Comic-Con News

It’s almost all Marvel goodness, but I am also very excited by some STAR TREK news:

We got a Lower Decks Season 3 trailer showing them visiting DS9.  Awesome!  DS9 is my favorite Trek and I dearly love Lower Decks.  This is peanut butter and chocolate!

The craziest news of the entire con for me… the Lower Decks animated characters are going to appear in Strange New Worlds in a mixed media Roger Rabbit style crossover.  Wow!  I never thought this would happen in a million years!  I can’t wait for this.  Although… I do wish the live action actors appeared as their characters instead because I would like to think that Lower Decks is a 100% canon series that just happens to be animated.  I’m very curious to see how they treat it, but this is incredible news.

MARVEL MARVEL MARVEL!

So many great announcements.  A lot we already knew or suspected, but still exciting to get a road map of the next few years.

The most important news is we’re getting TWO Avengers movies in 2025, The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, named after two of the most famous comic stories in Marveldom.  This is going to be as big as Infinity War and End Game!  By the time this is all over, Kang is going to be just as famous as Thanos.

We’re getting a Thunderbolts movie which is going to be great.  I can’t wait to find out which characters they’ll use, such as Yelena (Black Widow), Ghost, Task Master, Baron Zemo, Abomination, US Agent…

Daredevil is returning with his own Disney Plus series, for 18 episodes no less.  I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Netflix show, though I’m sure the MCU will be a much better version with more superhero-ing and more action.

We know we’re getting Fantastic Four in 2024, but not who’s in it or who’s making it, which is the bigger question.  The previous two iterations have not been great but I know Feige will produce the best possible version of one of the cornerstones of Marvel Comics.

These announcements are all exciting but what I really want to know is who’s playing these characters and who’s directing these movies.  We do know the Russo Brothers are not doing Secret Wars.

Noticeably absent are any mention of the X-Men.  Maybe they’re going to wait until this “Multiverse Saga” is over for that?  Will the next meta-saga star the mutants?

In non-Comic Con news, I’m halfway through the new Avatar the Last Airbender novel, The Rise of Yanchen by F.C. Lee.  It’s great so far!  Just like the two Kyoshi novels before it, this tells a fascinating tale of a previous Avatar in an incredibly fleshed out world with a level of detail the cartoons never had the time for.

And in truly random news that will interest no-one, I also just read the Gregory Keyes prequel novel (Crucible) to Independence Day Resurgence, a movie that I and I alone seem to love.  The reason I enjoyed it so much was seeing how the world dealt with the aftermath of an apocalyptic alien invasion, came together as one to defend against the next attack, and adapted alien technology into their everyday lives.  And this book is the story of that, so I enjoyed it a great deal.

Star Trek Novels Post-Nemesis Concluded

Continuing after the Typhon Pact series…

Next up is the David Mack Cold Equations trilogy.  It’s another solid Mack attack that resurrects Data to the franchise.  Oddly enough, the first two books are closely tied together, while the third is a completely different story. 

The Fall was a five book loose mini-series about a new, belligerent and suspicious, Federation president.  Revelation and Dust is another David George DS9 book that was not to my style but it does feature a major line-changing event.  Crimson Shadow by Una McCormick is basically a Garak novel, and while it lacks for action, her dialogue for Garak is absolutely brilliant.  Ceremony of Losses is by David Mack so you know it’s the best in the series.  It features a pivotal moment for Bashir and for the planet Andor.  Even with a ‘smaller’ story, Mack continues to elevate the material.  Poisoned Chalice is mostly a Titan book, a series I haven’t read much of, but is still important to the larger story.  Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward was a decent ending to the storyline.

Takedown by John Jackson Miller is an excellent standalone adventure full of great action and mystery.  It’s also a bit of a crossover featuring the Enterprise, the Titan, and the Aventine.  This was a lot of fun and one of the best Trek Lit books not written by David Mack!

Section 31 Disavowed by David Mack continues the Bashir / Section 31 storyline and also features an adventure into the Mirror Universe.  I haven’t read the previous books about the Mirror saga but I was able to play catch up well enough.  A solid adventure teeing up a grand finale with 31.

The Prey Trilogy by John Jackson Miller was another epic adventure with great characters and storylines.  It’s a great sequel of sorts to the third and sixth Star Trek movies with a wonderful meditation on Klingon honor and society in addition to being fun and big.  Great Worf story!

Section 31 Control is David Mack’s big Section 31 finale.  We finally learn the secret origin of 31 and it’s a fascinating bit of backstory.  Seeing Bashir and Data team up is a lot of fun.  This is a solid ending to the story but I do wish the 31 endgame had been a little bigger and involved more characters.  By only starring a handful of characters, the scale felt lessened.

Enigma Tales is another Una McCormick Garak novel.  Once again her dialogue for him is absolutely brilliant.  I wasn’t terribly invested in the story about Cardassian politics, but her writing was just too clever and interesting to ignore.

Available Light by Dayton Ward is a TNG story following up the Section 31 finale.  Unfortunately the 31 material turned out to be a very small subplot.  Most of the book is about a standalone alien of the week story that I just couldn’t get into because I was so much interested in the 31 aftermath.

Fortune of War is a Titan story so I was going to skip it, until I saw David Mack wrote it.  I’m not familiar with these characters but as always Mack tells an engrossing and thrilling story with cinematic action and brutal, intelligent villains.  It’s a real end of the world type scenario!  This is how you do a ‘standalone’ story!

Collateral Damage is David Mack’s loose finale to the Trek Lit canon.  Not only does it show Picard on trial for his Time to Kill connection to Section 31, it also features a Naussiacan villain plot spinning out of the events of the Destiny Trilogy.  It’s not the most epic of stories but it’s a great double epilogue to an entire franchise of storylines.

And with that, I made it to the end!  While skipping a ton of side stories.  Now I can finally read the Coda Trilogy which is the final, official, end of the Trek Lit continuity.  Can’t wait!

TV Update

KENOBI:  We just discussed the show on the latest episode of the Sci-Fi Pubcast:

https://www.scifipubcast.space/scifi-pubcast-48

I absolutely loved the show.   It’s my favorite Star Wars TV series.  So wonderful to have a sequel to the Prequels starring the main characters.  So cool to see Obi-Wan and Vader face off.  Little Leia was a delight and her relationship with Obi-Wan was so touching.  I even think the show looked bigger and more cinematic than Mando or Fett.  Everything looked like a big set instead of being shot on the Volume for some reason.  This was my most anticipated show for the year and it exceeded my expectations.  Like every Star Wars story, you can pick it apart if you choose to, but it was a delight and flowed even better on rewatch.

MS MARVEL: I’m enjoying this much more than Moon Knight.  I do wish there was more plot/action, but Kamala is a delightful character with a great supporting cast.  It definitely lacks a strong villain but the mystery of the origin of her powers is a great hook.

THE BOYS:  Hilariously obscene as always, I think I’m enjoying this show more than ever with the addition of Soldier Boy and the Boys experimenting with power drugs.  My greatest complaint about this show is that the heroes have no super villains to fight, no threat to them, and we finally get someone who can actually put them in danger.

THE ORVILLE:  This show is a loving pastiche of early TNG, which is both a blessing and a curse.  As much as I love Star Trek, I do not love those early TNG seasons, so for me this show is a great joke for a couple episodes and then it loses interest.  And just like early Trek, some episodes are great, and some are a chore to get through.  I definitely don’t like the idea of doing 1h15m episodes. 

STRANGE NEW WORLDS: Still loving this show!  Out of the entire first season there was only episode I hated, the fairytale episode.  This has been a consistently good show with astounding production values, great characters, and great situations.

Star Trek Novels Post-Nemesis

The first post-Nemesis novel was Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman.  I confess to having no memory of this book but it dealt with the aftermath of the Romulan Empire coup.

Keith DeCandidio also wrote Articles of the Federation, a West Wing style political story about Nan Bacco the new Federation President.  This is a delightful book with a great sense of humor.  Bacco would go on to be a central character in the franchise going forward.

What followed next was a six book series about the Borg.  It began with Resistance by J.M. Dillard.  I don’t remember this book well.  Next was Peter David’s Before Dishonor which also had the Voyager crew in it.  I know there some real outrage at the events in this book, but I don’t remember it well enough to have an opinion on the matter.  Suffice to say there is a major change to a major character!  Christopher Bennett’s Greater Than the Sum was the final prelude to the big trilogy, and I don’t remember this one either.

Now then!  David Mack’s Destiny Trilogy!  This is the greatest, biggest, most momentous, epic, cinematic, game-changing Trek Lit book(s) ever made.  If you read a single Trek Lit book(s), make it this!!!  This is the final apocalyptic war with the Borg.  They invade the Alpha Quadrant en masse and destroy entire planets.  Major franchise planets.  Major characters die.  It is the literal end of the world.  Mack does an astounding job of blowing up the entire galaxy.  This is one of a handful of Trek books I’ve taken the time to re-read.  It’s incredible.  It’s also a massive team-up story with the casts of TNG, Titan, DS9, even a little Voyager.  This is the ultimate Trek story!

There followed two immediate Destiny aftermath books.  I don’t remember Losing the Peace by William Leisner at all.  Keith Decandido’s A Singular Destiny is a sequel to Articles of the Federation showing President Bacco dealing with the horrific aftermath of the Borg War and I remember it being great.  It also sets up the next phase of the Trek Lit franchise; the hostile powers of the Alpha Quadrant create the Typhon Pact to counter the Federation and the Klingon alliance.

The next series was a loose eight book series called The Typhon Pact.  Zero Sum Game is another David Mack military masterpiece and a major movement for Bashir’s character and Section 31.  It also completely reinvents the Breen into the major new nemeses of Trek Lit.  In the coming books by David Mack, the Bashir / Section 31 and Breen storylines come to form a spine for the entire line.

Rough Beasts of Empire by David George is the book that stalled my marathon for years.  This book just rubs me the wrong way.  I deeply dislike what it did to Sisko’s character and the overly wordy narration did not appeal to my ADHD at all.  It is interesting to see Spock dealing with the Romulan coup.

Paths of Disharmony by Dayton Ward… I forget what happens in which book now but it had a major change in the state of Andor as I recall.

Plagues of Night / Raise the Dawn by David George.  I recall having similar issues with this book as with Rough Beasts.  It’s mostly a DS9 story, but with the vast majority of the original cast missing, and DS9/Bajor being so much less important to the Alpha Quadrant now… it just doesn’t feel as vital.

All told, I like the concept of the Typhon Pact series, but I was disappointed the different books did not tie together into a more coherent whole.  Zero Sum Game is absolutely the best one, but David Mack is always going to be the best.  The three George books do form a loose trilogy.