Lauren, who has managed to stay married to me for over 6 years now, has finally given up on me ever growing up. As a matter of fact, I think she’s starting to suspect that I might be regressing.
Lately, I’ve really gotten into comic books. I liked them as a kid, but never had the money or means to really collect them consistently. I would typically find one or two consecutive issues, but then would miss out on the conclusion to the story arc. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with comics, that’s how they work. You typically won’t get a full story in one issue. The story arcs are usually spread between 3-6 issues, and so when I was a kid, I liked comics, but couldn’t get them enough to make it worthwhile.
A year or two ago, I heard that Marvel was going to release a series that revolved around Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, which greatly intrigued me. I had kind of forgotten about it until I was working in Huntsville last April. Since I usually had nothing to do each night when I got off work, I decided to check out this comic book shop I had kept seeing, The Deep.
They’ve really got a great set up. One wall is dedicated to new releases, and then they have boxes and boxes of back issues spread throughout the store. There’s also the typical smattering of action figures, collectibles, card games, T-shirts, etc, and large area for gaming (just wish the comic shops in Birmingham were this good). While I was perusing the new releases, I happened upon The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #3. I couldn’t help myself. I went ahead and picked it up, and my obsession has been growing ever since.
I now have all 7 issues of the Dark Tower series (more will come out in February), and it was fantastic. The artwork is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a comic, and I’ve actually heard that the series has brought many other Stephen King fans into the world of comics.
But I haven’t stopped there.
I’ve also gotten into two different Star Wars titles (and in part, I blame the guys over at ShowMeSciFi for getting me hooked on these). The first one is Star Wars Legacy, which is set about 140 years after Return of the Jedi and tells the story of Cade Skywalker, the last known Skywalker descendant. Though trained as a Jedi, Cade has turned his back on his heritage and taken up the mantle of bounty hunter. Though the comic sometimes seems a little too cliche, such as Cade’s typical “bad boy” persona, the overall story is excellent, and the revelation given in the last issue was flat-out shocking. Even though I’ve had to play catch up, I’ve managed to get all 15 issues (though I’m missing the promotional Issue #0).
The other series I’ve gotten hooked on (and I’m trying not to get into any others) is Star Wars Dark Times, which takes place shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The inside front flap of the 1st issue has this quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi: “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”.
Basically, the story follows several different groups of people who are trying to find their place in this new Empire. You see glimpses of the internal struggle that Darth Vader faces as he shrugs off the last clinging remnants of Anakin Skywalker. You see the anxiety of Clone Troopers who wonder what will happen to them now that the war is over. Jedi Master Dass Jennir is forced to choose between survival and following the Jedi code, and his companion undergoes a frantic search for his wife and daughter. And those are only some of the story lines that unfold in this comic. The writing is great, and the art is superb. As much as I like Legacy, Dark Times is my current favorite.
For some reason, the Dark Times series has had several delays in its release. It hasn’t followed the typical one issue per month format, but it’s still been great, and I highly recommend it. I’ve got all 4 issues that have currently been released, and they’ll put the first story arc in trade paperback before long.