In Review: Star Wars: Dark Times-Out of the Wilderness #5

The cover: Dass Jennir has on his best samurai look in this pop art cover by Pablo Correa. You’re either going to like this cover or not. Me, I like Andy Warhol’s work, so I liked this cover. Overall grade: A-

The story: I swear, Randy Stradley, what you put me through in this book–I could punch you! How could you? After all this time?! I’m getting ahead of myself. Dass Jennir is about to fall into a trap. Using Ember as bait to lure him in range, an assassin is about to take aim and does! I don’t want to say a word about anything specific after Page 1, because it will ruin this story. Let me just say that you should prepare to have your heart ripped out: Page 6. My god. You did it, Stradley. You went and did it, didn’t you? I audibly gasped at that page and for the next five pages that followed. My god, my god, my god! Oh wait, “How could things get worse?” Darth Vader has finally arrived. Stradley how much darker can “Dark Times” become? How much lower can you pull the readers? Once I was done, I wanted to take back my punch comment and hug you, man. Stradley had me in a stranglehold like a Sith Lord. Overall grade: A+

The art: Every image is perfection. Dialogue is not needed to elicit emotion from the reader because the visuals are so powerful. Page 6 tore my heart out and every shot of Dass after that moment ground it into the dirt. By Page 12 I had nothing left in me. Page 8, panel 1, was a beautiful scene of power and loss all at once. Fantastic! And the remaining pages–Dear god! Douglas Wheatley, I love you and hate you, too, for what you did to me with this issue. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Again, perfection. The skies, the beams of energy, the shading. And Page 6! Dan Jackson, you’re guilty of putting me through the wringer, too! Overall grade: A+

The lettering: The dialogue is neat and clean, and the sound effects enhance the emotion of the scene. Outstanding, Michael Heisler. Overall grade: A+

The final line: I’ve read a lot of Star Wars comics. It’s no small claim when I say this is the greatest Star Wars series I have ever read. It would be a crime if Dark Horse does not collect this into a hardcover. Why is there no Eisner Award for Franchise in Another Medium? This would win. Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+

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