Friday, August 1, 2014

Star Wars v2: From the Ruins of Alderaan TPB

Ah, the continuing adventures of a continuity that never existed in the main franchise and now won’t even count in comic books. It’s too bad; Brian Wood has done a pretty good job adding missing pieces and chapters to the Star Wars mythos. How much did any of us really know about Mon Mothma? She’s an actual character in this story.

This story picks up with the secret squadron of X-wing pilots we met in the last collection.  They are still searching for a new Rebel base, but it seems there are a lot more things going on too. Leia is visiting the remains of Alderaan, Han Solo and Chewie are trying to smuggle themselves of Coruscant (and away from Boba Fett and Bossk). Luke and Wedge are now spies, sneaking around on Imperial ships. There is a lot going on. I respect the work that Wood put in to give this story ties to other “Expanded Universe” storylines. Too bad it is all for naught. Wedge suggests making his stealth squad permanent, under the “Rogues” call sign. A great origin for the stars of a series of books. But those books have now been declared non-canon, so oh well!

It’s a great choice to feature Leia so heavily in this series. She’s always been short-changed in Expanded Universe material, so having her anchor the series the way she does really lends her a sense of deserved importance. I also like the way Wood maintains the romantic tension with Han and just the hints of more tension with Luke. (Hey, when this story takes place, we didn’t know they were brother and sister yet. Maybe George Lucas didn’t even know!)

Carlos D’Anda’s return halfway through this book couldn’t come soon enough. It isn’t that Ryan Kelly did a bad job, but D’Anda’s stuff is like Jim Lee-lite, so having anyone else try to step in and fill the shoes just doesn’t cut it. D’Anda just has the Star Wars universe down. His Boba Fett, Vader, and Bossk in particular look fantastic. Fortunately, both artists can handle drawing spaceships and most of the aliens pretty well, so the space battles are strong throughout.

This is a light, breezy read that makes for a GOOD trip down memory lane. I’m confident that Marvel will be very capable of expanding on the Star Wars universe themselves, but that is no reason to short change the solid stories Dark Horse has been putting out for years.

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