Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TV REVIEW: STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS THE DESERTER



The second part of last Fridays The Clone Wars two-parter was "The Deserter" which continues the action from "Grievous Intrigue."

Obi-Wan and Rex track Grievous on Saleucami.

Having managed to elude the Jedi, General Grievous crash lands on Saleucami with only a squad of Battle Droids and no working transmitter nor a way to get off planet. He and his drioids trek across the wilderness to reach an escape pop from which they can contact their fleet. Meanwhile the Kenobi, Captain Rex, and their clonetroopers are in hot pursuit. The Republic forces split up and Rex is injured and left with a female Twilek farmer to recuperate. When her husband arrives, he is revealed to be a clone who has abandoned his station and settled with a wife and family on Saleucami.

Rex, Cut and his family.

If there is anything that has been a preoccupation with this series, it has been humanizing and exploring the subculture of the Clonetroopers. The show's producers have gone to great lenghts to distinguish the clones from one another, usually via armor customization or increasingly bizarre hairstyles. The series has briefly touched upon the nagging ethical dilemma of cloning human beings to fight wars in the first season epsiode, "The Enemy Within," which featured a turncoat clone who decided to side with the Separatists and who actually made some very good points. This episode features a deserter named Cut Lawquane,
who offers a counterpoint to the first season's clone traitor. He's another clone who has displayed a surprising amount of free will. Like the clone traitor from the first season, Cut has decided that serving the Republic is not for him, although he has found a more peaceful way to leave the war. We see Rex grow to grudgingly respect his brother's choice.

Grievous rides a reek. No, it's not a children's book. Not yet, anyway.

There is also a great sequence in which Cut's children (Clones can have children!
And with a Twilek? WTF!) stumble upon a Separatist landing ship filled with Commando Droids. Cut, Rex and his family barricade their darkened home against an onslaught of the deadly droids in a truly tense and scary sequence. These Commando Droids are great additions to the Star Wars mythos and add a real sense of fear and danger any time that they are used.

The other storyline is concerned with tracking down and capturing Grievous as he makes his way off planet. This end is a little more unsatisfying as Grievous once again escapes. "We're right back where we started," Obi-Wan laments at the general's escaping ship. I kind of felt the same way. Knowing where most of these characters end up, I am kind of wanting something remarkable to happen in the meantime. What is the most interesting thing that can be done and still get the characters into position for Revenge of the Sith? This cat-and-mouse game between Grievious and Obi-Wan is not it.

"The Deserter" is another solid entry into The Clone Wars and one that helps to add another level to our understanding of the clone psychology. It begins to answer some of our questions about these warriors, who at first seemed to be little more than preprogrammed organic droids. Hopefully, future episodes will dig even deeper into these characters. For, example how much free will do they actually have? To what extent are they "programmed" to obey orders? And, finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the welcome return of an item from the very first Star Wars movie, the Dejarik table.

Patrick Garone
Senior Reviewer
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Comic News: Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic Episode 6 Video



Marvel is pleased to present the Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic Episode 6 Video.

Marvel is proud to unveil your first look at episode 6 of the Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic! Based on the acclaimed story by superstars Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and John Cassaday (Captain America), the X-Men are faced with a mysterious new villain and a possible cure for the mutant gene! Now Cyclops, Wolverine and all your favorite mutants must face the greatest threats of their lives and, before it’s all done, experience one of the most jaw-dropping moments in Marvel history!

video
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Toy News: Mattel and WWE® Launch Toy Line Worldwide



Mattel Rings in New Year with New WWE® Toy Line Targeted to Both Kids and Collectors

World Wrestling Entertainment® (NYSE: WWE) and Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today debut the most comprehensive portfolio of WWE® action figures and accessories for fans of all ages on store shelves worldwide. Mattel will manufacture, market and distribute the exclusive line of WWE action figures and accessories. These two leading entertainment brands will bring the thrill of WWE home in a new and fun way to the more than half a billion television households that view WWE programming worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 16 million viewers tune in each week to “Monday Night Raw®,” “Friday Night SmackDown®,” “ECW®” and “WWE Superstars.”

The line includes action figures and toys for both kids and collectors. Younger fans will delight in Mattel’s first-ever FlexForce™ Action Figures, which allow them to recreate the excitement of their favorite WWE Superstar moves. Based on innovative design research, the figures utilize flex-loaded arms and legs to execute the thrilling trademark maneuvers made famous by WWE Superstars such as John Cena®, CM Punk® and Rey Mysterio®. Other products designed specifically for kids will include Superstar Rings, Championship Belts, Ring Action Megaphone and motion-activated Tough Talkers™ that deliver WWE Superstar catch phrases and striking sounds.

“Mattel is excited to bring the iconic WWE entertainment brand to fans worldwide, through an authentic line of products that capture all the drama and excitement that makes the WWE a worldwide phenomenon,” said Tim Kilpin, general manager, Mattel Brands' Girls, Boys & Games Division. “WWE has spent the past decade tailoring its live and broadcast entertainment experience to a more mainstream audience. Our goal is to help kids and parents extend the experience even further by safely recreating the action in the home through play with these action figures.”

“We are elated to be partnering with an industry leader like Mattel in producing the most authentic and realistic WWE action figures and accessories imaginable for our young fans and collectors,” stated Donna Goldsmith, COO, WWE. “This new WWE line is truly reflective of Mattel’s extensive research into what kids and collectors want. Mattel’s unparalleled expertise with kids is the perfect complement to WWE’s commitment to PG, family-friendly entertainment.”

Mattel is equally dedicated to creating products that appeal to WWE's enormous collector community, delivering a line that surpasses all previous ones in terms of attention to detail and realism. With all action figures featuring “Superstar Scale,” fans can now experience the differences in height and size between WWE Superstars from Rey Mysterio to the Undertaker®. Mattel’s portfolio of action figures also features an Elite Collection designed with precise detail. This extensive line also comes packed with a collector stand and name card for easy display.

Fans looking to complete their collection will have a chance to purchase new figures each month throughout the year. Basic figure single packs will be released every month, while two-packs and Elite figures will roll out every other month. In addition to the global retail launch, Mattel’s line of WWE action figures, Championship Belts, Superstar Rings, Ring Action Megaphones and role playing accessories will be available to purchase at the more than 300 live WWE events held throughout the year.

Leveraging social media channels, Mattel will update fans on never before seen products and offer the opportunity to engage directly with fellow collectors. Visit the Mattel WWE Facebook fan page for more information.
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Comic News: Radical Publishing for Jan 6th.



Radical Publishing has released previews for their books coming out on January 6th.

FVZA: FEDERAL VAMPIRE AND ZOMBIE AGENCY #2 (2 of 3)
Writer DAVID HINE
Penciler ROY ALLAN MARTINEZ and WAYNE NICHOLS
Painter KINSUN LOH and JERRY CHOO
Letterer RICHARD STARKINGS and COMICRAFT’S JIMMY BETANCOURT
64 pages, Full Color for only $4.99

After a successful raid on the zombie-infected town of Corben, the newly reinstated FVZA recruits are on high alert. But as the agency scans the world for new outbreaks of the undead virus, the vampire high council begins its plan for domination of the United States. Only the knowledge of newly appointed agency adviser Hugo Pecos and the battle skills of his grandchildren, Landra and Vidal, will give the FVZA a fighting chance at extinguishing the undead threat once and for all!

Featuring covers by Clint Langley and Yang Xueguo.


HERCULES: THE KNIVES OF KUSH #5 (5 of 5)
Writer STEVE MOORE
Artist CRIS BOLSON and MANUEL & LEONARDO SILVA
Colorist DOUG SIROIS and CLIFF CRAMP
Letterer TODD KLEIN
28 pages, FC, $2.99

The stunning conclusion! After an explosive showdown of thunder and lightning on the battlefield, Hercules and his companions are set to end Egypt’s civil war. But even with a cunning plan to defeat Khadis, Lord of Lightning and the insurgent king Amenmessu, there still remains a traitor in the royal house of Seti II. When the dust has settled on the grounds of war, the future of Egypt is in the hands of Hercules.

Featuring two incredible covers from Clint Langley.
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