Four horror movies for Halloween 2016

Halloween is approaching, and I watched a few horror movies recently to enjoy the atmosphere of the October. Spoilers follow – be careful about going into the woods.

It doesn’t change into autumn, where I’m from, in early October, but the atmosphere does change a bit, and the nights are still cold.

I saw 4 horror movie recently in the lead up to Halloween 2016. Here’s my thoughts and ideas on them:

The Gallows (2013) Metacritic score of 30 – I thought it was a bit better than 30/100, with some great atmosphere and setting. Definitely suitable for Halloween watching if you don’t mind the found footage genre or unlikeable protagonists.

Back in the early 1990’s a high school put on a play that ended in a terrible accident, but twenty years later, a drama student named Pfeiffer pushes the drama department to try the play again, and maybe try and redeem it.

Unfortunately, the lead actor can’t project, and his best friend is a Jerk. They decided to sneak into school at night to destroy the set and stop the play.

Starting as a found footage movie, this film shifts gear into a supernatural team slasher.

The characters are misanthropic vandals. I didn’t like any of them, but unlikeable protagonists is a big part of some horror films.

Theatres and schools both have a certain chilling atmosphere at night when they’re empty and quiet, and this film certainly delivers on atmosphere. The supernatural special effects are also suitably scary, without relying on jump scares too heavily.

Chernobyl Diaries (2012) Metacritic score of 32 – I thought this was accurate. The film started well, but was not coherent all the way through, with less then memorable characters (Except for Nathan Philips). Not really good Halloween viewing.

A group of daredevil tourists go on an extreme adventure into Chernobyl. Everything goes wrong. Something about zombie mutants.

I completed a cursory search about the film, and it received criticism for disrespect toward those that died in the Chernobyl reactor explosion.

Nathan Philips appears playing adventurous Australian tourist Michael, which was a highlight. Apart from the fighting between Chris and his daredevil brother, and the stoic ex-soldier Yuri, The other characters did not stand out.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987) Metacritic score of 68 – I thought slightly higher than 68/100, this film stars Cher, Jack Nicholson, and Susan Sarandon (several academy award winners). Content warning for some misogyny in the third act of the film. A good movie, regardless if it is Halloween or not.

A film that might be more of a fantasy than a horror movie, the depiction of fantasy elements as a metaphor for relationships turned from full filling to horrendous makes The Witches of Eastwick a thoughtful fantasy.

The phrase “Be careful what you wish for” plays out here, as three women wish for the perfect man, and Jack Nicholson arrives. He may or may not be an incarnation of the devil.

Blair Witch (2016) Metacritic score of 47 – The film largely copies the first film but tinkers around with the perception of time and illusions in the Blair Witch’s forest. A decent Halloween movie, but consider The Blair Witch Project (1994)

I had several problems with Blair Witch.  Overall, scenes with images of trees and scrub bushes rushing past the camera while an actor screams were borrowed directly from The Blair Witch Project. This was a let-down.

Settling into a good, slow build is dropped for this sequel (or soft reboot). The characters are barely in the forest for two nights before the film reaches it’s end. Playing out the long ordeal of being stranded on a interminable camping trip built tension in the first film.

To it’s credit, Blair Witch tinkers the perception of time, adding something to the folklore. Perhaps the force behind the Blair Witch’s forest can create illusions, adjust time, and amend space.

What are some of your Halloween films? Let me know in the comments.

Other Good Movies: The Conjuring, and The Conjuring 2 plus Insidious are both excellent (from Director James Wan). The VVitch is a painstakingly researched New England folktale on witches in the forest, and Cabin in the Woods is great for a more intricate and complex (less scary) Horror film.

Secret Six #4

Top five insights into Secret Six #4:

  • New diversity in its cast of characters – introducing Porcelain as a non-binary gendered character
  • Dark storytelling, but strong comedy from the Ventriloquist and a veteran, returning character – Ragdoll
  • The return of veteran Secret Six characters Ragdoll, Jeanette, and Scandal Savage
  • Artwork showing an excellent and carefully planned action scene
  • A theme of animal welfare – characters safeguard small animals from harm

Conflict in this issue falls between Mockingbird’s mercenaries, who are three familiar characters, and the Secret Six. Comic relief balances out the darker parts of the conflict

Reintroducing Ragdoll, Jeanette, and Scandal brings to light the role of a character already seen in past issues. A red haired woman, who helped capture Catman back in Secret Six #1, is seen to be working with
Mockingbird – the mastermind who is hunting the Secret Six. Mockingbird wants the Secret Six captured and punished for their past crimes. This mystery mastermind is ruthless, holding a hostage to force Scandal, to work for him.

That’s the key conflict in the story. Half of the original Secret Six combat with the new team. Veteran Secret Six fans will no doubt enjoy seeing Ragdoll’s unusual, comic relief dialogue return to the issue. Ventriloquist has provided excellent comic relief so far in Secret Six. Both Ventriloquist and Ragdoll making clever quips adds to the issues sense of comedy.

Porcelain shows trust in the team, revealing more of her personality. Big Shot is accepting, while Strix collects a Lawn Gnome

Porcelain shows more layers, as she shares her non-binary perspective with her new team. Porcelain identifies as a woman sometimes, and as a man sometimes. She expresses her identity through her
dress choices. Wearing masculine gendered clothing, she tells Catman, Big Shot, Strix, and the ventriloquist about her identity as a non-binary person. Initially, it seems Big Shot has an
issue with her gender fluidity. He gives her a masculine, grey hat to wear. He says: “a fella’s got to look sharp”, showing acceptance.

Strix deciding to adopt a lawn gnome she finds in the front yard, and sampling a cookie rather than joining Catman in a scuffle against Ragdoll also add some great humor to the comic that plays out expertly through the artwork

Several romantic connections build romance as a theme here, while several other characters protect small animals from harm, which adds an animal welfare theme

Romance is important in Secret Six #4. Big Shot is very careful about a vase that his wife made for him. He pauses his battle with Jeanette the banshee to carefully place the vase out of harms way. Jeanette says she thinks it is a romantic gesture. Scandal Savage is working for Mockingbird because the mastermind has captured her partner. While they are not named, she goes to great lengths to rescue them
from Mockingbird.

Care for small animals is also brought up twice. Jeanette and Scandal will not allow Ragdoll to hurt squirrels and other woodland creatures. Catman also claims that Scandal brought him a pet cat while he
was in captivity earlier in his career. He says that this gesture “saved everything”.

Secret Six #4 is published by DC comics July 15 2015. Writer – Gail Simone. Artists – Ken Lashley & Tom Derenick. Colours – Jason Wright. Letters – Travis Lanham. ($2.99 USD).

We are Robin #1 – Comic Review

Duke Thomas and a team of new Robins recruit their skills to help clean Gotham, and bring back some justice in the aftermath of Batman: EndgameWe are Robin #1 offers:

  • Strong lettering and colour choices
  • New and returning characters from Gotham City
  • Themes of clean versus dirty spaces, mortality, and class

Standout colouring and lettering choices are effective in bringing out the voice of We are Robin #1 and creating an immersive Gotham City. The new team of Robins arrive in a dynamic moment.

Lettering and text choices stand out effectively from the background, with black and yellow. The colour choices for the font bring the letters forward. Combined with the short and to-the-point voice of the title character, getting immersed in the comic happens quickly. Gotham City feels tangible and solid in this comic.

Artwork for Gotham’s streets, alleys, fire escapes, and sewers is typically coloured brown and asphalt grey. Bright and selective costume choices stand out from these dreary shades. Colour choices are consistent with the other depictions of Gotham City in other Batman related comic books.

Another strong moment in the artwork has a team of Robin’s arrive to help Duke Thomas – the viewpoint character.

They are ragtag, and are dressed in various street clothes and sports equipment coloured in red, yellow, and green to match the colours of Robin’s costume. Similar to The Movement, also from DC comics, the youth of Gotham with the skills to make a difference take a stand. Dynamic action marks their first appearance here in We are Robin #1.

Duke Thomas and Doctor Leslie Thompkins think about mortality and responsibility. In the aftermath of Batman: Endgame, several new characters form a team of Robins, and consider Duke Thomas for recruitment.

To the characters of We are Robin #1, mortality and responsibility are at the front of their minds. Duke Thomas has a shifting view of mortality. It changes based on the situation. In a fight at school, addiction to the adrenaline, and how close that pushes him to mortal danger is at the front of his mind. Heights are a fear of his. He makes another comment about mortality when faced with jumping down a fire escape. What he fears more is loss of identity, and the threat that his missing parents might forget who they are, and what they value.

Doctor Leslie Thompkins speaks across to Duke. Despite an age difference, she does not talk down to him. Doctor Thompkins asks Duke to take responsibility for himself, and stop alternatively fighting while searching for his parents. Duke regrets going against her plans. Clearly, she inspired some respect by being
forthright with him, and not patronising.

Ultimately, Duke takes responsibility in hunting for his parents. He comments on how The Batman has bailed on Gotham. Another loss from the aftermath of Batman: Endgame was the disappearance of The Batman and Bruce Wayne.

A range of themes are brought up overall: mortality, class, and clean versus dirty spaces. Cleaning up Gotham seems to be a priority for the Robins. If Duke joined them, he would find a way to act on his values and motivations.

The comic addresses mortality through Duke Thompson, and class from the villain of the comic, who arrives later in the story, and talks about how the attacking symbols of Gotham’s opulence. Clean versus dirty spaces and behaviour is also brought up by Duke Thomas: there is some inconsistency to Duke’s character. A gap between the values he wants to live up to, and the actions that support those values. In this instance, he respects his mothers values of clean speaking, eating, and living. Despite this, he refuses to clean a bathroom, and begins to use slang, what he calls imprecise language. It’s something we all strive for – to step up and take action on the values we uphold.

Robin is an identity Duke Thomas can use to take action. The Robins use precise language. Duke would be on his way to living his values if he joined them.

We are Robin #1 is published by DC Entertainment ($3.99 USD) Lee Bermejo (Story). Jorge Corona and Khary Randolph (Art.) Rob Haynes (Breakdowns). Trish Mulvihill and Emilio Lopez (Colours). Jared K Fletcher (Lettering). Cover artwork by Lee Bermejo.

Secret Wars #3 – Comic Review

Victor Von Doom, the dictator known as Doctor Doom, reassembled the Marvel Universe into Battleworld, saving millions of lives from destruction as the Marvel Universe ended. Now king and god of this new world, Doctor Doom may slowly lose control. Secret Wars #3 continues this story, and offers:

  • Shocking and confronting artwork.
  • The return of survivors from the Marvel Universe, and key character moments for Doctor Strange and Reed Richards.
  • Questions and ideas on gods and humans.

The opening scenes of the comic show a tranquil and calm space that gives an insight into Doctor Doom’s character, while a later scene delivers another shocking moment for the god and ruler of Battle World, where the reader sees things from Susan Storm’s (The Invisible Woman ) point of view

A truly shocking moment in the artwork for this issue of Secret Wars is Doctor Doom revealing his face to Susan Storm. The pane depicts Doctor Doom staring directly out at the reader. We see the scene from Susan Storm’s point of view for the moment he unmasks. It makes the reveal feel disturbingly close. Without comment on what exactly is show to avoid spoilers, the way this scene plays out does shock.

Backtracking to earlier in the comic, Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom wander through a tranquil, walled garden inside Dooms kingdom at the centre of the Battle World patchwork of worlds. The scene gives an insight into Doctor Doom – he keeps a calm place at the centre of his world, but there is an unusual and unsettling statue that stands out, and is the focal point of these opening scenes.

The survivors of the Marvel Universe return, and listen to Doctor Strange’s explanation about Battleword. Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four is distraught, but Doctor Strange confirms that Doom is an able leader at the end of everything.

Significant plot changes are not brought on by action in Secret Wars #3. The plot pace slows, and beings to muddle along. The information Doctor Strange gives readers about the state of the Marvel Universe, delivered through a question and answer session with other Marvel Universe survivors, enlightens and clarifies what happened. Action is missing. Instead, there are scenes explaining what happened to start Secret Wars, and why Battleworld exists.

Listening to his explanation are several heroes from the Marvel Universe missing since the multiverse finally collapsed. Captain Marvel, Miles Morales and Peter Parker, and Scott Summers are surprised at the changes brought on by Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange. They saved the lives of millions of people, and Doctor Strange points out that Doom is an effective leader.

At the same time, Doctor Doom speaks with The Invisible Woman Susan Storm, saying how he feels he is an uninspiring leader. They talk at length about Doom’s ascent to becoming a god. Is Doctor Doom worthy?

Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards, is distraught to hear that Doctor Doom governs over a patchwork version of all reality. Even more shocking – the two Doctors assembled this world over the course of 8 years. In that time, they found the multiverse survivors, but kept them hidden and in suspended animation for 3 out of those 8 years.

The comic delves into questions about humans versus gods: are gods that different from humans in terms of motivations, thoughts, and wants?

A question appears: is Doctor Doom worthy of leading this Battle World? Doom remarks at one point “the troubles of gods are infinite and beyond man’s understanding…but it wouldn’t take a god to divine that.” He also says “I am a poor god. I think now that once having made the world, I should have removed myself. Perhaps the gods of old had it right.” Dooms comments on becoming a god delve into ideas on omnipotence. What it means to create and control all things in the world.

Doom wonders if he should withdraw from the world. Susan Storm urges him to keep in contact with the people he governs. The ideas that play out here: gods should interact with the people they govern. Gods are both beyond human understanding, but humans can still figure out their motivations, which are not that different from human wants and needs. The large question that Secret Wars points to, in regards to Doctor Doom here, is are gods that different from humans in terms of motivation, thoughts, and wants?

Despite this, the reaction of the Marvel Universe survivors – Spider-man, Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Reed Richards, for example – indicates that a man like Doctor Doom, omnipotent, and in control and being a god won’t be sustainable for long.

Secret Wars #3 is published by Marvel Comics ($3.99USD) Jonathan Hickman (w.) Esad Ribic (a.) Ive Svorcina (c.) Chris Eliopoulos (l.). Cover artwork by Alex Ross.

A-Force #1 – Comic Review

Arcadia is one city under the power of Doctor Doom’s Battleworld. She Hulk’s team, The A-force, face power questions and mysteries that clash with their convictions. A-Force #1 offers:

  • Artwork that builds a great setting, and shows off flight scenes.
  • A diverse cast that handles power – changing power, and real versus imagined power
  • Themes of friendship, and questions of who holds power in Battleworld

A flight scene opens the comic. A-Force fly over the idealistic city of Arcadia. An attack from a giant Shark escalates into a fight scene. The final scenes slow down the pace at night, with a lighthouse over a dark sea.

Architecture choices cause Arcadia to feel like an idealistic city. Red roofs and domes invoke Italian cities like Florence and Venice. Alongside this centre, motifs of 1960’s American towns, and Farmers Markets held under tree lined lane ways complete the backdrop that the A-Force flies over in the opening pages. The superheroes are suspended, flying across a large scale image of Arcadia. Captain Marvel in red, gold, and blue looks up at the sky. Miss America and Nico fly alongside Pixie, and the sparkling Dazzler.

Later, a shark the size of truck launches itself from the ocean. A megalodon. The prehistoric shark aggressively attacks Arcadia.

The epilogue of the first issue of A-Force winds down the action with a slower pace. On a cape by the sea is a lighthouse. It’s called Bishop Lighthouse. Nico (Sister Grimm), waits here for America. The panels move from moment to moment as Nico steadies herself, and then happens to glance up at the sky.

Dazzler and Miss America show contrasting views in the battle against the Megalodon. Against the laws put in place by Doctor Doom, She Hulk has power, but not enough.

Dazzler is concerned that the Megalodon might be the last of it’s kind. She considers biodiveristy while rescuing citizens from harm. In contrast, Miss America calls the creature “Sharknado” and uses her super strength to throw the Megalodon away from Arcadia. She whispers “Nobody tell P.E.T.A”. That was rash. Impulsive use of super-human strength does not end well.

Stephen Strange resides inside an interesting, new power structure. At the head of the structure sits Doctor Doom. Battleworld has laws created by Doom, and enforced by Strange – the Sheriff. Inside this vast, planet sized kingdom, Arcadia is just one of several cities. Miss America tossed the Shark out of Arcadia. It grazes Doctor Doom’s wall. He calls it the Shield Wall. Without it, monsters and villains from the Marvel Universe would invade Battleworld.

For this crime, Miss America is banished to work on the Shield Wall.

She Hulk tries to make a case against Strange’s ruling, but his law is absolute. She Hulk carries the rank of Baroness, and protects Arcadia. Despite her convictions, and belief that America deserves another chance, Strange tells her to follow the law to the letter.

Friendship and Power stand out as large themes here. The question that emerges – if all authority flows back to Doctor Doom, then the power each Baron and Baroness has is not real. More mysteries emerge when Nico waits under the lighthouse.

Friendship between the A-force team remains a core and defining part of their identity. Without America, Loki and Nico stand inconsolable. Nico’s rage at She-Hulk vibrates off the page. Later, she waits under a lighthouse. America might spot the light in the darkness, and fly home. This is how strong the connection between these heroes remains.

Power, particular what is inside and outside a person’s power plays out close to the end of the comic book. Despite her rank and position as leader of A-Force, She Hulk is powerless against the Sheriff’s decision. This asks the question – what is real power in Battleworld? If all those in charge must take orders from the Doom, then there is no real authority.

Medusa comments that balancing what’s best for Arcadia, and the will of Doctor Doom is a tightrope. Really, it looks more like a one-way street. She Hulk resolves to start solving the mystery of where the Megalodon came from. More mysteries emerge when Nico glances at the sky. A new character to the Marvel universe lands in Arcadia.

A-Force #1 is published by Marvel Comics (USD $3.99) Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson (W.) Jorge Molina (A.) Jorge Molina Craig Yueng (I.) Laura Martin Matt Milla (C.) VC’s Cory Petit (L.) Cover artwork by Cheung and Martin.

Batgirl #40 – Comic Review

With only limited time to save Burnside, Barbara Gordon will need to confront a dark reflection of herself. Batgirl #40 offers:

  • Expert artwork building a convincing environment.
  • Insight into Batgirl’s character.
  • Themes on digital footprints, and technology topics.

This issue contains spoilers for Batgirl #40

A key flash back scene contrasts colour with character facial expression, while artwork in a large scale scene shows strong attention to detail and expert environment building.

The outdated online presence of Barbara Gordon returns to cause problems in the present. A flashback scene early in the comic captures the inception of Barbara’s angry reflection. The page is suffused with a light blue screen tone, which contrasts effectively with Barara’s anger. Forced to explain what she is doing on her laptop to her friend Frankie, Barbara’s anger grows with each panel on the page. It’s one exaple of how the artwork in this comic expertly conveys characters, and creates a credible and authentic environment for the characters to inhabit.

A two page spread shows off the dynamic environment of Burnside in the centre of the comic. At Black Canary’s gig, a crowd of people, some named characters, wait in anticiaption for the show to begin. Strong attention to detail here means each character is drawn with their own fashion sense. Bystanders in the crowd all appear unique.

The battle against dark, digital Barbara continues past this large scale scene – the artwork depicts Batgirl’s reflection as slowly becoming less coherent. It eventually looks less like an angry copy, and more like a barely recognisable face. Angry and destructive emotion twists it into something terrible. Regardless of who it was at the beginning, the creation is warped by destructive emotion into something else.

Batgirl and Frankie – a friend of Barbara – confront Dark Barbara in a conflict which gives insight into Batgirl’s personality, and shows Frankie’s technology expertise. Black Canary also receives some attention.

The Dark Barbara remains locked in the moment it was built. Copied from Barabara’s thought patters when she recovered from her acute lumbar spine injury, it is filled with her anger. The creation does not change. Despite everything that it observed since it entered the internet, it is unable to grow beyond the anger that fuels it. When attempting to imitate a cheerful Batgirl, the creation stutters, and chooses unusual sentences. The effort to be anything other than angry taxes far too many resources, and the creation’s limted emotion intelligence.

This gives a great insight into Batgirl herself. If she is not cautious, her anger can lead her into becoming a villain, attempting to use algorithms and social media data to predict future behavior, which is Dark Barbara’s plan.

When Barbara’s friend Frankie confronts the dark, online reflection, Frankie shows impressive skills foiling it’s plans. The conflict between Batgirl, Dark Barbara, and Frankie escalates when Frankie talks about Dark Barbara as a figment from a dark time in Barbara’s life. The clear connection to reality here is when any content posted online when upset, angry, or furious returns to cause problems in the future.

Black Canary receives attention in this comic, using her stage presence and powerful sonic abilities to help Batgirl protect Burnside.

Several topics – artificial intelligence, surveillance, identity theft – brought up in Batgirl #40 create two value comments: taking care of digital footprints since they can have long term consequences, and making time to acknowledge pain, rest and heal, and grow networks of friends for support.

Artificial intelligence blends well with social media and online identity in this comic. Without making burdensome comments about a specific generation or group of people, Batgirl #40 recruits technology related topics to tell a story. Through Batgirl, the impact of digital footprints is explored. Surveillance and identity theft are also brought into the story.

Through Barabara’s past and Frankie’s attack on Dark Barbara, the negative emotions that can cause problematic digital footprints emmerge. Surveilance is added to this set of themes when the Hooq. technology is introduced as a side plot. Using surveillance drones. Hooq monitors social activity online and in public, making a record of behaviour. Combined with Dark Barbara’s intentions in this comic, the use of surveilance data to attack and control groups of people appears in a strongly negative light.

With Dark Barabara also intending to steal Batgirl’s persona, identity theft appears. Through these topics, the comic reveals a value: that digital footprints can have destructive negative consequences. How Batgirl handles the problems is essential: she uses logic, combined with a positive mission statement – every dark moment that she went through acts as motivation to help the people of Gotham today. Batgirl acknowledges the importance of making time to heal from past hurts, and from making friends.

in Black Canary and Frankie, she has made skilled and talented friends. This acknowledgement of past hurts, and statements about healing and community building are a strong value to end the themes built in the current story arc of Batgirl comics.

Batgirl #40 is published by DC comics ($2.99 USD) Cameron Stuart and Brendon Fletcher (W.) Babs Tarr (A.) Maris Wicks (C.) Jared K. Fletcher (L.) Cover artwork by Cameron Stuart.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 – Comic Review

In Star Wars: Princess Leia #1, the rebel alliance celebrates on the run. With the Empire seeking to hunt down Alderan’s remaining offworld citizens as punishment for the collapse and destruction of the Death Star, Leia begins a rescue mission. Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 offers:

  • Art that has strong ink, penciling, and great use of distance.
  • Layered and interesting characters: Dodonna and Evaan.
  • Themes of legacy, and investigation into dealing with change.

This review contains spoilers for Star Wars: Princess Leia #1

Leia’s shuttle flies into hyperspace in a flash of blue. Pencil work and inking make these scenes majestic. Panel choices show off a effective use of distance when the story connects with the final scene of Star Wars set in the Great Hall on Yavin IV.

The moment where this comic links together with the final moment of Star Wars: A new Hope shows off some brightly coloured moments that capture the close of the film. There is impressive choice of where to place the reader’s view into this scene. Panels start close to Leia, and move around the room to closely examine a face or an expression, or a whispered comment, before zooming out again.

In a later scene the artwork shows off Leia’s shuttle flying into Hyperspace. There are powerful flashes of blue, while pencil and ink lines give a sense of the energy needed to fly at lightspeed.

There’s a great sense of distance in these scenes. After the grand hall empties, A lone pilot named Evaan pays respect to a statue of Leia’s parents. Two more panels zoom closer in to Leia. There is no dialogue. It’s a moment of silence to remember the obliterated planet.

Character development moves fast in this comic when General Dodonna shows layers, and expresses concern for Leia in a limited way. Evaan, a Rebel Pilot and Alderaan royalist, shows depth.

Through the characters assembled in the grand hall on Yavin IV, the legacy of the Alliance lives on.
When Admiral Dodonna utters “May the force be with us all” the prevailing legacy of the light side of the force flickers into life for an instant.

Despite these dedications to continue lost of fledgling legacies, Leia is prevent from trying to save Alderan’s remaining offworld citizens.

Grief and despair are the only roles that General Dodonna offers Leia. There is a point where he steps over a mark – Leia stops being a person, and becomes a military asset. That mark lands when Leia’s bounty arrives on Galactic underworld networks, which the Alliance are tapped into. Leia becomes “too valuable an asset to be unguarded”. In this sense, Dodonna is not expressing what he feels clearly, and therefore sounds more like an Empire Mof discussing tactics. He is right to feel concern, but communicates this terribly.

This is a good example of characters moving through levels of moral greyness, rather than black and white moral extremities. Evaan, the pilot who shows respect to Leia’s lost parents, is also crossing lines. As a loyalist, she wants to respect Leia. As a person, and a rebel pilot, she dislikes Leia’s pragmatism in the face of losing Alderaan to the Empire.

While a theme of legacy appears, insight into coping with change is featured more prominently when Leia talks to Evaan, and Evaan uses deception to help Leia begin her mission.

A fiery interaction between Leia and Evaan brings out the issues of change. While Dodonna and Leia’s talks in the comic bring up a theme of legacy, seeing Leia and Evaan cope with change is most interesting. Leia commands Evaan to tell her the truth at all times, even when she does not want to hear it. Evaan’s first action – to fly the princess and R2D2 away from Yavin IV – involves her using deception and lies, some of which are told to Leia.

Leai forgives her, but Evaan refuses to see Leia as a friend. She is still a Princess of Alderaan. Evaan is still a royalist. She compromises, and uses deception to escape from the Rebel base – lying to Leia – but maintains her point of view of Princess Leia as someone deserving deference. In the face of change, compromise is required. Some beliefs can still be held, however.

Their next destination: Naboo.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 is published by Marvel Comics ($3.99 USD) Mark Waid (W.)
Terry Dodson (P.) Rachel Dodson (I.) Jordie Bellaire (C.) VC’s Joe Caramagna (L.) Cover artwork by Dodson and Dodson.