In Review: Star Wars #12
The cover: Fantastic image by Hugh Fleming! Leia is gorgeous in profile in the background, Luke is imposed over part of her, and Han is at the bottom looking up at the two of them. Some green-blue vertical lines are crossing the image, and six TIE fighters are crossing the space between Luke and Han. The likenesses are amazing and the colors perfection. Fleming continues to show he’s an amazing Star Wars artist. Overall grade: A+
The story: This story is the epilogue from the previous eleven issues. Leia is upset with Mon Mothma for not telling her that Imperial Colonel Bircher was a spy for the Rebellion the entire time, his defection last issue making that obvious. Mothma reveals that this deception was planned months before Yavin, telling Leia that only her nephew Bircher was ever at risk. Sitting in at the meeting, Wedge is satisfied with the man’s answers, while Luke remains silent, his thoughts preoccupied by someone else, and Page 11 answers his concerns. A bigger revelation comes from Wedge on Page 7, who two word reply made me smile. Han and Perla enter the story on Page 13, and Leia’s responses are expected, but still entertaining. Page 17 starts the next story for this book, and it’s a lot of build up with no payoff until next issue. Vader has his usual one page cameo, and I’m hoping this is going somewhere with him, because I’ll admit to finding this really cool in previous issues, but I’m done with it. I want this to go somewhere, and I have this terrible feeling that it’ll be more of the same next month with him. This conclusion to the first arc by writer Brian Wood is okay, but I have to say I’m done. I’m not getting enough joy from the stories and I find myself just not caring for this ending, which is unnecessary to the previous eleven issues and what is happening to the characters does nothing to increase my understanding or love of them. It’s like filler, though it’s not intended to be. Overall grade: C-
The art: I’ve gotten used to Carlos D’anda’s style of characters. They look fine. Leia gets more face time than other characters and D’anda has no choice but to give her a furled brow in every panel she’s in. Han exudes smugness in every scene and Luke looks longingly in every direction. The characters who fare the best are Wedge, Bircher, and Perla. His tech also looks good, most of it shown with interior shots of the ship they’re in. I really like his Darth Vader, popping up for his one page. It’s a quiet issue, so the only really “wow” page is Vader’s appearance. There could have been a better teaser had we seen whom Leia was addressing on the final page, but that’s obviously been kept for next issue. A decent job. Overall grade: B+
The colors: This is the best part of this issue. Gabe Eltaeb really makes every character stand out in every panel they’re in. Take a look at Page 2: just two characters walking down a corridor until a third enters. The characters are not wearing brightly colored clothes by any means, yet Eltaeb makes the characters an automatic focus with their colors. He also dims the colors around and behind figures to make them more prominent, and looking at characters from distance, the characters’ colors are lessened. The blues on the two pages were Luke and another character share a moment are gorgeous, plus they emphasize the emotion of the scene. The coloring on Vader is dynamic, making the artwork leap off the page. Outstanding work by Eltaeb. Overall grade: A+
The letters: A good job is also done by letterer Michael Heisler with narration, dialogue, a slap, and Artoo’s beeping. No sound effects were really needed at any point in this issue. Overall grade: A
The final line: Star Wars is the franchise that got me to read comics, collect comics, and brought me back into the fold after a ten year self imposed vacation from them. I love Star Wars. I love all the Dark Horse Star Wars books. I want to love this book, but the story is not–has not–been working for me. I’m done with this version of Star Wars. I’ll continue to read the others, but I can’t continue to pay for a book I only “like.” Overall grade: B-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.