The aspect of real world conflict and the perceptions of an era can sometimes be caught in art but it is always the texture of perception that determines through what lens the emotion and drama is captured. in “6 Days: The Incredible Story Of D-Day’s Lost Chapter” [Robert Vendetti/Vertigo/148pgs]”, the author examines a small piece of Operation Overlord (which was used for a different effect in the movie of the same name). In this story, when many regiments are dropped over France, they miss their target but converge on the small town on Graignes. The story is of them trying to hold off the German assault until they can be relieved from the American forces coming from the coast. While some of the imagery, especially during the firefights is quite good with out being gory, it is the intersection of the small moments that connect, whether it be some of the young woman listening outside a church to the men inside who take initiative themselves to the simple happiness inside a mess hall just to get some warm food. There is an essence to the humanity. One part that works very well though it tends to play a little melodramatic is the aspect of the families back in America praying in a church in sadness while the soldiers and the local villagers in Graignes convene in the church in hope. The hope doesn’t last long and the texture of war and just surviving takes hold. In all actuality, the actual overrunning of the troops is more alluded to rather than shown as an overall stampede of German troops. But what the battle does offer is the perspective of war but also the psychological toll at points on a textured level. “6 Days” shows a direct and plain view of the lost memories of war before everything was laser guided. World War II was a war unlike any other and even a brief glimpse into the minutiae of the day allows for a window into the time.
By Tim Wassberg
The coalescing of the overall structure of the “Star Trek TNG: Terra Incognita TPB” [Scott & Arthur Tipton/IDW/147pgs] storyline gives a more rounded view of the inherent motivation of the characters. While the different issues go off in different directions in terms of character beats, the Barkley story does have resonance in terms of its more basic existential versions of self, and the idea of the alpha and the beta. The fact that many of the crew tend to like him more in a mirror self than his more sensitive regular self points to a structural point of the ID. This is also reflective in one of the issues within this TPB that explores the passing of a Katra after a summit gone wrong that leaves a Vulcan dead. A younger Vulcan doctor makes a judgment call after speaking to Picard who interrelated his mind meld with Sarek and what that allowed them to accomplish. The backdrop of this is interrelated to a peace negotiation between the Federation and the Cardassians. The background of that of course fuels what is going on on in subtext in the mirror universe which has interrelated in both the TNG and Voyager storylines. It involves classified tech which is not available in the mercenary universe which revolves less in R&D and more in industrial espionage. Ultimately it is the infighting and insight by both Riker and Picard which allows the Federation Universe to get the upper hand although simple human error always is a variable. “Terra Incognita”, in a continuing perception both of command education, priority contact and simple diplomacy between disparate species, is an interesting if not disjointed continuation of the issues that plagued but also enhances the voyages of the Enterprise D.
By Tim Wassberg
Seeing the textures of this series put together doesn’t diminish its tale at all but gives it a fuller conception as a cautionary tale. “Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader’s Castle” [Cavan Scott/IDW/120pgs] tells the approach of a rebel team into the planet of Mustafar which has become Anakin/Darth Vader’s home either by conscious or unconscious perception. It is fitting but also bathed in metaphor as it should be. As seen in parallel to say “The Mummy” from 1999, every character has their own flaws but also must know their limits. The lead character, a female pilot Llla, does not seem aware of Vader but the stories here correlate to the actual confidence building of a small insect-like crew member in Skritt (honestly the weakest part of the story). Different characters tell different stories like Han Solo on one of his misadventures where he is caught in the path of one of the disgraced witches who helped resurrect Darth Maul or an Ewok who was led astray in his aspect to avoid strife and appease his predators. Ultimately this reflects back on Vader’s merciless pursuit of the rebels until they leave. He takes down one of their ranks in Hudd, a gluttonous thief but does so off-screen while also dismantling one of the droids with his light saber. But ultimately there is a sadness in Vader simply because you almost understand he wants to be left alone but yet is brought out as a blunt instrument as that is his purpose.
By Tim Wassberg