Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars #18
Dark Horse Comics
Wood, Crety, Hugonnard-Bert
The final issue of the Brian Wood Star Wars series ends with a nice bang. The rebels are discovered (or sold out) by the Empire as they get themselves off-world just as seen in the Empire Strikes Back. The book definitely is an exciting read but feels a little compressed in a rush to wrap everything up. This has been a good eighteen issue run but I expected a better punctuation to end the run on from Wood. This is worth checking out.
As Princess Leia is set to marry Prince Kaspar in order to allow the rebels to establish a base on his planet, Arrochar, the Empire shows up and spoils the fun. The Empire hits the planet hard. The Emperor has decided that Vader will not be part of the final annihilation of the rebels and this annoys Vader. The orders are then made clear that 100% civilian population collateral damage is acceptable.
The action is heavy but the comic seems to be more about escape. It simply reads too much like the escape from Hoth. Solo tries to get himself to the Falcon after looking to rescue Leia. Wedge scrambles to his X-Wing to assist the larger getaway and there is also an ace-in-the-hole surprise for the Star Destroyers that are bombarding the planet.
The main difference here is that Luke shows up looking for Leia instead of racing off to his X-Wing and helps to redeem the Prince to some extent. This also allows Luke to forgive and be forgiven for his attitude towards the pending marriage and the parties involved. Wood wraps this up nicely, but the Prince just sort of disappears into the action, never to be seen again, which was a little disappointing.
The artwork is stellar. The book looks and feels like a Star Wars movie. The comic is loaded with action and the images seem to get more epic in proportion as the book moves into the later stages. The comic has a couple of chilling visuals to end the book and the run. This definitely screams out Star Wars artistically in a perfect way.
Star Wars is a great read for people looking for stories set in the original trilogy. Those that have read the novels set in the same time period might find too much overlap (how many times has Princess Leia been to the altar with a Prince?) but the characterizations feel spot on and the action is heavy and fitting. The comic feels a little rushed to wrap everything up but there is something satisfying in having a book blow so much up in one issue. This is one to pick up if you are looking at an old-school Star Wars story.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles