In Review: Star Wars #46

A clever caper issue with some sensational moments of levity.

The covers: Four different covers for any proud Rebel to pick up. Threepio greets two Mon Calamari dignitaries, with a company of stormtroopers behind him making the introduction look threatening. This frontpiece is by David Marquez & Matthew Wilson. Goldenrod looks fine, but the troopers look like cardboard cutouts waiting to be pushed over. The Mon Calamari look okay, though they’re covered by the text at the top. The background behind them is unrecognizable; it’s so blurry and lost in the colors I couldn’t tell what that is — windows, artwork, I don’t know. This is just okay. John Tyler Christoper again has created a fantastic Action Figure Variant cover, focusing on Ree-Yees, the Gran from Return of the Jedi. The figure, as always, looks great and the image of the character is fantastic! The Wonderworld Comics Exclusive is also by Christopher and continues a series of covers that’s been done by the artist for some time. The top half of the image is the envelope for a package that was mailed to Wonderworld, complete with stamps that feature Han Solo and Princess Leia from The Empire Strikes Back. And check out the postmark! The bottom half shows what was in the envelope: three Star Wars figures from Episode V: Dengar, Boba Fett, and IG-88. The figures, as always, resemble those that Kenner put out back in the day and they look great. Christopher is my favorite cover artist for Star Wars books and I can’t wait to see more of his work. The final cover is a gorgeous Galactic Icons Variant by Rod Reis showing Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo from the soon to released Solo movie. This a terrific bust shot of the character. I’m not even a Han Solo fan, I know — blaspheme, and I want to snag a copy of this cover. Overall grades: Regular B+, Action Figure Variant A+, Wonderworld Comics Exclusive A, and Galactic Icons Variant A+

The story: Aboard the Millennium Falcon speeding through space, the heroes speak with Tunga Arpagion, a Clawdite. He’s very full of himself, which is similar to one of the leads as shown in the fourth panel on Page 2. Leia tells the shapeshifter they want to hire him to impersonate Tan Hubi, the Moff of the Mon Calamari sector. The job should be easy since it will be done during the start of the season on Mon Cala where “Visiting dignitaries are swarming to the Moncaladrome. The opening opera should last five fours. You sit. You watch a show. We extract you afterwards.” He agrees after a little more prodding and this caper begins. This was a fun issue from Kieron Gillen. Seeing all the heroes in action was entertaining, especially Han and Chewie who get themselves in a funny situation on 9. Additionally, Artoo shows why he’s a feisty little one, Luke gets to wear a familiar outfit, Threepio gets some responsibility, and Leia tries to keep this action on track. Tan Hubi is also enjoyable, being everything one would want in a Moff. The four final pages have the characters going to a new location. The characters believe it’s just more of the same for them, but the final page has them encountering a creature last seen in one of prequels. Great cliffhanger, fun moments, and the caper was terrific! Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals on this look better than the previous issue simply because the backgrounds don’t look as though they’re photo insertions. The characters do closely resemble stills from the films, but they blend in fairly seamlessly with the new characters. The opening shot of the Falcon looks fine, but the interiors of this iconic shop look great. I especially like the second panel where the characters are first shown. Tunga looks fine, close enough to Zam Wesell from Episode II, but different enough to be original — his eyes and nose are bigger. Tan Hubi looks fantasic. He’s introduced during a holoprojection from Artoo and he has several strong emotions that make him excellent looking. And is it me, or is somewhat Mr. Bean-ish in one particular panel? The setting revealed on Page 5 is gorgeous. The sequence of panels on 7 has some humorous action. The female character that appears on 8 is as exceptionally well drawn as the Moff, though she gets a really funny scene with two characters. The point of view and the design of the room on 10 is terrific: exotic, yet familiar. The ship that takes the characters to their next location is neat and I would love to see more of that vessel. The final two panels on Page 18 are perfect, with a character making an action funny and awesome. The reaction at the bottom of the page is priceless. I did not like the computer blur in the middle panel on the next page. Artist Salvador Larroca is a capable artist and using this effect on his work only draws attention to the computer effect negatively. I was taken out of the tale by this terrible effect. Thankfully this was not the final image of the book and I momentarily forgot it when I saw the sensational job done on the large panel on the final page. I loved the look of that creature in the film and Larroca has done a bang up job on it. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Guru-eFX do an excellent job on the colors for the interior of the Falcon; it looks just like those in the films. Tunga’s coloring is similar to Zam’s, so I was a happy camper with him. The leads also look good with the their faces getting some great shades and tones. The exterior setting on 5 is beautiful. I love the sky and the warm colors coming from its interior. The blue-greens used for computer screens made me realize what they were before the dialogue made it obvious. The large room that’s first shown on 10 is tasteful with its colors, but conveys a strong sense of elegance and money. The bottom panel’s colors on 18 shows the reader succinctly what’s occurring. The large panel on the final page has colors that will be familiar to fans of the films, with the glowing portions wonderful. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, droid speech, scene settings, Wookiee speech, sounds, Artoo’s speech all fall under VC’s Clayton Cowles’s domain. Threepio, Artoo, and Chewie’s speech looks great, with each differentiated from the other by a change in fonts. The two sounds are fine, with the one that Artoo delivers as fun as the action it accompanies. The dialogue is not great because it doesn’t change when someone yells, and that occurs several times. Without a change in font, these outbursts are lackluster. The scene settings are also hard to read with their shadow component. A mixed bag. Overall grade: B-

The final line: A clever caper issue with some sensational moments of levity. The artwork is much better this go around and I’m hoping it continues with the next installment of this story. If only the lettering would make a few changes. Overall grade: A- 

To order a digital cover go https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-2015-46/digital-comic/638006?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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