over, lets get down to the issue. Serving as an alternate reality, or an official stepping stone, to the final chapter Episode 3, this would probably be a really good way to start seeing how the expanded universe really builds the story.

We are introduced to the planet Jabiim on the outer rim with dialog between two Jabiimi soldiers about their fear of Jedi, and then the introduction of the AT-AT to republic forces hits the splash page. Kenobi, now a general, is leading Anakin, a handful of other Jedi, along with the Alpha clone "Alpha" on this battle to secure the planet and simmer down the revolt.

While philosophies are at odds between Kenobi and Alpha, the writing does good on the overall depiction of the battle, and the dialogues and possible repercussion of comments heard by a young Anakin, and where Vader may be getting his ideals from. It proves to be a great read for any Star Wars fan would get drawn into.

Mish'al Samman

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