‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Last Angel in Hell’ (2009), ‘Lorne’ (2010) and ‘Yearbook’ (2011) (Comic book reviews)

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DW produced three “Angel” one-shots in the final three years of its run. All of these double-length issues are finales of sorts, and there’s a touch of comedy or lightness to them – “Last Angel in Hell” puts a bow on the “After the Fall” era, “Lorne: Music of the Spheres” is the final Lorne story and “Yearbook” is the last publication in IDW’s Angelverse.

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‘Angel’/‘Spike’ flashback: ‘Spike: The Devil You Know’ (2010) and ‘Illyria: Haunted’ (2010-11) (Comic book reviews)

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pike and Illyria go off on their own adventures toward the end of the period of IDW’s “Angel” ongoing series. Two four-issue miniseries — “Spike: The Devil You Know” and “Illyria: Haunted” – let us know what they’re up to, with varying degrees of entertainment value.

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‘Angel’ flashback: ‘Masks’ (2006) (Comic book review)

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ollowing the “Spotlight” series, IDW’s “Angel” comics line unveiled more stories focused on individual characters in the loosely Halloween-themed “Masks” (October 2006). The double-length one-shot includes stories about Puppet Angel, Illyria, Cordelia and Lindsey McDonald, all themed around the figurative masks people wear.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ digests Nos. 5-8 (2010-12) (Comic book reviews)

“The Clone Wars” digests continue to deliver a mixed bag of supplementary material to the TV show with Nos. 5-8 (2010-12), featuring good yarns about Aayla Secura and the clones and a strong “Secret Missions” tie-in, but also a shallow Obi-Wan/Anakin/Ahsoka story.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ digests Nos. 1-4 (2008-09) (Comic book reviews)

Although “The Clone Wars” did try some adult tie-ins, such as the 12-issue comic series and a few novels, it mostly aimed for younger audiences. This is particularly evidenced by the 11 “Clone Wars” digests, sometimes called “graphic novellas.” However, these digests are not as kid-oriented as the “Clone Wars Adventures” digests from earlier in the decade, and today – given the TV series’ premature cancellation – they stand as a way to soak up a bit more “Clone Wars,” and from some pretty good writers, to boot.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Dark Times’ Issues 1-10 (2006-08) (Comic book reviews)

Because Obi-Wan equates the “dark times” with the Empire (“That was before the dark times, before the Empire”), one would assume the “Dark Times” comic book series explores people living under the oppression of the New Order. But interestingly, this series – which takes place immediately in the wake of Order 66 and Palpatine’s declaration of the Galactic Empire – tells of people living in anarchic chaos rather than stifling order.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Purge’ (2005-13) (Comic book reviews)

As a kid, I imagined the Jedi Purge consisted of Darth Vader going from planet to planet slaughtering Jedi Knights. That’s what naturally springs to mind when we hear Obi-Wan’s line: “A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights.” (In retrospect, it’s kind of disturbing that a kid would dream up visions of mass murder in piecing together the backstory of his favorite movie, but that’s beside the point here.)

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: Brian Wood’s ‘Star Wars’ Issues 13-20 (2014) and 2012-13 FCBD stories (Comic book reviews)

 

After the first 12 issues established Brian Wood’s “Star Wars” as a character-driven series that aspired to tell the definitive story of what happened between Episodes IV and V, it takes a slight step backward with Issues 13-20 (2014). Had the series continued beyond this, it probably would’ve paid off some of its big ideas, but it was canceled due to the license switching from Dark Horse to Disney, and it ended up limping to the finish line.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: Hasbro comics (2002), ‘Brothers in Arms’ (2005) and ‘Routine Valor’ (2006) (Comic book reviews)

  

Dark Horse Comics bookended its 2002-06 phase of “Clone Wars”-era stories with issues that couldn’t be found in comic shops. Four 10-page stories were packaged with Hasbro/Toys R Us “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” toys in 2002, and the 10-page Free Comic Book Day issue, “Routine Valor” (2006), closed out Dark Horse’s first phase of “Clone Wars.” It followed the full-length “Brothers in Arms” from the previous year’s FCBD.

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