30 July 2011

FWS Broken Promises: the TERMINATOR sequels

In 1984, one of the most groundbreaking science-fiction films came to the silver screen, and surprised audiences with its depth and darkness. Since the original Terminator premiered 27 years ago, filmmakers, comic-book writers, authors, and TV producers have trying to reproduce the magic of those first  film...and doing a damn shitty job at it. In this new series on FWS, we will be documenting the failure of certain science fiction works that possess great ideas, but could not delivery them...the first installment of series is the failure of the Terminator sequel films and spin off projects.

The Promise of Terminator
If one was to breakdown the concept of the original film, time-traveling robot comes back to killer the leader of the human race's resistance before he is born, one would think of it as a B-movie and/or pulp 1950's comic novel. Terminator borrowed the machine vs. human struggle from the classic RUR play, and unlike may works before or even after, Terminator showed us all a dark fairy tale of machines that burned the war, trying to remake it in their own image.
But there in the ruins of our world was a few brave souls, fighting the machines under the post-apocalyptic messiah of John Conner.This DNA of Terminator was more than the sum of its parts, rising to the level of cultural touchstone, and the sequel is one of the best followups to an hit film...then came the rein of dogshit that as haunted us real fans for years. I have a special place in my heart for the Terminator films, not to mention that the original date Judgement Day, August 29, 1997 was my 21st birthday. It breaks my heart to witness the promise of the Terminator concept be ruined by people that possess no originality or creativity in their entire weak-minded bodies. Nothing is worse that watering down or dumbing down true original art...it is a crime.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
In 2003, the next Terminator movie came as unwelcomed as stepping in fresh dogshit while barefoot. The movie was going to show the rise of Skynet and the end of our world...but what we were left was what would have Terminator 2 been like without the talent, energy, imagination that made it a classic? We have an answer: Terminator 3: Rise of the (dipshit) Machines.There only four things I liked about this film: the scene with Arnold coming to the stripclub, Kristanna Loken, the nuclear bombs falling, and the plot element were Conner was killed by a Terminator with the same appearance his boyhood protector.
That is it. The entire effort of all those people that made and funded, was simply wasted on a film that one was of the most illogical pieces of shit that shamelessly recycled the T2 plot. This film added serious dents to the Terminator name and creating the framework for this blogpost....not only breaking, but shattering the promise of the first two films, the pissed on it. If it were a dog, I would have spanked it with a newspaper. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is heartbreakingly bad, illogically, and stupid at levels. After my first and only viewing, I was left feeling like I should been refunded the hours of my life that spend watching it.

Terminator 4: Salvation 
Okay, the forth film is nothing close to the used tampon that the third was. On its good points, it was completely set in the dark future of 2018, had John Conner played by one of the best actors working today, Christian Bale...however the plot leaves a lot to be desired. I am not quite sure what the point was for this film, nothing really was answered or given to overall Terminator story. This could be to concept that T:S was to be the vanguard of a new trilogy.The worst parts of this film was how little thought the filmmakers and writers gave to the internal logic of the film.
For example, a human heart powering an Terminator combat exoskeleton? An entire airbase complete with the best tankburster aircraft in the world are just untouched by the big bad Skynet....I think not. Not mention the tools, parts, technical skills to fly and maintenance the bird just happened to exist in a world were three billion are dead? Simple bullet-firing assault rifles can take on Terminators? Since when? Kyle Reese even mentioned that in the first film. Where are the plasma rifles? Then the resistance base lighting up all creation when Marcus escapes, and no metal shows up? These break in logic, doom the forth movie to be a missed opportunity at best, at worst, the death nail in the Terminator films (however, it did make money).  

Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles

For us Terminator fans, T:TSCC was the best we could have hoped for in a live-action Terminator series. It had the backing of a major network (for a while anyways), talented writers that actually knew something about the mythology behind the films and comics, and the actors worked hard to create their characters. I was shocked at how good the performances of Summer Glau, Shirley Manson, and Lena Headey were, adding a depth to the tired characters of a protector-Terminator, a scheming T-1000, and Sarah Conner. When it came to the dark future, the show entered the 2020's with near the level of darkness we saw in the first two films, and even added layers of complexity to the war against the machines. The series made a bold choice in the dual characters of Allison Young and the reprogrammed Terminator Cameron that was protecting John Conner.
The series bridged the two timelines again with mining the comic book idea of the Resistance and Skynet fighting a hidden war in the past to control the future via sleeper cells. Of course, this added the dumb idea that the Resistance had their own TDE system and the power to run it...yeah, like Skynet wouldn't see that! The downside to T:TSCC was that the series bogged itself down with topics beyond the scope of the original concept, at times making the series more like Gossip Girl than Terminator. Also, the all-too-familiar plot device of Skynet sending terminators back through time is heavily explored in this two-season show. But the broken promise was that FOX, ended the series during its second season, however FOX did allow the series time to wrap their storylines, and even injecting a semi-cool twist ending.  

Terminator Machinima series
I've seen about three of the six episodes of this limited video series that uses the Terminator: Salvation game engine. It's not bad, the terminators seem terrifying again, and portions of the burned out LA are similar to the first movie, but the characters are still using M4's and not 40 watt plasma rifles. This machinima series seems to have borrowed too much from Salvation in order to have lived the promise.

Terminator books
There have been no less than seven Terminator books, not counting the novelization, have been published. And I've read none of them...mainly due to their plots being completely not even remotely interesting. Why would you not write about the war against the machines? Why focus on the recycled plot of time travel or the the years leading up to Judgement Day? Truly sad that trees and talented authors were used to create these.

The NOW Comics Terminator series (1988-1990)
In 1988, just four years after the original and three years before T2, NOW comics got the rights to publish a Terminator comic series, and surprise! It wasn't all about time-traveling cyborgs and Sarah Conner...it was set in 2031 in Florida with a resistance unit called Sarah's Slammers. The Slammers made contact with shot down members of forgotten Lunar base during one of their supply mission...and over the course of 17 issues, the Slammers were thrown across the blackened global and even meeting the legendary John "the Bear" Conner.
The art was okay, when they weren't "borrowing" art layouts from the Marvel The 'Nam, and the original promise of the series was ruined by issue ten, and the series got progressively more stupid and worn out.
The series ended when sales went down and NOW was in deep finical trouble, but it hung on long enough to create the best comic Terminator series: Terminator: The Burning Earth.

The NOW Comics Terminator: All My Future Past (1990)
Here was a two-part series about a resistance pilot that crashes into a small Californian village and his dying words were to delivery a data-tape into the hands of John Conner in LA. Two young and inexperienced boys are charged with making the journey. These two boys are then involved in the operation to secure the TDE complex and sent Kyle through time. Sounds good, huh? Well, it wasn't. The two-issue series changed art style, from bad more traditional art to watercolors, and it was lame to be honest, while the writing wasn't bad, the art and dialog was flat and unoriginal.

The NOW Comics Terminator: the Burning Earth (1990)
At the near end of NOW comics in 1990, they hired Alex Ross to painted the dark world of 2041 for their dark and edgy Burning Earth six part series. This comic showed a desperate Skynet re-using nukes, chemical warfare, to end the war, and thing were much better for John Conner and crew, he was thinking of committing suicide! The mood, art, and plot of Terminator: the Burning Earth would set apart from all works previous, and to this day, the Burning Earth reminds THE best and most dark vision of the post-Judgement Day world in comic form. In this case, the promise was kept to the original film, but no one as followed up...leaving this series to be a forgotten classic. FWS will be writing about this amazing comic series in the coming months. 

The Dark Horse Terminator series
I read very few of the Dark Horse Terminator series, but previewed them all, hoping for something worth spending my money on. The first Terminator series was called Tempest, portions of the story seemed to have been carried over to the T:SCC TV series, like resistance safe houses in the past, and the resistance mission to kill key members of the team that would create Skynet. The next Dark Horse series Second Objective was also mined for ideas for the T:SCC show, and was more of the same old shit, Terminator goes back in time...sigh.
Dark Horse did try with Terminator: Hunters and Killers and 2029 to set comic series in the future war, but all were too soft and weak when compared to the best comic ever done about the future war, NOW comics: Terminator: the Burned Earth.

The Terminator Video Games
To fuel my passion for the dark future world of 2029, I started playing the video games associated with the series in 1991 with the MS-DOS Terminator 2029 by Bethesda Software, and since then, most of them have not been any good. Following Terminator 2029, there were other shooters, then the in 2002 the consoles got a third-person shooter, Terminator: Dawn of Fate. This takes place before the events of the first movie, but once again, the writers got lazy, and so did the game designers...there was no dark future, and the plot was far from original. There was an attempt to have an online combat game, were the machines fought the humans in burned out LA...the game Terminator 3: War of the Machines,could have been good, but issues, little support, and buggy as hell caused this game to die quickly. The most recent video game Terminator Salvation was color-by-the-numbers shooter that lacked imagination and talent...it shall languish in Gamestops across the US...getting dusty. 

What should be done to save the series?
Terminator Salvation was a half-step in the right direction, but it still wasn't that good, and to save the series from becoming a fucking joke, drastic fucking action needs to be taken. It is time for the owners over the rights of Terminator to make the movie that should have been T3, the prelude to the story in the original Terminator. I want to see Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese fight with the human resistance to take over the TDE complex and be sent back in time. More over, it should be done in the style of the original dark future scenes in the first film. Then that should be it....no more Terminator films, just end it, and call all but Terminator, T2, and Terminator Prelude as bad dreams. If those Hollywood dumbfucks need a sequel to Terminator: Prelude than they could make NOW comics 1990 opus  Terminator: the Burning Earth set in 2041 into a movie...would make a damn fine film as well. With these films, great games need to be lovingly developed, and explore the war with the machines.Oh, and one more thing, hire Christoper Shields of the superior website Terminator:2029, as a consultant.

What NOT should be done!
McG, who directed Terminator: Salvation, spoke about the plot to the fifth film, and here is the quote:
"I strongly suspect the next movie is going to take place in a [pre-Judgment Day] 2011. John Connor is going to travel back in time and he's going to have to galvanize the militaries of the world for an impending Skynet invasion. They've figured out time travel to the degree where they can send more than one naked entity. So you're going to have hunter killers and transports and harvesters and everything arriving in our time and Connor fighting back with conventional military warfare, which I think is going to be fucking awesome. I also think he's going to meet a scientist that's going to look a lot like present-day Robert Patrick [who famously played the T-1000 in Terminator 2], talking about stem-cell research and how we can all live as idealized, younger versions of ourselves."
Are you fucking kidding me?! That's the best goddamn thing that those fucking morons in Hollywood could come up with?! Really?! That is the lamest damn plot I've heard of! Most self-respecting comics or fan-fiction wouldn't use that dogshit...despite the shit that NOW comics was given for their treatment of the Terminator comic, they never, I mean, never came to that caliber of lazyass writing. A goddamned T-1000 ought to be sent from the future and kill everyone that would make a movie like this. If they make T5 like that bullshit above, than I am fucking done, just done. Legions of Terminator fans should throw dirty diapers at the screen, and burn copies of the DVD. Don't think Hollywood could make such a bad plot into a movie? Well, some Mensa member greenlit the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes...man, have you seen that dogshit trailer? Did logic leave the entire rank of filmmakers? I weep for the cinema...

What I'm going to do about it (instead of just bitching on my blog)
After seeing T2 in 1991, I wrote a story about the prelude events of the original movie, I called it Terminator: Alpha and Omega. I found it recently while moving, and decided to finish it out and start development on a short-story serial.
Watch for it soon!


Hands down, the best Terminator website in all of the net!

His funny and dead-on reviews of T3, T4, and T:TSCC

The Terminator wiki site:

The stunning and in-depth Terminator files website:

26 July 2011

FWS News Feed

Here is what's going on around the world of Military Science Fiction:



You're reading right, MASS EFFECT the movie is in early production and is being made by Legendary Pictures. Information on the game was released during Comic-Con, and it seems from reading between the lines that they are trying to make a movie based on the first game and it is not a video game-move that mimics the style of gameplay. Mass Effect is one of the best games of all time (especially the first one), and I see no reason why this cannot be an epic product.

No word if you're going to be mining planets or choosing Shepard's gender....I vote for female, personal.


I was not aware that the semi-good-semi-bad forgettable 1990-based-on-a-PKD-story needed a remake? The original was one of those films that came and went...which seems an odd choice, but it's not my money The remade stars Colin Farrell at the helm as Doug Quaid, and it seems closer to the original PDK story We can remember it for you wholesale.


Concept Art for the next installment of the Riddick saga as been released, with the title "badlands" on the art. Is this the name of the next movie or a scene. No word on the plot or central concept of the new film, but one can hope that they have learned their lesson from the last Riddick movie! No word on release date.



Well, God (Ridley Scott) is back making sci-fi movies, and the first footage as been released. Prometheus as been rumored to be the prequel to ALIEN. Some hints were dropped about this movie being built on the "DNA" of ALIEN, in fact of God just that term over and over...which makes me think that DNA will play heavily in this film, and he also mentioned that a new idea of robots will be feature.
Oh, the video seen at Comic-Con had "Charlize Theron doing pushups naked"...Okay, I'm seeing this one.


Jesse Giffith, director and creator of this short film states this about his project: Cockpit the feature, is the story of a squadron of fighter pilots, stranded in their cockpits deep in enemy space, struggling with reality and delusion as they are hunted by an alien race that controls minds. The screenplay is a finalist in the Visionfest Film Festival. 96 pages of the feature take place in one location: the cockpit of a spaceship. This is a project rearing to go and can be made on a practical budget. I hope to literally "take-off" with it soon. Oh and people can check out the website for weekly updates and concept art and graphic novelizations from the feature.


The rather cool two-part comic series about mecha pilots in the early teens from Dark Horse as been made in a short film that as been making the festival rounds. No word on when this product will come to DVD or the internet. This comic series would make a cool TV series, like crossing Robotech with Space: Above and Beyond and Gossip Girl.


At present, Mr. Scott is working on Prometheus and then it is believed that he will begin on this landmark MSF film...what does that mean? 2013 or 2014...I hope those people are wrong about the Mayan Calender!



There is no updates for this film at present...

The release date for this movie that I have been waiting on since I was six seems to be August 2nd, but that was off an British website. We can hope...I want to see, especially since it seems to be a mix of the original Anime series and the 2003 Battlestar Galactica


Karl Urban is becoming the LAW in the thank-the-lords-of-Kobol remake of the 1995 film and the very cool 2000AD comic, set to be released in late summer of 2012. If this movie is made darkly and keeping Dredd as a monster for the law than this should be a great flick.


From the pages of a dark inter-sol system war comics comes a movie Shrapnel starring Hilary Swank and directed by John McTiernan...best of all, it as frakking APS fighting on the surface of Venus. This could be epic!



Here is the basic outline to the Radical Comic that Tom Cruise and $100 million dollars are committed to: In a future where the Earth’s surface has been irradiated beyond recognition, the remnants of humanity live above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows.


-HALO 4-

Quite honestly, I didn't think that HALO 4 would be a reality. It seemed that the story for HALO had run its course.

That was until E3.

343 Industries as official taken over the HALO series, and they have launched another trilogy of games, starting with HALO 4 in 2012. We have only seen a trailer lasted a few minutes, telling us that John-117 as new weapons, new armor, and something big coming his way. My hopes are high for this game, but my worry is that they're going to fuck up this thing up.


This feels right to have an upgraded verison of one of the greatest games of all time, and I celebrate Bungie's choice on being able to flip between the original verison and the new improved HALO:CE, however, I would like the same guns from HALO: REACH and the close-combat abilities. Between this, and Modern Warfare 3 all being released all in November, I'm going to spend some serious cash...good thing HALO: CE-Anniversary is being retailed for $39.


Back in the 1990's, I had a very powerful Packer-Bell computer, and I played nothing but flight sims, including the excellent Wing Commander and X-Wing...however those heydays of the space flight sims have gone away. Austin-based Seamless Entertainment is releasing an 3-D space fighter shooter called Sol Exodus. The basic plot as the sun is close to going supernova, the Earth unites and sends out expeditions to find a new home...when the expeditions come home to the Sol system years later, Earth is under the boot of religious nutjobs that believe the coming solar explosion is the way to salvation...the expeditions sent out to save humanity, first have to liberate them from oppression. Remind anyone of the basic plot of Robotech II: the Sentinels?

September 20th, the third Gears of War will drop and (hopefully) end the war with the Locusts. I played the two previous games, enjoyed them, but I am tried of the last-minute saves that prevent Locust Horde from finally losing...



One of the best, and most original space-based video games is ending with this third installment dropping on March 6th, 2012. Mass Effect 3 will not be the leap that Mass Effect 2 was from one. It seems that the thermal clips will be returning...ugh...

I really need to go back and save the entire crew from the Normandy SR-2...


-FAITH by JOHN LOVE (Nigthshade books)-


Faith is by first time British author John Love, being published by Nightshade books, and from the information released about this upcoming book, it's the Hunt for Red October in space! Well, the author states that it is more linked to the movie Dualist and Moby Dick. The plot centers around two massive warships, one human, one alien, locked in a desperate missions. The alien warship is from 300 years ago, and on a mission to end the human commonwealth, like they did to a previous galactic empire. The commonwealth sends its own dreadnought to deal with threat...however working against the human crew is themselves.
No release date as of yet...

LINK: http://io9.com/5822400/how-a-debut-novelist-sold-a-book-about-the-battle-between-two-invincible-spaceships



Fumihiiko Sori adapted two of Japanese Manga author Yukinobu Hishino's stories from his thousand-year epic on mankind's journey into space.The series uses CGI SFX blended with hard science, seems like a winner...


I know of nothing coming down the pipe concerning a military science-fiction comics. Anyone as one, let me know!



io9.com as reported from Comic-Con that they had seen the first hour of the program, and overall they seemed to positive things to say, which makes me hopeful that this series may not be the next Firefly...however it's first season will be only 13 episodes. The series begins on Monday September 26th. Naturally, FWS will have a review...
LINK (spoiler warning!): http://io9.com/5824128/we-saw-the-first-hour-of-steven-spielbergs-terra-nova?tag=sdcc2011


Nothing as come out about this new spinoff BSG series...is no news good news? Right? Frakking Cylons!

23 July 2011

FWS Book Review: SEALs: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force

There seems to be no end to the books devoted to NAVSPECWAR, and since SEAL Team Six killed UBL, it looks to explode even further. Given this number of books on the same subject, I wanted to find a good read on NAVSPECWAR that was not the standard text on BUD/S, but something on their current combat operations in A-stan and Iraq. That led me to this Osprey Book (one of the big names in military books), written by Chris Osman (a former SEAL) and veteran military writer Mir Bahmanyar (a former member of the Army Rangers).
SEALS: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force is 2011 trade paperback book that uses primary sources, a ton of unpublished pictures, to inform the reader on SEAL operations since 1989's Invasion of Panama, leading all the way to present day. Omitted or lessened from this text is certain operations that fall within the time-frame of the book, namely Anaconda, Mogadishu, and Red Wing.  


SEALS: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force is beautifully done, punctuated with rare or completely unseen photos that appear only in this book, which makes SEALS: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force an impressive package for 12 bucks. Also as impressive as the photos is the access that the authors had to SEAL operations that are rarely talked about outside of the SPECOPS community, like the combat divers in Panama, the dual of snipers in Iraq.
The SEAL primary sources added a elements that I have never read in any other contemporary text with these levels of sources and information. These sources changed the focus of the board sections of the book from general information to boots-on-the-ground-level that left me shocked at the realism.  
This level of honesty is continued to the section on BUD/S and SQT training, making SEALS: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force one of the better text on the life of a SEAL for their first two years in the teams. I especially enjoyed reading about some of the headaches with actually getting into a BUD/S class, and the training of a SEAL sniper.
Another added bonus to the authors level of experience with writing about the teams was difference between SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, the older UDT, and the "regular" SEAL teams.


That is biggest complain I have about SEALS: The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force, how selective the book is about modern SEAL missions. It often skips over certain events,or pays little attention to them. For example operation like Anaconda, (one of the biggest SPECOPS operations in years). Given the access that the authors had to current and past team members, I was expecting something more and unique. I was disappointed especially with the events surrounding SEAL deployments to Somalia were barely mentioned. This was a wasted opportunity for these author to shed some light on SEAL operations during Blackhawk Down.


I am really the last person that should mention this, given that my blogpost have made English teachers cry, but this book suffers from lack of editing. This book was the product of a major military book publisher with experiences writer, and editors. However, at times, the structure of the text falls with a dull thud and the book seems to have a lack of polish.
Often quotes are not used effectively, especially in the latter sections of the book, causing those portions of text to not live up to the rest of the book. That was the odd thing to me, the portions on Panama were very well done, but the longer the book continued, the worse the book became. I was floored how these beautiful pictures were framed with such limited text. But no where, does the text fail worse than end section of this book, when they talk of the future of NAVSPECWAR...more or less, it was waste of ink. Given the authors of this book, I expected some interesting insight into the future of the teams...but my expectations were not met.  

Should You Buy/Read this Book?

If you wanting something different on the SEAL teams that is the not the standard text on BUD/S, Hell Week, but focused more on the modern SEAL operations, then this is the best on the market, and not a bad price either ($12).Just remember, the first portion of the book is the best.

15 July 2011

Forgotten Classics: Alien Legion

In a future age where faster-than-light drives and intergalactic travel have become a matter of course, three galaxies join together to form the TOPHAN Galactic Union...

In 1984, Alien Legion was published by an imprint of Marvel comics, Epic Comics,and ran over the next decade in four different series. Epic Comic was focused on bring new, different, and mature comics to a mass audience. Epic published such titles as Akira, Clive Baker's Hellraiser, Elfquest, and Elektra: Assassin. Today, Dark Horse Comics, owns the publishing rights and is promising new comics, took over rights to Alien Legion. At its heart, Alien Legion , in all its forms, was about the foot soldiers that served the tri-galactic spanning government, the Union and its military, the Legion, and their dirty and forgotten missions and deaths. This was the brainchild of Carl Potts, who came up with he idea in the 1970's. However, it was after Star Wars, that Carl refined the concept to the Legion being populated with all manner of aliens species. One of the hallmarks of the comics, the fact that these Legionaries are members of a military with billions of members, and they are sent to die for the Legion on all manner of planets, the Legionaries know their dirty role in the galaxies,giving them a rather bleak outlook on their lives and service to the Legion...In a interview with USA Today in 2009, creator Carl Potts talking about another of the pioneering factors of his beloved pet project: "One of the things we did that was ahead of our time was that we weren't afraid to kill off major characters if the storyline dictated. We didn't have any Star Trek 'red shirts.' There was no cannon fodder among the story characters. To maintain a level of realism, the idea was to occasionally have characters you've grown to know get killed or maimed."

Within the pages of Alien Legion, is three galaxies filled with a mass array of species, and the government that the Legion serves tri-galactic union (similar to Systems Commonwealth of the TV show Andromeda). This TOPHAN Galactic Union (AKA the Union, or the Galarchy) is an alliance between the Aurora, Ophides, and Thermor galaxies. The series is never clear, but its seems that these galaxy are not 100% under the Union, and notice there is mention of Terra, Earth, or humans in the series. The Union is similar to the ancient Roman Empire, a massive government spread out over a vast space, and the entire show is run from a government of species looking out for themselves, and using the Legion for their own gain and profit. The main enemies of the Union is the Harkilon Empire, and are seen in different forms through the various runs of the Alien Legion comics, similar to the changing face of the Klingons in the Star Trek universe
Ther picture on the right, is from the first issue of Alien Legion and gives an introduction to government, and culture of the Galarchy  

 The team behind Alien Legion developed a futuristic French Foreign Legion were criminals and patriots serve along side one another, and the worst of the worst gets put into Force Nomad , the main focus of the comic book series.This Legion, seemed to be made of large rapid-deployment units of infantry, called a force...the majority of the series are told from the POV of soldiers in FORCE NOMAD, the penal unit of the Legion, were the worst of the worst go. 
During the first series, every soldier used a pistol-sized Hel-Laser, and wore the sliver and black armor, there was no standard helmet and little in the way of hi-tech items on the armor. There were no examples of heavy weapons, armored vehicles, or warships to speak of.
The second series, created a much wider and weirder universe for the Legion and Force Nomad, from the oddly-shaped warships to the more "alien" appearing aliens. Adding to this mix was a few examples of armored APC skimmers, armed shuttles, and anti-Gravity tanks.When it came to personal weapons, gone was the pistol-sized Hel-Laser, and now all manner of exotic futuristic alien weapons was displayed, and it seemed every Legionnaire carried a different weapon. One can only imagine the supply headaches from this....But the most interesting concept was the hand-held ligth artillery pieces.During the run of the second and third series, several of larger characters carried hand-held artillery pieces, not machine-guns, or grenade launchers, but honest-to-the-gods-artillery. I would have liked to see these in action beyond the page! The primary support weapon for the Legion gorund troopers, that is seen in the comic books, comes in the form of orbital artillery from war/transport ships that are extremely heavily armed...and often called "piecemarkers", and seem to be under the command of the ground Legion commander. Since the only unit of the Legion seen in the series is made of loser soldiers, murders, convicts, and criminals, this may be the reason behind their lack of combined arms, like Force Nomad is a throwaway unit.

The First Series of ALIEN LEGION (1984)
In the original Alien Legion series premiered in 1984, and ran for 20 issues, and focused strictly on Force Nomad, and several characters. especially the human-looking Montroc (who was sent by this rich father to experience the Legion, and to make a man of him), the criminal and socialpath Grimrod, and the commander of Nomad, Serigar.
I must confess, I really was not a fan of the first Alien Legion comic series, it often suffered from unoriginal art and lame story lines that allowed for all the main characters to survive, despite the horror of future warfare. It held back on the darkness of Grimrod's character, and rich plate of alien races, making them more like the aliens from the original Star Trek series. When I read Alien Legion, originally, I had the benefit of reading the second series, and seeing how good the concept could be.

The Second series of ALIEN LEGION (1987)
The second series picks up with Sarigar, the commander of Force Nomad looking for the remains of his unit that were presumed killed on a desert planet. The series opened on a darker place automatically, and showed the death of most of the core members of Nomad in the first three issues. Then, wisely, they allowed for the rich and bloody Grimrod character to be unleashed (especially in issue #5).
The series also explored the vast alien races that populated the Union and served in the Legion, and carried this "aliveness" over to the ship designs, weapons, and look of these galaxies.
Then, after eighteen issues, the party was over. The second series of Alien Legion was cancelled, and rolled into a three-part graphic novel series. I really enjoyed the series, and it was a shame to see it go...  

The Third series of ALIEN LEGION (1990)
Alien Legion: On the Edge was a three-shot graphic novel-like comic series that propelled the heroes and criminals of Force Nomad fifteen years into the future. This happens after their war/transport vessel is forces into a orbit around a black hole. In the event horizon, they met all manner of aliens locked in savage combat for survival. This setting allows for writers to bring some fresh creative elements to the series, and some exciting aliens into the mix.
When Force Nomad arrive back in Union space, some things have changed, and not for the better over those years. However, Force Nomad is still sent on the dirties missions, but not just for the Union, but now, for the profit of corporations, and they are fitted with shock collars. Nice.
These three books represent the best of the art, story, and writing for the entire series.  

The Forth series of ALIEN LEGION: One Planet at a Time and Binary Deep  (1993)
Toward the end of Epic Comics in the mid-90's, three more Alien Legion titles were printed, these were below the normally high standards of the rest of the series.I must confess, by the time the forth series of Alien Legion came out in 1993, I was mostly collecting Manga and Anime, and lived away from a comic book store (it happens in Oklahoma). I have only read about the series online, and seeing that Carl Potts was not on some of these projects caused me not to be impressed. The dark, ancient enemy mentioned in Alien Legion: On the Edge, called the Vreel, who are a virus that inflicts other races and turns them into slaves for a different master, are the main focus of this three-part series.
Then came the two part Binary Deep by Potts and Dixon, and I never knew it existed until I was research for this blogpost...the plot of Binary Deep, is mention on foot-sloggers.com  as: Torie's father lies dying, and to clear him of fabricated charges, Grimrod and Torie enlist the help of Nakhira Doomhar to retrieve some lost evidence froma dead data-world.
The real death note of the Alien Legion, in my mind, was the dog-shit Jugger Grimrod Graphic Novel in 1992.  During the 1987 series, issue #5 had Grimrod going lone wolf and it was my favorite issue of Alien Legion, so it seemed at an entire graphic novel devoted to this killer would be a great work, sadly I was wrong... I looked at this comic at Starbase 21, and I was shocked how bad the art was, I could not bring myself to buy it.

The ALIEN LEGION: GREY DAY TO DIE (Graphic Novel 1986)
While I was not a fan of the first run of Alien Legion, the 1986 graphic novel was a great property. The story focused Sarigar's former commanding officer that he studied under, and how this commander and the rest of his died at the hands of a fanatic cult devoted to mechanization of flesh (Borg, anyone?), called the Technoids.
In those years  after the death of that unit, the Union is threatened by the growing numbers of Technoid followers, and the Legion orders Force Nomad the task of assassinating the leader of the cult during a major speech, that will accompany a major invasion. The major characters of Force Nomad, are all called in to go on this one-way wet-work mission. The book deals with morality of killing one man, via assassination methods and the life of a soldier...and what they give up. This as long been out-of-print, but was reprinted in the Dark Horse Omnibus volume two (which lowered the value of my mint Grey day to die).

What happened to ALIEN LEGION?
Marvel deviated from its normal band of mutants and superheroes in the mid-1980’s, developing with titles like The ‘Nam, Strikeforce Morituri, and then created its own branch of mature comics, under Epic Comics, with such titles as Alien Legion, Groo, and Moebius.These were part of that experiment to grow readership beyond the usual comic buyers. This formula worked on me, I never have liked superheroes (always thought they were lame, unlike Frank Miller's Dark Knight ), but titles like the one mentioned above got me to buy a great deal of Marvel/Epic titles during this time.
But, during this experiment, for some reason, Alien Legion was canceled or reformatted four different times. I never quite understood why this brilliant, imaginative, and interesting comic never made past twenty issues in a regular series. My only guess on why Alien Legion was not able to continue was due to it being so different than most comic books out at the time, maybe reader couldn't relate if the characters were not from Terra...I know that I was disappointed in the direction Alien Legion took in it's first run in 1984, due to the simple like of realism and the horror of war.
Then, in 1987, it changed direction, and did bring much improved, deeper, gritty storylines...and then got canned after eighteen issues. The led up to the series was several trade paperback limited series, On the Edge, On Planet at a Time, and Binary Deep. I, as hard-core fan of Alien Legion, was onboard for the On the Edge series which was quite good, but the switching of the setting, turn a number of people off, then there was a two-year gap between that and the follow-up comics, which was too long for most fans that simply grew out of collecting (replaced by cars and girls). The followup comic series, were not as good as the rest of the series, there seemed to be a lack of polish, substandard art, and the normal team of Potts/Dixon was off and on the projects. From a few reviews online, Binary Deep were not up to par with the rest of the works, and then Epic Comics was shutdown by Marvel in 1994, causing Alien Legion to go dark.

The Current Status and Future of ALIEN LEGION
Dark Horse comics as reprinted the entire Alien Legion series in trade paperback format, and in 2010, Dark Horse said they were developing an all-new Alien Legion series...which we are still waiting on. For the past ten years, rumors have made the rounds, that an Alien Legion CGI TV series and/or movie was under development. Carl Potts did attempt to develop a CGI TV series (similar to the Starship Troopers cartoon series), but the company went bust before a trailer could be produced.
The movie rights were purchased by Jerry Bruckheimer, and in a 2009 interview with Carl Potts, he stated that the movie was on its "third rewrite. Bruckheimer's never done a science-fiction before, so that challenge, I think, is something that would hold his interest. The success they've had with blending CGI and live-action characters in The Pirates of the Caribbean series could translate easily to an Alien Legion film."
I can see the opening scene to Alien Legion: the movie for some reason in mind. Its from the POV of a soldier walking down a dark corridor, the dim light barely shows the well-worn conditions of the troop transport. In the distance is voices, bright light, and metallic sounds. The soldiers enters into a massive drop bay, surrounding the soldier is a vast array of aliens in Legionnaire body armor with all manner of weaponry, all getting kitted up for a drop. The roar of drop ship engines echos around the bay. In the center of this modern military madness, is the leader of Force Nomad, an member of the lokian race. He is looks worried, pacing on his tail, while studying a computer pad, the soldiers walks up to Sarigar.
The soldier drops his kit, and salutes, then Sarigar returns the favor, "welcome soldier to Force Nomad, the best of the Legion." Then he points in the way of human soldier, "that is your direct commander, Lt. Montroc, report to him."  
Then before he make across the sea of aliens, a green skinned mencing soldier with a helmet on, glares at the soldier while sharping his many knives. Behind him is blue/purple-skinned  giant of a Legionnaire, with a massive hand cannon in his massive hands, staring blankly at the new Nomad soldier. "Welcome to the worst of the worst, git," then Jugger Grimrod smiled with broken teeth, "welcome to Nomad."Then the soldier jumps into a shuttle and drops in the planetary combat drop zone. The door opens to a futuristic hellish battlefield. All the members of Nomad screamed out: "FOR THE LEGION!"
Main title flashes, music beings

A good general AL site:

The Full USA Today article on AL:

The offical AL site: