Thursday, December 31, 2015

Loving Tom King's The Vision

This is a surprise comic. Positively chilling. Darn good. Written by Tom King and illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta. 

The Vision wants to lead a normal life so he creates his own wife and two children and they live in the suburbs of Washington D.C.. It's like he reprises Ultron hoping for something better. Except we know that it won't.

I'd say this book will have a tremendous impact on the Marvel Universe with the events that unfold here. If you liked Alex + Ada then you gotta read this.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

EW's first look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

Was I ever a fan of the Doctor Strange comic? No. I never bought one until the recent release under writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo. I did have a few hand me downs from an uncle; those old Strange Tales comics that I wish I still had today. However, I liked him with the Defenders -- the old comics with Nighthawk, Hulk, Namor, the Silver Surfer, and Valkyrie -- that I collected as much as I could. It was a difficult comic to get ahold of unless I went to the old American military bases at Clark and Subic (occasionally at the old Army & Navy Club along Roxas Boulevard). 

I always wondered how the good Master of the Mystical Arts always found himself playing roles in big crossovers from Infinity Gauntlet to Infinity to Original Sin to Secret Wars yet never had a great solo comic. Maybe there are but I just never read them until this new incarnation under Aaron and Bachalo.

And that leads me to the upcoming film. No matter how good Benedict Cumberbatch is as Doctor Who, I wasn't sure he'd be a great cast for Stephen Strange. Maybe he is. Of course, now I am super excited for the film and the Entertainment Weekly (how do they always get the first photos out of these films anyhow) cover issue will only serve to whet my appetite for the film and all things Doctor Strange.

Looking forward to this!

Check out this amazing image of X-Force from Greg Semkow

No big guns that are stupid anyways. 

No overly muscled heroes.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The top comic books, mini-series & graphic novels of 2015

The Top Comic Books of 2015
by rick olivares

With superhero films still all the rage, the comic book medium has raised its level of awareness even more. The year 2015 was an incredible year for the four-colored medium as companies relaunched entire lines and put out a whole lot of books. 

As veteran comics scribe Kurt Busiek (Astro City, the Avengers, Marvels) Tweeted today (December 29), “Today, there are so many good comics coming out that you can make a 100 Best list and still not cover all the good stuff."

With that in mind, we will make a list and eliminate some of the usual good stuff like Saga that has been around for a few years now and make a new list. Here are the best comics, mini-series, and graphic novels for the year that I wholeheartedly recommend (they are listed in democratic alphabetical order).

Monthly comics

Archie by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples/Annie Wu (Archie)
The reinvention of a classic! Updated for a modern audience, these timeless characters have become all too real folks. Furthermore, there’s actual continuity.

Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Image)
A space odyssey wrapped in that old humans-versus-robots storyline that tugs at your heartstrings. A wonderful story that was immediately snapped up for film adaptation. 

Doctor Strange by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo (Marvel)
Aaron, one of comics’ most prolific writers, turns Strange’s world into a Harry Pottersque one while imbuing the mage with Tony Stark-like charisma. Another delightful monthly read.

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
Crime noir set in post WWII Hollywood with a veteran who takes a job as a screenwriter caught up in a web of intrigue and mystery surrounding the death of a starlet.

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (Dark Horse)
A Southern gothic story about a young girl who lives next to the woods that are filled with ghosts, goblins, creatures, and zombies. She eventually learns that she is connected to them and that is when all hell breaks loose.

Low by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini (Image)
A post-apocalyptic aquatic fantasy where mankind has retreated to the ocean’s depths for survival. Unfortunately, it is no less brutal as one family is torn apart by the dangers beneath the waves.

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona/Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
Arguably one of the more important comics if not the best on the stands today. Kamala Khan struggles with adolescence, school, love, family, and devotion to Islam while learning to be a superhero. The one true joy to read every month.

The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman (Marvel)
The stirring run by Jason Aaron has him casting the Asgardian god into a woman and a most unlikely one too. Picked up from where Aaron’s God of Thunder series ended except this time it deals less with the mythological and delves into the present.

Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda/Jose Marzan Jr. (DC)
A sci-fi series with some real world overtones. Not exactly a Guardians of the Galaxy wannabe but this series finds the Omega Men on the run with the entire galaxy breathing down their necks. Is there more to them than meets the eye?

Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
If you love the work of Craig Thompson (Blankets and Habibi) and the Hernandez Brothers (Love and Rockets), you’ll want to read this. The story addresses themes about growing up, love and sex, and faith and religion.

Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
Love, humor, adventure! The heir to Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus is a fun and entertaining read. 

Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)
Violence, football, beer, rednecks. Walking Tall for the new millennium.

Star Wars by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday (Marvel)
Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca (Marvel)
Two of the more enjoyable comics. You feel like you’re watching a continuation of Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. It fills in the gaps between films and introduces us to some cool and memorable new characters. You have to read them to find out who they are.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)
A surprise hit. With her wit, charm, and squirrel powers, Squirrel Girl battles the likes of Galactus and Thanos and wins. Check out her nutty adventures. At first, I thought it would be some corny nutball comic but it sure if funny as heck.


DKIII: The Master Race by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, and Andy Kubert/Klaus Janson
Two issues in. Better than The Dark Knight Strikes Again but still not as thunderous as the original series. Still worth reading and to see where Miller takes his left wing views with Batman and the storyline that changed the character forever.

Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Treiman (Boom Studios)
We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce (Image)
Reminds me of Terry Moore’s excellent Strangers in Paradise. Three dormmates become fast friends and learn a lot about the world in the face of hand-wringing boys, experimentation, nu-chauvinism, and the unwanted intrusion of academia. If they are lucky, they will make it to the spring break alive.

Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic (Marvel)
Finally a Marvel mega-event that is done right. Sets the stage for the new Marvel Universe.

Graphic Novels

Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (Archaia)
A sad story. When Rory’s car breaks down just outside town, a young girl named Sylvia appears by his side. She says she is a Valkyrie sent by the Norse god Odin to deliver him to Valhalla because today he is going to die. The two take a trip down memory lane where Rory comes to terms with his life before it’s time to say goodbye. 

Nanjing: The Burning City by Ethan Young (Dark Horse)
The horror of war told through the eyes of two Chinese soldiers trying to escape the invading Imperial Japanese Army during the early years of World War II. Powerful and deeply moving.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Harper Collins)
Has the feel of "Adventure Time” with its villains, dragons, science, and symbolism. A subversive and sharlpy irreverent comic.

Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
A hilarious re-telling of historical, literary, and cultural figures who are placed in ridiculous situations. Simple art yet elegant. Beaton’s prose is a winner.

Two Brothers by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon (Dark Horse)
Another sad tale about a fallout between twins that has profound and adverse effects on a migrant family in mid-20th century Brazil. By the award-winning duo who produced “Daytripper." 

Comics that you should follow for 2016

The Sheriff of Babylon (Vertigo)

Paper Girls (Image)

The Visions (Marvel)

Monday, December 28, 2015

What do I think of Marvel's All-New All-Different line?

What do I think of Marvel's All-New All-Different line?

I am really not convinced. A lot of it seems contrived. I dislike their approach to diversity where it feels contrived rather than natural. 

I won't even touch on how they have destroyed the Fantastic Four and X-Men. But I will say this about the mutant line -- I do not buy Iceman being gay after all this time. This is so much bullshit. Why not just come up with a character and make him gay? I have no problem with LGBT characters as long as it is done naturally rather than foisting these established characters who suddenly aren't who we thought they were. 

I really cannot get into what they have done to the mutant line. It used to be the industry best-seller. Now, they're full of shit. I can only compare them to the time when Jeph Loeb took over the Ultimates from Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch and turned it into a Image superhero comic circa early 1990s. 

Furthermore, I also do not buy Sam Wilson as Captain America. Everyone wants to be say Kobe Bryant or even LeBron James but they end up being themselves. Listen to Kobe or LBJ; they all say they aren't Michael Jordan but themselves. In line with that logic, why can't Sam be simply the Falcon and give him the push he deserves rather than be Cap? And what's with Jane Foster as Thor? Why can't she just be another hero? Why is Thor suddenly a wimp who gets his ass kicked by Angela and everyone else?

I get the feeling that changes in characters, revealing one is gay, or ethnically diverse is just to get the comic featured in some non-industry magazine or CNN.

Look at the All-New All-Different Avengers line-up? I love Kamala Khan and have purchased every single Ms. Marvel comic including the Christmas Special but she doesn't belong in the Avengers. The Avengers are supposed to be Earth's Mightiest Heroes and now we have the kiddie brigade joining their ranks. It used to be almost an exclusive club but not they just let about anybody in. Wolverine is not the profile for what an Avenger should be. Ditto for Deadpool. So why the hell does Logan pop his claws or Wade bring a gun? The new book is nothing more than a sales gimmick. What's with the New Avengers? 

Hawkeye has gone from one of the coolest comics to one that has lost its lustre. Look. Go in another direction. Stop trying to ape Matt Fraction and David Aja who are already off the book. 

Is there anything that I like from the ANAD line?


Amazing Spider-Man with Peter Parker suddenly finding himself awash with money is pushing the story forward. The days of his financial woes are done and beaten to death even if it had to be poorly revisited following the events of One More Day. I love how the Prowler is now an aide de camp or even -- to borrow a WWE term -- a "stunt double."

Doctor Strange is one of the best right now even if Stephen Strange is channeling his inner Tony Stark.

The new armor of Stark in Invincible Iron Man makes sense. Am just not crazy about the reveal that his isn't a true Stark (what a bullshit plot line interjected by Kieron Gillen during Marvel Now). Am just surprised they have a second Iron Man title coming up. Hey, aren't sales down that you have to come up with another?

Here's the the list of ANAD that I get:
Amazing Spider-Man
The Astonishing Ant-Man
Doctor Strange
Invincible Iron Man
All-New All-Different Avengers (I get this because of Kamala Khan and am trusting Mark Waid to turn out good stuff).
The Mighty Thor (As much as I do not like Jane Foster as Thor, Jason Aaron has done a great job with his run and am trusting him on this)
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (bears further watching to see where they take this)
Ms. Marvel
Totally Awesome Hulk
Silver Surfer

What did I try and drop?
Angela Queen of Hel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Howling Commandoes of SHIELD
The New Avengers
Radioactive Spider-Gwen
Uncanny Avengers
All-New Wolverine
Extraordinary X-Men
Sam Wilson: Captain America
Uncanny Inhumans
Web Warriors
All-New Inhumans

I hope Marvel stops their endless reboots and event-books that really don't do much. Secret Wars was one of the better ones except that it is really late. It went from an eight-issue limited series to having a ninth issue. WTF!

The saving grace for it is Esad Ribic finished all the art chores instead of farming it out to another artist.

What has changed for me in terms of my buying habits for Marvel and DC? I only get runs now. If I like the creative team I get the issues. If the team changes, I drop the title. Loyalty is out of the window for me since Marvel and DC have not reciprocated. 

It is easy to say that my tastes have changed. Not true. I read a lot of the new stuff and there's a lot that's good across the various publishers major or indie. My point is all about consistency, being respectful of the characters, and quality product. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Two Brothers, from Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba, is a must-read

Two Brothers is a must-read graphic novel
by rick olivares

As soon as I read Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s new graphic novel, "Two Brothers," an adaptation of their fellow Brazilian writer Milton Hatoum’s “The Brothers,” I put the book down and thought of S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders.”

In Hinton’s classic novel about rebels without a cause, there’s a chapter that explains how people scream for help but no one is either listening or willing to say what needs to be said.

Right before the rumble between Socs and Greasers, Randy, relates that the death of his best friend Bob was coming as he cruised the road to destruction. "They spoiled him rotten. I mean, most parents would be proud of a kid like that — good-lookin' and smart and everything, but they gave in to him all the time. He kept trying to make someone say 'No' and they never did. They never did. That was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him 'No.' To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That's what we all want, really. One time…"

And that is what “Two Brothers” — interpreted by brothers Fabio and Gabriel — is all about as well. Twin brothers Omar and Yaqub have the same physical features but are wholly different from one another. After one particular violent exchange between the brothers that partially disfigures Yaqub, the parents, Halim and Zana, separate them with the latter sent to live with relatives in Lebanon for five years. When he returns, the tension remains as the family deals with simmering issues of searching for an identity, love, loss, selfishness, deception, and the dissolution of blood ties. The result is a life of regret and of words said and left unsaid. 

In the book, there are no heroes and villains. You pull and hope for things to be all right. Alas, everyone makes decisions that eventually hurt one but ultimately affect everyone else. There are moments when one can do something to rectify the situation but the inability, willingly or unwillingly to address the concerns, finds the moments passing; thus, paving the way for an ending that greatly tugs at your heartstrings. 

It’s a powerful and moving story similar to Moon and Ba’s earlier masterpiece, “Daytripper,” that essentially seize the moment. “Two Brothers” is the opposite. They channel Hinton’s Outsiders when parents choose to allow the moments to pass like ships in the night. And in doing so, the sins of the parents live on in their children.

Unlike “Daytripper” where Brazil’s festive atmosphere comes to life in colorist Dave Stewart's gorgeous palette, “Two Brothers” is wholly in black and white and takes place in the port city of Manaus that was front and center to all the upheaval’s of the world’s fifth largest country. 

While one wonders how it would fared with Stewart’s sensitive touch, the black and white feels like everything is one big trip down memory lane which it is as the story is narrated by Yaqub’s unnamed bastard son. The black and white art forces you, the reader to make a deeper commitment to the story as you take in every panel just as you savor every morsel of the prose by these talented brothers.

Whether you are a fan of the work of Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba or just love poignant graphic stories that leave an impression on you, then welcome “Two Brothers” — stirring and bittersweet — to your essential reading family. 

Two Brothers (Dark Horse Comics)
writers and artists: Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon
Format: B&W, 232 pages, Hardcover
Age: 18 and up
Available in Manila at Comic Odyssey, Filbar’s, and Fullybooked

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Got the Jessica Jones Alias Investigations mug

Got the Jessica Jones Alias Investigations mug from Cafe Press for Christmas!      


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Looking forward to getting the Ant-Man & Ant-Thony Pop! Vinyl from Funko

Five-inch tall Pop toy! Cool. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens film review: A lovely yet bittersweet departure

Star Wars: The Force Awakens film review: A lovely yet bittersweet departure
by rick olivares

When was the last time a film really had you clapping from the moment the music hits the screen? When was the last time you were on the edge of your seat? When was the last time you left a theater in equal parts ecstasy, wonder, disbelief, joy, and sadness; you know where you run the entire gamut of emotions?

Yes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is all that and more. And under the capable baton of director JJ Abrams who knows a thing or two about revitalizing and bringing beloved franchises to a new generation (see Star Trek), it’s a bold stroke for the mythology of creator George Lucas.

While some scenes are similar they are different. And they’re smashingly lovely if not bittersweet departures.

Seeing Jakku is like revisiting Tattooine complete with that sense of wonder. In Star Wars: A New Hope, that came in the form of the myriad landscapes and aliens (Tusken Raiders and the Jawas). For Episode VII, it’s the burned out hulks of fallen Star Destroyers. Rey (Daisy Ridley) reprises the wonder of Luke staring at the twin moons of Tattooine by spelunking inside the Star Destroyer and life as a scavenger. I wish there were a few extra minutes inside the fallen Star Destroyer as Rey looks around, scavenging. 

Space pirate Maz Kanata’s castle on the planet Takodana will remind one of the cantina scene in Tattooine after which there is a battle albeit a longer one with Stormtroopers.

I love the new cast of Rey, Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and BB8 that looks to be the next main cast with some members of the old cast still around. Ridley and Boyega are terrific. They both bring a certain electricity and energy to the film. Part of it is the humour that scriptwriters Lawrence Kasdan (one of the old hands still around), Abrams, and Michael Arndt infuse the dialogue. In Episodes IV-VI, a lot of that humour was sprayed around by the crusty and sardonic Han Solo. Boyega brings it. If Ridley is the soul of the new franchise, Boyega is its heart. He sure made all his scenes memorable.

BB8 is a winner! This is the droid that we are looking for. The heir to R2D2 that in many ways is more loveable and interesting. The droid’s spherical shape resembles a football that isn’t lost on fans of the world’s most popular sport. And that leads me to say that you should have seen The Force Awakens promo with the Spanish National Football Team that cements this. 

The Force Awakens also serves as a bridge from the old to the unchartered future. The old hands like Leia Organa (now a general), Han Solo and Chewbacca (who have returned to their freebooting days), and Luke Skywalker are still around. While they make memorable appearances, they essentially pass the torch to the new cast.

And speaking of passing the torch, in Episode I and IV, the first films of the first wave of trilogies, a key member of the cast bit the dust. They were Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi respectively. I thought it would be Luke to keep with the Jedi death tradition. Instead, it was Han Solo whose death at the hands of his own son, Kylo Ren, is stunning in its suddenness. We are blind-sided to this. We know that as far back as Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford campaigned for the death of everyone’s favorite space smuggler. Now Abrams and company obliged him “to move the story forward” as the director explained. 

Yet unlike the deaths of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, this one hits home because at the time of the theatrical releases of Episodes I and IV, we didn’t really know them as characters. Solo was a key character in the main trilogy. 

As much as it hurts, it does make sense. It gives the film a sense of urgency and danger. Not since the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader is revealed to be Luke’s father does a film leave one to think, reflect, shake your head, and cuss some. It will go down as one of filmdom’s more poignant screen deaths. 

Another point to the death… nothing good ever comes during that generator complex/catwalk scene (see Qui-Gon Jinn versus Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi against Darth Vader).

I love how Kylo Ren reflects the tortured mind of Anakin Skywalker. I hope he isn’t easily dispatched by this trilogy’s end. And speaking of dispatches...

Film-wise, The Force Awakens seems to follow the template of A New Hope — a desert planet, a droid given important information that the Empire/First Order is after, a sprinkling of humor here and there, a major death, and the fall of the enemy base — and it does make for an enjoyable film. I’d say it would have been the best of the Star Wars lot considering the technological breakthroughs, superb cast and the wonderful dialogue had it not been in my opinion some glaring flaws. 

What are these flaws?

One, I disagree with how quick Rey learned to use the Force. It took a while for Anakin and Luke Skywalker to learn how to utilize it and they both had Obi Wan Kenobi to guide them. She got it kind of quick. One may argue that her will power might be stronger but remember that the two Skywalkers were thought to be the ones to bring balance to the Force.

Furthermore, sword fighting is something that is learned. Even if Rey uses a staff to fend for herself that is still way different from using a sword to fight. You send someone trained in the art with an untrained person and the latter will be skewered in seconds. 

I don’t buy Rey beating Kylo Ren… just yet. It would have been more plausible to see her lose first.

Second point is how Finn knew the weak point of Starkiller Base (love the name that is a homage to the original surname of Luke Skywalker). How does a grunt know that? Whether he was kidding or not that he was on garbage detail is beside the point. Do you think the military high command will tell its soldiers its secrets? That’s a need-to-know basis especially for something as sensitive as the weak point of the base.

And lastly, you know the saying, “Fool me one, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?” Well, after this film, the First Order, the newfangled Empire, are effing idiots. After the destruction of two Death Stars, never mind if a generation has passed, you’d think they would have learned their lessons well. For a military to be defeated that way a third time, well, no wonder they are losing the war. 

Let me expound. During World War II, the Bofors system on Allied warships was effective is shooting down enemy aircraft. When the threat of the Kamikaze arrived, the Bofors was rather ineffective and hence, the need for heavier anti-aircraft weaponry. Post-WWII, that eventually gave rise to what is termed as CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) to moder-day defense systems such as the American Phalanx, the Russian AK-630, and the Dutch Goalkeeper to name a very few.

Further to that point, in Naval warfare, you have various destroyers and frigates surrounding and protecting an aircraft carrier that is arguably the most important ship in a flotilla. 

So it stands to reason that Starkiler Base should have satellites to protect it from Republic fighters. 

I think this flaw in terms of military strategy is terrible and adds to unbelievability of the battle's end.

The Force Awakens is many things. First of all, it is a blockbuster film that ends 2015 with a massive bang. Second, it’s a bridge to the next generation of Star Wars films.

After watching The Force Awakens, is it the best Star Wars film thus far? I’d say it moves up to #2 with A New Hope still the best.

The Star Wars galaxy isn’t safe from the nefarious First Order. Yet for all my quibbles, as a franchise, it is in the very capable hands of Disney and director JJ Abrams. I can’t wait to see how Episode VIII turns out.


Two of the three top-grossing films of 2015 are from Disney — Avengers: Age of Ultron and Inside Out. 

Barely, a week into its initial screening, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is at eighth and climbing. It could very well catch up to the Avengers and Inside Out. 

Let’s see though it is catches Jurassic World that topped the Avengers by under $200 million. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Picked up The Star Wars - the adaptation of the original George Lucas script

Picked up the hard cover edition of "The Star Wars" from Dark Horse Comics. "The Star Wars" -- written by J.W. Rinzler and illustrated by Mike Mayhew -- is the comic book adaptation of the original draft of George Lucas penned before the final draft that turned out to be A New Hope. It has some similarities but it is mostly different. The creative team didn't have any designs to work with when they undertook the project but they did use some of the early designs by the late Ralph McQuarrie whose designs and storyboards was what sold 20th Century Fox on the film.

You have to divest yourself of what you know when reading this. It's kind of difficult but if you do so it's worth the read. 

The deluxe edition collects the eight issues that was released in 2013 along with Mayhew's designs, notes, and variant covers.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Goddamned

The Goddamned from Jason Aaron and G.M. Guera who both worked on the awesome Scalped. 

The Goddamned is a brutal and violent comic that is set during the Biblical times about the first murdered -- Cain. 

Aaron and Guera will out-Conan Conan the Barbarian with this ultra-violent comic. Not for the squeamish.

Was iffy on picking this up due to a heavy and costly pull list but I did because it's Jason Aaron. No effing regrets! Love it.

F-word stats:
Issue #1 - 13x
Issue #2 - 24x

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Leinil Yu to draw Star Wars comic

Pinoy superstar artist Leinil Yu to draw Star Wars comic
by rick olivares

The adventures of beloved characters from a galaxy far far away are now being drawn by someone not too far away.

Filipino comic book artist Leinil Yu, who has drawn such high-profile comics such as Civil War and Wolverine for Marvel, Superman: Birthright for DC, and Superior under Icon to name a few, will be working on the Star Wars comic beginning February 2016.

"I think my coming onboard is very timely,” said Yu who was all smiles as fans crowded the Promenade Hall in Greenhills for Star Wars Saturday. "I was supposed to do a Han Solo book then they (Marvel) switched me over to the main Star Wars series. But before I could really begin work on Star Wars, they asked to do the Darth Vader Annual. Now I didn’t know that the Darth Vader Annual was coming out during the opening week for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' so that made it pretty cool.”

Yu admitted to be an old-time Star Wars fan and the new pencilling gig is a dream come true for him. "Drawing Star Wars is something I said yes to immediately. Why not? Who doesn’t love Star Wars? You’re talking about Han Solo, Darth Vader, the cast and crew that we grew up with in the main book. What is not to like? However, if they asked me to do a Jar Jar Binks mini-series that’s another thing."

Han Solo, arguably the most popular of the Star Wars characters, is Yu’s favorite. Yet the artist admitted that he hasn’t gotten a full grip on all the characters just yet. “It’s one thing to enjoy them on film as a fan and it’s another to draw them. I just started working on the characters so I haven’t figured them out. You can say that I am still getting to know the characters better.  It usually takes me a couple of issues before I get into the groove of the book I am working on. But so far, I like drawing Han and everyone. The cast is so diverse it’s fun for me. It’s also a test to what I can do with this icon of a franchise.”

"It’s being solicited for February but I am still working on it. It’s harder because it’s the Christmas season."

Regarding ’Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ Yu said he loves it. "I love it. I had high expectations because it is JJ Abrams. But I have some reservations as a fan though. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again."
Star Wars Saturday was organized by Filbar’s and the alliance of pop culture stores thoughout Manila. 

The Star Wars franchise returned to Marvel this 2015 when Disney purchased Lucasfilm Ltd., ending close to two decades run under Dark Horse Comics. It was Marvel that originally published Star Wars concurrent to the original film’s release in May of 1977. 

Star Wars Saturday at Promenade, Greenhills.

Attended Star Wars Saturday, an event organized by Filbar's and The Alliance of the country's pop culture stores held at the Promenade Hall at Promenade, Greenhills. There was that special screening for fans of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and more side-events that you can shake a light saber at. Really grateful for events like this because the specialty stores know how to make their fans happy. So muchos gracias to the kind folks who put this together.

Watched Star Wars when it was first shown in Manila in June of 1977 at the old Rizal Theater in Makati (now part of Greenbelt). Been a fan of the franchise ever since buying the novels, comics, DVDs, and merchandise.

My fave film of the lot? Episode IV.

My fave Star Wars character? Han Solo.

There were several cake designs on display and I have to say that they sure were impressive. Hope to order at least one of them soon.

And to think I was going to enlist in the First Order... 

There was a signing for Darth Vader Annual #1 by superstar artist Leinil Yu! Happy to get my copy signed!

With Jacob Cabochan, owner of Filbar's! He's in his impressive Jedi costume.  Cool dude.
My loot from Filbar's: Light Saber (the one with Anakin on it), Finn bobblehead, Marvel Comics Star Wars comics line preview, Star Wars fan, and First Order Stormtrooper standee.

With Rebekah Ilo who picked up some of my comics!

With Rebekah, a student from JRU, who got some of my comics!