Star Wars Campfire Ghost Stories – Tales from Vader’s Castle

Star Wars Adventures Tales from Vaders Castle

Star Wars Adventures Tales from Vaders Castle IDW Publishing invites readers of all ages to explore the creepiest corners of the Star Wars universe in Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle, a thrilling five-part comic book event with new issues hitting stands every Wednesday in October. Fan-favorites Cavan Scott and Derek Charm team up with an incredible roster of guest artists for this special miniseries, just in time for Halloween.

“I’ve always loved scary stories, and where better to tell them than the lair of Darth Vader himself?” says writer Cavan Scott. “Being asked to write any Star Wars character is a joy, but tackling the Dark Lord of the Sith? That’s a childhood dream… or should I say, a nightmare! Vader terrified me growing up, and I can’t wait to add to the legacy of Star Wars’ villain, providing frightening new scares for the next generation.”

The weekly series features beloved characters from throughout the galaxy, including Rebels stars Hera, Kanan, and Chopper; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku; Han Solo and Chewbacca; and the Ewoks! What frights and scares await them in Darth Vader’s castle?

Star Wars Adventures Tales from Vader’s CastleArtist Derek Charm says, “Since this is a spookier story about these characters stranded on this nightmarish planet, it’s been fun really pushing the horror aspect in the art. The shadows are heavier, the colors are harsher, and everything has this apocalyptic vibe… like things may not work out for our heroes!”

Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla provides cover artwork for each Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle issue, while different renowned creators (Kelley JonesChris FenoglioCorin HowellRobert Hack, and Charles Paul Wilson III) lend their distinctive styles to spooky tales over the course of the five weeks.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the creepy Cavan Scott, the frightening Francesco Francavilla, and an array of eerie artists into the creepiest corners of the Star Warsuniverse for Tales from Vader’s Castle,” says Michael Siglain, Creative Director of Publishing for Lucasfilm. “There’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than with these spooky stories from a galaxy far, far away.”

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option Miniseries

GI Joe Comic Cover Silent Option

GI Joe Comic Cover Silent OptionIDW Publishing is proud to launch G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option, a four-part miniseries that spotlights the breakout character of their “Dawn of the Arashikage” story arc: Dawn Moreno, the all-new Snake Eyes! The first monthly issue is slated for release this coming September.

Each oversized issue of Silent Option features? a full story by the superstar creative team of longtime G.I. Joe scribe Larry Hama and artist Netho Diaz (Aquaman), plus a four-page backup story entitled “Codename: Helix” by Ryan Ferrier (G.I. Joe vs. Six Million Dollar Man) and Kenneth Loh (KISS).

In Silent Option, Dawn Moreno – the G.I. Joe team’s newest member, fulfilling the legacy of the legendary Snake Eyes – embarks on her first (un)official mission. But her debut mission may be her last, as she crosses paths with the deadly covert operations officer, Agent Helix!

While focusing on the recently-introduced Dawn Moreno serves as a great entry point for new readers, longtime fans will be rewarded with the introduction of Agent Helix to ARAH canon – a character whose previous appearances were in non-ARAH continuity.

Editor Tom Waltz says, “Following the huge success of the ‘Dawn of the Arashikage’ story arc, we wanted to keep the fantastic action and drama that Larry and Netho created together rolling forward. A standalone miniseries within canon gives us the chance to resume fan-favorite character Dawn Moreno’s adventures as a new team member, while at the same time introducing enigmatic character Agent Helix to the mix. So, working alongside the great folks at Hasbro, Silent Option was born!”

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny Comic Books Coming in 2018

Special 5-Week Event Comic Book Series Inspired by the Popular Animated Shorts

Fans who took their first step into a larger world with Star Wars Adventures are destined to love Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny. IDW Publishing and Lucasfilm are excited to collaborate on a new series further exploring the comic book adventures of Star Wars for all ages— Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny is a weekly comic book series that will star such popular Star Wars heroines as Leia, Rey, Padmé, Ahsoka, and Hera along with the newest stars from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rose and Paige.

Just as exciting are the talented creators who will be bringing these beloved characters’ stories to life, including an impressive roster of female writers from across the galaxy: Delilah S. Dawson, Elsa Charretier, Beth Revis, Jody Houser, and Devin Grayson.

Art and covers will be provided by Elsa Charretier, Arianna Florean, Eva Widermann, Valentina Pinto, and Nicoletta Baldari. Charretier will also contribute five interconnected variant covers, which combine to create an iconic Forces of Destiny image. Collectible animation cell variant covers will be available from your retailer, as will a super-rare variant by Annie Wu.

“The Forces of Destiny initiative has won over fans with its inspiring tales about these iconic heroes,” says Senior Editor Denton J. Tipton. “IDW Publishing couldn’t be more excited to be part of the celebration of these beloved characters.”

May the Force(s) be with you this January when Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny arrives weekly!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Secret History of The Foot Clan.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - NOT FOR CHILDREN
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – NOT FOR CHILDREN
IDW continue on their releases, and topical is as topical does, this week its the turn of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, specifically issue 3 of The Secret History of The Foot Clan. (burnham/santolouco). In this arc we get April, lots of Ninjas and those turtles. Oh and the bad guy? The bad guy is a wolf with a tiny little problem in his genetics.

In flashback we see an ancient plot take place, with the protagonist surviving only to learn of the true nature of the betrayal. From his sister.

Cut back to the Modern Day where a similar set up involves April getting a professor out of a co-ed dorm past a similarly sized group of henchmen, the turtles turning up to break her loose right at the last minute. They get them all to The Van, where Splinter is waiting, and then drive off into the To Be Continued…

All as bloody and violent as I remember them being back in the days when they were but an Australian roleplaying game. Sadly the story itself is likewise and all but non-existent. I realise that this is always a problem when you are on issue three out of four; but no amount of blood and battles in the artwork, exciting as they are to look at, can enhance the story that is as slight as this. The issue comes with multiple variant covers, and has a mere 20 pages of story to the 32 over all, leaving me feeling quite short changed.

This comic is very definitely *not* one for the children.

Dungeons and Dragons Classics, Volume Four

D&D Classics Vol 4
D&D Classics Vol 4
IDW continue to pull together classic series for release as Trade paper backs. Amongst others, this week sees Dungeons and Dragons Classics, volume four; the collected issues of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons magazine 1991/92. With a romping good story, reading it is utterly reminiscent of playing the 2nd Edition Game, probably over findus crispy pancakes, with pepsi, cheesy wotsits and your mum calling up the stairs, telling you its a lovely day, so why aren’t you outside. Just as it should be when one was fortunate enough to have a good dungeon master, the story builds the team from an individual in inauspicious circumstances, right up to a wonderful melange incorporating all the expected classes, races and ‘professions’ by the battle royale at the end. This collection sees that arc run from initial trap (murder/set up) to resolution taking in the quest for the Dragon’s Eye, some elves, the usual every issue sword fight, some more dwarves and a whole lot of magic without the need to use words. And being the early 90’s, a good mix of female and male characters.

Just as with volumes 1 to 3, and indeed in the games themselves, the same basic story line is adhered to, there’s a touch of the female gaze, there is surprisingly little sexism; and Yes, It does show that sometimes there is a lot of dross, but usually its the oldies that deliver the goods. The artwork is naive by current standards, and the colouring also that of the earlier pressure-based printing processes – no digital retouching here. Whilst its available in a digital format, I’d personally seek this out on paper, stick my nose right in for the smell of fresh print, and sink back into one of those secret pleasures from our teenaged years.

New Dungeons and Dragons Miniseries

D& D Cutter Comic Book
D& D Cutter Comic Book

IDW Publishing is thrilled to announce another action-packed entry in their line of Dungeons & Dragons comics! This April, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: CUTTER, a five-issue miniseries written by R.A. and Geno Salvatore with art by David Baldeon and covers by Steve Ellis, weaves the tale of a family fiercely divided and at odds with itself, with a legendary sword hanging in the balance!

When the battle-hardened Drow renegade Tos’un must choose an heir to his legacy, his half-Drow son Tierflin and daughter Doum’weille become locked in vicious competition. But what will the prize, the bloodthirsty sword Khazid’hea, have to say on the matter?

“These comic series have become a wonderful tool for me to fill in the blanks and to crystallize my thoughts on the Legend of Drizzt novels going forward,” explains R.A. Salvatore. “The fallout from the twisting events in Neverwinter Tales not only came into play in the last couple of Drizzt books, but allowed me a strong plot line for an upcoming novel I’ve yet to pen. The same is true for Cutter – I see it already. So while these comic stories are self-contained, they open up to the wider stories going forward.”

From the writing team of powerhouse Dungeons & Dragons veterans R.A. and Geno Salvatore comes a tale steeped in action and intrigue, woven into the fantastically imaginative world that can only be found in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Rounded out by the vivid art of David Baldeon and Steve Ellis’ striking covers, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: CUTTER is sure to be a wildly fun ride for fans of Dungeons & Dragons and comics everywhere, not to mention an unexpected tie-in to this summer’s blockbuster R.A. Salvatore novel!

Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter (FC, 32 pages, $3.99).

In stores 17 th April 2013.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation

Doctor Who / Star Trek vol 8 Cover A

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who:

Doctor Who / Star Trek vol 8 Cover A
Doctor Who / Star Trek vol 8 Cover A
Assimilation

Written by Scott and David Lipton with Tony Lee

Illustrated by J K Woodward

Published by IDW

Issue 8 of this monthly crossover release from IDW sees the conclusion of the Borg/Cyberman pact storyline. As such, it seems a good time to review the series.

It would be fair to say that Assimilation’s sum is rather less than its parts. Both Star Trek: TNG and Doctor Who have their own well established comic book universes, yet this series rarely tapped the drama and wonder of either. The storyline, dealing with the convergence of the Borg and Cybermen in a joint threat to the Federation, started well with plenty of action in issue 1, but once the Doctor, Amy and Rory entered the tale, the plot quickly slowed into too many scenes of show and tell.

For example, in one issue, we get a time-hopping sequence of the Doctor showing Picard the possible futures if he doesn’t offer help to the Borg. Then, in another issue, the Doctor uses the same ruse to persuade a planet to donate its valuable gold to the cause. Talk, talk, talk, and the chosen illustration style of photorealistic panels quickly recalls the photo stories of 70s girl’s comics. Surely not the style that IDW meant to evoke?

This is a series of massively missed opportunities. The Borg and Cybermen are hardly the most exciting adversaries in their respective franchises, and ironically the similarities that make their pact so likely in this story remove any real interest in the reader, once they’ve enjoyed a few mash up splash pages. The story’s climax even manages to make the battle of Wolf 359 seem incredibly pedestrian, an astonishing achievement by all concerned.

For me, the best issue in the series was the third, which related an earlier encounter between the Fourth Doctor and Kirk. With a beautiful 70’s comic book style, action and humour, this was everything the main tale should have been. For the most part Assimilation feels like a failed experiment, and it remains to be seen if sales figures will demand a return. If so, I’d like to see a less reverent approach to the material, that might even appeal to the casual reader. Both the Doctor and the crew of the Enterprise deserve something better than this.

TRANSFORMERS Deluxe Hardcover Books

Transformers: The IDW Collection (Vol. 1) Deluxe Limited Edition (Casey Coller Sketch Edition) – Black Label

IDW Limited announced its plan today to begin “rolling out” a series of TRANSFORMERS deluxe hardcover books  starting with TRANSFORMERS: The IDW Collection, Volume 1. This first TRANSFORMERS title from IDW Limited sets the tone for what’s to come by tapping six key TRANSFORMERS artists and writers to provide signatures and original artwork. With a second volume already in development, IDW Limited is letting TRANSFORMERS fans know they’ll have plenty to be excited about in coming months.

TRANSFORMERS: The IDW Collection, Volume 1 Deluxe Limited Edition will be released in the multi-tiered rarity approach of previous IDW Limited books. There are Red, Black and Blue label editions of the book and each one is signed by the all-star team of E.J. Su, Casey Coller, Alex Milne, Marcelo Matere, Simon Furman and Shane McCarthy. To acquire signatures and original artwork for this special deluxe edition, tens of thousands of miles were logged as well as countless man-hours. It’s this level of dedication to the fan base that makes IDW Limited’s offerings so special.

Adding to the personal touch of this first TRANSFORMERS book, the buyers of the Black Label edition will be able to choose their original artwork from one of three all-star series artists; Alex Milne, Marcelo Matere or Casey Coller. Fan favorite E.J. Su will be providing full-color illustrations for the 10 Blue Label copies of this spectacular project. From Optimus Prime and Megatron to Hot Rod or Shockwave, the artists have equally represented each of the fans’ favorite characters.

“Long-time fans and first time readers should both find a reason to get excited about this book.” Says TRANSFORMERS editor John Barber, “These issues were picked for maximum dramatic effect when reading, and the artists who contributed were chosen for the same reason. Each artist delivered in knockout fashion. This is the best possible introduction to TRANSFORMERS comics, and it’s the perfect fan service to long-time readers. This is the start of what should be an absolutely amazing run of TRANSFORMERS books from IDW Limited.”

The book is presented with an exclusive IDW Limited cover and housed in custom built casing featuring unique art elements. IDW Limited Red Label edition is limited to 275 copies, each one packaged in a lush custom slip case and signed by the six key creators tapped for the project. The three artist specific Black Label editions are signed as well and limited to 10 copies each. The rare Blue Label edition, limited to just 10 total copies, contains an incredible, original, hand-drawn multi-character illustration from E.J. Su. Both Blue and Black Label editions of this book will come housed in a hand built tray case.

“Fans of the TRANSFORMERS brand are going to be blown away at the lengths we’ve gone to for this special edition.” Says Jerry Bennington, the IDW Limited Director. “Red Label buyers will be happy to know that every copy of this book is signed by six highly talented TRANSFORMERS artists and writers. There’s no other way to own something that’s been touched by all these influential and talented creators. And the art on display here is absolutely top notch. These guys have outdone themselves, any piece in these Black and Blue label editions would be right at home on the cover of the next TRANSFORMERS comic.”