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Advance Review: ‘Satellite Falling’ #1 is Primo Sci-Fi Noir

SatFall01-coverWritten by Steve Horton
Art by Stephen Thompson
Colors by Lisa Jackson
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Edits by Sarah Gaydos
Publish date May 11, 2016 by IDW Publishing

Since this is an advance review, I promise to keep it spoiler free. But I really want to tell you all about the wonderful details of Steve Horton’s new series for IDW. The story, the setting, the characters. The twists on familiar tropes. That will all have to wait until you can pick it up and read it too. Trust me, you’ll want to do that.

Instead, let me tell you what the series reminded me of. Firefly. Bitch Planet. Blade Runner. The Maltese Falcon. The Fifth Element. Maybe one of those is a favorite of yours? Maybe all? But Satellite Falling isn’t a rehash of any of those; it just shares a particular characteristic or two. A tonality. A character type. An aspect of setting or plot dynamic. It lives in that sweet spot between being unique and familiar, making it particularly pleasurable to read.

Here’s the set-up: Lilly is a fish out of water as the only human being living on the planet Satellite. She’s running away from a painful trauma, the loss of her love Eva. (Here, if this were a longer review, I might delve into the significance of naming these two women derivatives of Eve and Lilith, the two first women in Judeo-Christian tradition. Instead, I’ll leave that for you to ponder.) Lilly is a bad-ass bounty hunter with a heart of gold. She’s Malcolm Reynolds in Kaylee’s body. She works on contract for the local police force, but her skills make her too valuable to leave as a free agent and she gets forced into a job she doesn’t want but now can’t let go of.

Read the rest of my review at!




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‘Jem and the Holograms’ #10 Rio Gives a Chance to Reflect

Jem10_cvrJem and the Holograms #10: Rio Pacheco, Boy Reporter 

Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Corin Howell

Colors by M. Victoria Robado

Letters by Shawn Lee
Edits by John Barber

Published by IDW on December 30, 2015

Jen Bartel’s cover: Jerrica with Rio, but behind her in the reflective glass is Jem looking back at her. That’s what this issue is about: reflection. Introduced on the cover, the theme continues throughout: what something appears to be and what the reality is beneath the surface. Duality of character. It is ironic, then, that the issue leaves the obvious example–Jem and Jerrica–in the background. 

This blindspot comes from a change in narrator. This is Rio’s story, and his reporter skills of observation appear to stop short of seeing the subterfuge behind Jem. What we do get are his insights into the Misfits as well as some well-deserved character development for Rio himself.

Read the rest of my review at


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‘Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1’ is an 80’s Mash-Up Delight

JemAnnual_coverJem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual #1

Written by Kelly Thompson
“Wired” Art and Colors by Amy Mebberson
“Jem Wolf” Art by Arielle Jovellanos and Colors by Josh Burcham
“Angry Aja” Art by Rebekah Isaacs and Colors by Joana Lafuente
“Shana Wars” Art and Colors by Jen Bartel
“Jem Babies” Art and Colors by Agnes Garbowska, Color Assist by Lauren Perry
“Previously” Art by Sophie Campbell and Colors by Victoria Robado
Letters by Tom B. Long and Shawn Lee
Edits by John Barber

Published by IDW on September 30, 2015

The title begs the question: Is it truly outrageous? Unequivocally, yes. Diverging in style and structure from the normal Jem and the Holograms issues, the Outrageous Annual takes our characters and delves into their psychology via pop culture mash-ups. This is the “Avenging Angel” of Farscape, the “Changing Channels” of Supernatural, or the “Restless” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. By allowing the sisters to fall asleep and dream of their favorite films, the framed narratives explore anxieties of each character while playing in the sandboxes of other nostalgic genre favorites. The effect is an amusing riff on sisterhood and identity.

Outrageous Annual is overtly catering to, well, me. And all of the rest of the Jem readership who grew up watching the cartoon and also obsessing over other 80’s-era products. I crushed on Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf and religiously devoured Muppet Babies on Saturday mornings as a child, still consider The Empire Strikes Back as one of the greatest films of all time, and flipped my wig this summer over Mad Max: Fury Road. I suspect Kelly Thompson did too, since these are the texts adorably mashed into the Jem-verse. Each parody offers a humorous juxtaposition of the positive, fashion-forward, sisterly foursome with an otherwise disparate genre paired with a subconscious concern for a character. The overall effect is a touch shallow, but lots of fun. The comic version of a banana split–just enough nutrition in the flavor medley to alleviate a gut ache.

Read the full review on PopOptiq!