Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor

Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor
Favorite Comic: Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha
Favorite Tabletop RPG: Fireborn
Favorite Spacegoing Vessel: Constitution-class Refit

In the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” Captain Kirk is casually mentioned as the man with the most temporal violations on record: seventeen.  “The man was a menace,” one of the Temporal Investigations agents says.  So, it is fitting that John Byrne’s second tale in his photomontage series depicting the continuing adventures of the original Enterprise and its crew is a time travel story, since those were basically the show’s bread and butter.

If you know your older Dungeons & Dragons settings, then you might know the work of Timothy Brown.  He’s been in the business long enough to know what he’s doing and, with Troy Denning, created the Dark Sun campaign setting for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  He’s very open to point out that his new Kickstarter-funded, system-agnostic setting, Dragon Kings, is the spiritual successor to Dark Sun, and, indeed, the two share a lot of themes.  Though the Dragon Kings project as a whole includes a music CD and rules supplements for both Pathfinder and Savage Worlds, amongst other things, this review is for the World Book only.

John Byrne is no stranger to Star Trek comics, having done several miniseries as a writer/artist for IDW over the publisher’s custodianship of the property, and, of course, his experience in comics goes back decades and includes the most major characters from both Marvel and DC, besides a slew of creator-owned work.  He’s certainly got one of the most comprehensive pedigrees in comics, but sometimes that comes with a certain sense of stagnation. New Visions, however, is anything but. 

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

I remember getting my first Star Wars novel as a gift.  It was the third of Michael Stackpole’s X-Wing books, The Krytos Trap.  Who it was from is hazy in my memory, since my dad was the middleman in the transaction.  I’m sure he told me, but I don’t remember.  The Krytos Trap became the first “grown-up” novel I ever read.  I was a big reader, but I hadn’t yet made the leap from the Young Adult section.  My nights were filled, usually, with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, with Animorphs, along with the various books we were reading for class in third grade, in which I tended to read ahead.

By necessity, Lazarus spends a lot of time talking about family.  It’s usually “the Family” or something, or loyalty thereto, whether born of blood ties or social status.  What Forever Carlyle endured for her Family in order to become its glorified bodyguard makes it all the more tense to watch her serve.  She’s a character who, as an adult, barely seems human, but her story makes it feel like that’s a tragedy, not a creative mistake.

More than anything, I feel like The Witcher is a missed opportunity.

At least in the US, most people likely to pick up this series will be most familiar with The Witcher from the video games from CD Projekt Red; it is that take on the character which the comic uses, though, at least in the first issue, the tie-in is very loose.  In that regard, the look of the book fits; Geralt, his Witcher medallion, and his silver sword all look true to the source.  Joe Querio’s art, as a whole, works pretty well for the grimness of The Witcher’s setting, a dark, sword-and-sorcery world that owes more to Howard and Moorcock than Tolkien and Gygax.

A little more than a year ago, I reviewed the first book in Moro Rogers’ City in the Desert trilogy and quite enjoyed it.  The second book, The Serpent Crown, continues the story of monster hunter Irro and his young partner Hari in their efforts to save Kevala, the eponymous city in the desert, from the peril that befell it in the first book.  Things pick up basically immediately where they left off, and so The Serpent Crown isn’t a great jumping-on point for new readers; however, for fans of the first book, it is a worthy continuation of the story and portends an exciting third act.

I like airships.  Not, like, semi-plausible, lighter-than-air airships, but airships that just look like they have no business being airborne.  The first page of Undertow has one such vessel: a great big, double-hulled craft I would come to learn is called the Deliverer.  This was a good second impression, since the first impression – the cover – left me uncertain what to expect and wasn’t stylistically to my liking.

I’ve been reading A Voice in the Dark since the first issue, which was one of those I picked up off the shelves on a whim.  I’m a sucker for serial killers, you see, and I quickly came to appreciate that Larime Taylor was not going for a run-of-the-mill crime thriller.  His anti-hero killer, Zoey Aarons, is a college freshman.  She is of mixed race.  She isn’t exceptionally attractive or overtly sexualized, and this comic is very aware of that.

Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus was probably my favorite new series of 2013, and it’s about time I got around to reviewing an issue.  The series, set in a dystopian future where a handful of families control the world in a high-tech feudal society, is a great blend of intrigue, action, and speculative fiction.  Though the sixth issue (part two of the current arc) is one of the slowest of the series so far, it’s still a solid piece in the evolving story of Forever Carlyle, and a glimpse at this still-new fictional world.

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