Star Wars InvasionBelow are quick hits about some exciting comic book news set to take place in the next couple of months:

Dark Horse

Star Wars Rebellion: Dark Horse has pulled the plug on the title. Apparently the series’ time line (which takes place during the original trilogy) made it difficult to come up with new stories that wouldn’t contradict the already existing continuity of the best documented time period of the Star Wars Saga. Editor Randy Stradley said, “[It was a] never ending struggle to keep the line fresh and not fall into the same stuff happening every month.”

Star Wars Invasion: This new monthly title will replace Rebellion, and takes place during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion that occurs during the New Jedi Order novels. In addition to some new characters, Leia, Luke, and the Solo children will be featured. Australian playwright turned comic scribe, Tom Taylor, will write the series.

Star Wars Adventures: A new series featuring standalone stories from characters throughout the Star Wars Universe. To premiere the series, the first story is about Han and Chewie. No word yet if this is a children’s series as it has an ‘Adventures’ tag to it.

Teen Titans #71D.C.

Batman: In June R.I.P. headmaster, Grant Morrison will return to write the title. According to editor Ian Sattler, Batman will somehow tie into the Green Lantern: Blackest Night story line.

Batman Battle for the Cowl: The Network: Some of the discontinued Birds of Prey cast make their way to Gotham City to help quell the storm in Batman’s absence. Said to make appearances in this issue are Huntress, Batgirl, Misfit, Manhunter, and Ragman.

Teen Titans #71: Ravager returns to the team, but is she an ally or enemy?

IDW

GI Joe: Snake Eyes: This mini series was presented to IDW by actor Ray Park, who will be playing the silent warrior in the upcoming Joe film. Park has teamed with co-writer Kevin Van Hook and artist SL Gallant to produce the 4 issue mini series. Apparently, Park enjoyed playing the role so much that he wanted to do more with the character.

Marvel

GeNext United: As if one mini series featuring the future children of the present X-Men wasn’t enough, Chris Claremont returns to write this sequel of the less than average GeNext line. The five part series will continue the new_mutants_vol_3_1pwhere the first mini left off.

What’s going on with the Ultimate Universe: Said scribe Mark Millar, “The thing that was the problem was that the Ultimate line wasn’t very good for quite awhile- it was good when it started, and it really went off the boil after awhile. There were maybe a couple of good books, and then in the end, maybe one good book, and the whole idea is just to make it all good books again.” What Millar is talking about is the complete revamp of the Ultimate Universe as Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic Four have all been given the axe. Ultimate fans shouldn’t worry too much though, as the line is going to continue, but in an all new direction. Marvel Editor in Chief, Joe Quesada, comments on how the revamp offers more creative freedom to the production teams, “Now we’re looking at the Ultimate Universe saying, ‘what other doors can we open?’ Let’s get really kind of funky and crazy. I think you’ll see things in the Ultimate comics that we couldn’t do with other books. What is happening is we have a grand opportunity with the Ultimatum event to jump ahead a little bit. Just a little bit- not a lot. At the end of Ultimatum, there’s going to be a jump, and with that jump, we’re going to have a brand new Ultimate Spider-Man comic book.” One can only assume that something unprecedented is in stmpar-cv5_large1store for the Ultimate characters.

New Mutants #1: Due out in May, the title features original New Mutants: Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Sunspot, Magma, and Magik. Legion, the man responsible for everything Age of Apocalypse, has returned and the New Mutants need to stop him…

Wildstorm

Storming Paradise: What if the United States armed forces had to invade Japan in the greatest conflict the world has ever seen? Find out in this alternate-history WWII mini series. Since being put on the back burner months ago, Wildstorm is finally finishing up the run beginning with issue #5 due out in May.

Special thanks to Comic Shop News for the quotes.

When I read the preview for this series in Comic Shop News a few months back I thought what an awesome idea! A ‘What If?’ story dealing with one of the most significant events in American History, World War II, and it poses the question; what if the United States invaded Japan instead of dropping the A-Bomb? Storming Paradise explores that thought, and delivers the neccessary exposition decently in its premier issue.

A brief synopsis:

The American test of the A-Bomb has failed as it has literally blown up in the faces of its test crew. This plunges the reader into the thick of the Americans planning for an invasion of the Japanese homeland, as well as the Japanese preparing for an imminent assault by the Americans.

We are introduced to many characters: A Japanese superior officer, the American brass, two American soldiers who seem to have the potential for being our main characters, an American man who has run from his calling to be a soldier, an American missionary stationed in Japan, some Germans, two recon pilots, and yes, General Patton.

While this issue didn’t necessarily rope me in for the long haul, being short on action and long on exposition, it definitely did not turn me away either.

Some thoughts on the issue:

-Chuck Dixon did a good job with the script. He delivered the expo while giving a good sense of the period. I appreciate how he wasn’t afraid to use the lingo of the time. While it is far from politically correct, it is historically correct and that does not go unappreciated. Ballsy move Mr. Dixon.

-Butch Guice’s pencils were pretty good, but I would have preferred the cover art to reflect more on the interior art. Still, he delivers and his rough edges nearly give the illusion of an old World War II documentary, which is fitting. As with any military comic, it isn’t easy to tell characters apart. It’s simpler for G.I. Joe as they can play to the archetype of their character in the costume (Wild Bill is dressed as a cowboy practically 24/7, so it’s pretty simple to identify him), but for a ‘realistic’ comic like this, only small details differentiate the characters. It was easy enough to track the characters in this premier issue, but only time will tell if this stays the same once the troops start storming the beaches in full battle regalia.

-Carrie Strachan delivered with the coloring, and since there is no inker credited, I’m assuming she inked as well. If that’s the case, she must have had a good time inking because this issue is very heavy on shading and shadows. I think it worked because it set a dark mood for the issue, but as previously stated, it was slightly hindering when attempting to figure out who is who.

-This issue had some great one liners:

“There is no honor in death delivered by machines.”- Japanese General

“We’re looking at over a hundred thousand dead before this bloody mess is over. And those poor damned Japs? A million or more of them will be rejoining Buddha.” -American General

“The only thing I’m worried about- is hosing those little yellow bastards out of the treads of my tank.” – General Patton

-The paper feels really nice. It isn’t the glossy pages we have been accustomed to with recent books, rather it’s more of a papery texture. Which I like.

The final word:

While I’m not completely attached to the characters yet, Storming Paradise is staying on my pull list. If you’re a history/military buff, this book is for you and is a must read. If not, it’s still entertaining enough to stick with. Things are only going to get better since paradise has yet to be stormed. . .

3/5 stars

Storming Paradise #1