Digital Mini Reviews | When Space Calls… You Answer!

Hi there!

While I strongly believe that Disney’s latest Star Wars movie trilogy is a disaster, especially with their final episode, I’d like to believe that there’s still hope for solid stories to be produced. This is mostly proven by The Mandalorian with its two marvelous seasons that have been released so far. However, I have been curious as to how the comic book business around the Star Wars franchise has been handled over the past years, at least, ever since it went from publisher Dark Horse to Marvel, and here I am a bit ambivalent about it all, although still curious enough to want to continue on. Alongside Star Wars, there’s also the grandfather of science-fiction and fantasy, known as Dune, that got its official comic book adaptation, which was supposed to coincide with the movie release which unfortunately got delayed. Here’s a quick look at what I thought about these!

This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).

Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads page.
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🤣

Star Wars (Vol. 1): Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron.

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Publisher: Marvel.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★★☆.

By far the best Star Wars comic book story yet as we get the perfect characterizations out of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2! The story is set after the destruction of the Death Star and sees the return of Darth Vader as the logical main antagonist here. Not only is the humour on point, but we also see Luke learn to become a Jedi as he tries to learn more about Obi-Wan.

Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule.

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Publisher: Marvel.
Pages: 112.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.

This four-part story-arc explores the origin story of Kylo Ren and his venture to the dark side of the force. It not only bridges the gap between who he was and who he becomes in the infamous movie trilogy, but it also presents his relationship with Snoke and other apprentice Jedis who unfortunately helped him become who he is. I couldn’t connect with his character’s transformation but I won’t lie that a fan of Kylo Ren will surely find this story somewhat intesting.

Star Wars: Darth Vader (Vol 1): Vader by Kieron Gillen.

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Publisher: Marvel.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.

I dove into this one thinking I’d be blown away by a villain-centric story, especially one who is undoubtedly so loved by the Star Wars fandom. Here I am unimpressed by how much belittling is successfully done on his character. It didn’t help that he ends up in a “team” throughout this story. Have you ever even thought of Vader working with others??? It gave a comical tone to his story that I, honestly, never expected to see. It’s not a bad story but it clearly suffers from its premise, while introducing some interesting character, e.g. scavenger Aphra.

Star Wars: Darth Vader (Vol. 2): Shadows and Secrets by Kieron Gillen.

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Publisher: Marvel.
Pages: 136.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.

This story-arc further explores Darth Vader and Aphra’s alliance as their interests diverge and converge in unexpected ways. Each of their missions sends them in different directions until they crash and collide, forcing them to renew their pact and come to terms with a new objective. There’s a lot of things happening behind the backs of everyone but it is fascinating to watch Vader find himself in a not-so-Alpha position and having to dupe his way into getting things done the way he wants them to. It remains to be seen if the story’s direction is worth all the trouble of following this series.

Dune: The Graphic Novel (Book 1) by Brian Herbert.

Publisher: Abrams ComicArts.
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: ★★★☆☆.

The first book (out of three) of the official Dune comic book adaptation remains truly loyal to its source material with some changes but doesn’t fully take advantage of the medium to turn the classic epic science-fiction masterpiece into a just as exciting and classic comic book story as it suffers from dull narrative development and some odd character dialogues. At least the artwork is consistently decent especially once you arrive at some of the included splash pages showcasing the iconic moments from the book.

Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! 😁




24 thoughts on “Digital Mini Reviews | When Space Calls… You Answer!

  1. Baby Herbert and KJA seem to have run out of steam for pathetic ideas of their own, so of course they’re going to take the best of Frank and absolutely shit on it. I have not read the first dune GN. Nor do I intend to. You watch, Frank Herbert’s name will get smaller or disappear and those execrables will take more and more credit while forcing tie-ins into THEIR books that were no where in the original.

    I used to think Lucas was the biggest dillweed in terms of franchise destruction (the inclusion of young Ghost Anakin in the dvd release of Return of the Jedi left me swearing) but the longer this duo goes on, the more likely I’m going to be saving my dull spoon for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah I can’t wait to publish my next review then. 😉 There isn’t a single BH and KJA Dune novel that worked for you then? As for them making the most of our modern-day social media/publicity fame, that’s probably inevitable. Hopefully, people will know that the real MVP here is Frank though! Although the “destruction of SW” on the big screen seems more dramatic for fans, if you ask me (although many adore these movies despite clear issues…). It’s so popularized and overshadows Dune and even Star Trek…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, not a one. While I was ok with what I have read, I don’t ever want to re-read them, which for me is the real test of how good a book is.

        I agree about SW. I think part of why it has overshadowed so many other franchises though is because the original trilogy almost literally shaped an entire generation. Then the next generation (me and mine) were sucked in with the Extended Universe and such awesome creations as Mara Jade, Thrawn, etc. The prequels let a lot of people down but it didn’t destroy the idea. I feel like Disney just took an axe to the franchise and then tried to graft in their own thing hoping no one would notice.

        If Dune had ever gotten the popular movie trilogy, maybe fans would feel the same….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This brought back memories. Star Wars was one of my early favorite comic books when I was young enough not to be able to afford to subscribe to anything, not that long after the very first movie. We’d pick up a new issue every so often when we happened to be in a store with comics. I kept all those issues until maybe 10 years ago when I gave them away to a friend who was trying to collect Star Wars comics. Figured he’d get more enjoyment out of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a cool gesture. Reminds me of Toy Story and the infamous cycle for our beloved toys. I can imagine the thrill of collecting the comics back when it all started though. At least now you know that there are some pretty decent ones that you can still go out and check out if you’re suddenly craving for some SW stories! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still rage when I think about The Rise of Skywalker. That movie was such a frustrating disappointment.
    What I didn’t know was that there was a Star Wars comic book series. I’m happy to know that Star Wars vol.1 stayed true to the characters. The Rise of Kylo Ren sounds like an interesting prequel, one that would definitely entice Kylo fans for sure.
    Glad to know that the artwork for Dune was a hit. Just a shame that the narrative fell flat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. I don’t even want to try and remember how bad it was too. And yes! There is indeed a huge history of comic books with Star Wars and the ones I showcase here is a more modern Marvel comics universe for it, definitely a great place to start for fans! And yep, that Dune one isn’t perfect but still decent enough for anyone who want to visualize the classic masterpiece! 😀 Thank you so much for reading, Lois!


  4. Wow, can’t believe you haven’t checked out the Marvel Star Wars stuff up until now – I’ve read all of the first Star Wars and the first and second Darth Vader runs, they’re pretty great. I’ve got the first volume of the new Star Wars run which takes place between Empire and Return of the Jedi which should be interesting (need to check out the new Darth Vader as well which takes place at the same time). Glad to hear you mostly enjoyed what’s on offer…fingers crossed Marvel bring the goods on the Alien and Predator franchises!

    I’m curious about the Dune graphic novel, but feel I should maybe tackle Frank Herbert’s original novel first…hopefully before the movie arrives!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha it is astonishing, isn’t it? I was mostly very careful about anything Star Wars and Disney-related, but thankfully these aren’t all bad at all. I look forward to continuing the main Star Wars series as well as what’s been coming out for Darth Vader. Before this, I did read a couple of Dark Horse Star Wars stories but never really pushed myself to include more of this franchise into my reading rotation. Hopefully, Alien/Pred gets well treated indeed. The future is a bit scary for that franchise nowadays…

      I would recommend the novel over this graphic novel adaptation. I wouldn’t want this to be your first experience with the masterpiece’s story! I could maybe tolerate the Lynch movie as a first experience too. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Star Wars set seem like a good resource to get better understanding of the characters we have seen in the films, which include the sequels. Dune does not sound worthwhile though. I’ve read the first book and started on the second at one point but got distracted and never read the rest of the books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. Fans of the franchise will get a lot of these comics that come fill in the gap. As for Dune, I’d only recommend the first novel and nothing more, to be honest. I haven’t dared read its sequels but I won’t say no to myself if I ever suddenly have an urge for them. I reaaaally can’t wait for the upcoming Denis Villeneuve movie though. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

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