Marz, Ron

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

4 out of 5

(5 books)

Batman/Aliens

(Art by Bernie Wrightson)

Batman parachutes into the South American jungle in search of a missing geologist and instead finds a Special Ops team and a crashed spaceship. 

This story is very familiar, perhaps overly so, but nevertheless it's great to see Batman going toe-to-toe with space's scariest denizens. 

The one thing I really enjoyed is Batman's musings on where the real evil lies; with the instinct-driven aliens or with the humans trying to exploit them.

4 out of 5

 

Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight

(Art by Bill Willingham, Fred Haynes, Darryl Banks, Romeo Tanghal, Robert Campanella and Dennis Cramer)

Hal Jordan stand amid the ashes of Coast City and tries to cope with loss on an untold scale.  When he is censured by the Guardians, Hal's rage and frustration boil over and he sets out to steal the power of the Central Battery on Oa, brutally battling his way through friends, colleagues and enemies alike.

When Geoff Johns soft-rebooted Green Lantern it was retconned that Hal had been possessed by the fear entity Parallax, but here we see events as originally intended; with Hal's fall to the dark side being due to his being pushed over the edge mentally and emotionally.  Many fans claimed that Hal's fall was out of character but, honestly, Marz does a great job here of making it feel believable.  It's a fall of increments as each frustration, each denial, mounts up and pushes Hal further and further off his rocker.  The early scenes where Hal tried to recreate Coast City and people he knew there through sheer willpower are an excellent expression of a man made delusional by grief.

Also, this book gives us the first appearance of Kyle Rayner, who was the Green Lantern of my childhood.

4 out of 5

 

Green Lantern Versus Aliens

(Art by Rick Leonardi and Mike Perkins)

Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps encounter the xenomorphs on a distant planet but choose to rescpect the Aliens' right to live.  Ten years later Kyle Rayner, the last Green Lantern, is called upon to rescue the crew of a crashed star freighter who have fallen afoul of the xenomorphs. 

I've never really been a Green Lantern fan, but Kyle's little quips and his dodgy attempts to chat up Crowe helped to endear the character to me.  The Aliens are done justice here and I liked the idea that although they no longer have their power rings, the former Green Lanterns are still willing to step into the breach when needed. 

This book's best element, however, is the way it shows that the butter-wouldn't-melt policies of most old school superheroes aren't necessarily the best solution.  This also raises the interesting plot point of having Kyle be forced to decide to follow Hal's example, which led to the current problems, or to become a merciless killer in order to prevent the Aliens returning in the future.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Darth Maul

(Art by Jan Duursema and Rick Magyar)

Set a year before 'The Phantom Menace'.  Sith Lord Darth Sidious (he's really Senator Palpatine, you know) decides that the powerful Black Sun crime syndicate could be an impediment to his plans and sends his ruthless apprentice, Darth Maul to 'wipe them out, all of them'. 

There isn't much of a plot here and the book basically involves Maul going from one place to another lightsabering everthing in sight.  Somehow I was hoping for something more and also, I'm not a big fan of Duursema's artwork.  Don't get me wrong, the art is incredibly well done, but I prefer artwork to be more stylised than hers is. 

It's not all bad news, I loved the design of Maul's torso tattoos and the scene where he confronts a Dathomiri Nightsister is excellent.  However, too little, too late.

3 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Jango Fett

(Art by Tom Fowler)

Let's be honest, anything with Jango Fett in is going to be cool!  This book doesn't disappoint either.  Five years before Episode II, Jango is hired to recover an alien artifact but soon discovers that he has competition in the form of his old rival/ally Zam Wesell. 

This is only a short book, about the length of a single comic, and therefore is quite costly for what you get, but it's such a fun read that I'd say it's worth it.

Followed by 'Zam Wesell'.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Zam Wesell

(Art by Ted Naifeh)

27 BBY.  The sequel to 'Jango Fett' and set directly thereafter, this book manages to far exceed its predecessor.  Zam and Jango break the habit of a lifetime and do a job for free when they discover that the idol they recovered (in 'Jango Fett') has the power to destroy Coruscant itself. 

The interaction and sexual tension between the two main characters is what gives this story its driving energy and is really interesting considering how their relationship ends in 'Attack Of The Clones'. 

On top of an already excellent story, this book features a major Star Wars event; the death of a member of the Jedi Council.  An all round good read, although the cost-to-size ratio is still an issue.

5 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Marvel Versus DC/DC Versus Marvel (here)

Star Wars: Boba Fett - Man With A Mission (here)

Star Wars: Empire - Allies And Adversaries (here)

Star Wars: Empire - The Heart Of The Rebellion (here)

Star Wars: Empire - The Imperial Perspective (here)

Star Wars: Tales - Volume 3 (here)

The Amalgam Age Of Comics: The DC Comics Collection (here)

The Silver Surfer: Origin Of The Silver Surfer/The Herald Ordeal (here)

Read more...

Aliens (here)

DC Comics (here)

Marvel Comics (here)

Star Wars (here)