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Comics: Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
by Dee. 7/31/2019Welcome to this month's edition of comics reviews, in which we have three selections: Star Wars: Target Vader, Black Hammer / Justice League, and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (2019).
Star Wars: Target Vader (Marvel Comics): In an interesting turn of events, Darth Vader is being hunted by the galaxy's best bounty hunters, while he is looking for an underground crime syndicate known as the Hidden Hand.
The splash pages are gorgeous, with the glint of Vader's helmet reflecting the carnage he wreaks and the nonstop action of the main bounty hunter, disgraced former Imperial officer Beilert Valance. I don't feel like I need to know much backstory, as his existence as a bounty hunter is at the forefront of the story. We meet the rest of his team in short order, and start down the path towards Vader.
Writer Robbie Thompson (Spider-Man / Deadpool, Star Wars: Poe Dameron) and artists Marc Laming (Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Grand Moff Tarkin, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2017) Annual) and Cris Bolson ( Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor, Red Sonja) team up to create a gripping tale of intrigue and adventure.
Black Hammer / Justice League (Dark Horse and DC Comics): From Jeff Lemire (Descender, Sweet Tooth) and Michael Walsh (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Vision) comes a crossover event for Black Hammer and Justice League fans alike. Black Hammer has an interesting universe, as Golden Age heroes get transported to small-town life, trapping them within its city limits. The mystery of their current situation is explored throughout the books, and a crossover with Justice League doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.
There is an assumption that the Justice League is familiar enough that you don't need the basic run-down on who is involved, nor their origin stories. It would be a good idea to brush up on Black Hammer, as the crossover mirrors what happens initially in Black Hammer with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Green Lantern and the other Lanterns are hanging around in outer space when one of the characters from Black Hammer shows up, and the story begins to take on a life of its own.
The art style continues in the same vein as the Black Hammer, and the Justice League characters are still recognizable in this new world. The color palette ranges from pale and ethereal grays to harsh yellows and oranges.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (2019): By Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) and illustrated by Steve Lieber (Detective Comics, Hawkman), I expect nothing less than hilarity and powerful storytelling within the pages, and I am delighted by what I find. This is a story reaching back to the beginning days of Metropolis, and the ancestors of Jimmy Olsen, and propelling into the current day where he gets turned into a giant turtle. Superman comes to his aid, of course, but not before destroying millions of dollars in public and private property.
The best part of this comic is that though Jimmy Olsen causes mayhem just by his existence and having his own insurance clause, Jimmy is also one of the saving graces of the Daily Planet. The sense of humor in this book makes it a light, fun read.
This comic has a somewhat muted palette of colors, relying on blues, browns and greens to tell its story. The art compliments the whimsical tales with a straightforward comic style reminiscent of classic Superman's Pal books (1954 - 1974).