In Review: Star Wars Adventures #14

This issue answers the burning question how a Wookiee relieves stress and it's a hoot.

The covers: Three different covers with the galaxy’s most famous Wookiee in some serious trouble. The A cover by Mauricet has Chewbacca making his way toward the pool at a casino on Marquinn as he’s being pursued by Vullen Candroon. The blasts from the baddie are just narrowly missing the hairy hero as guests run for cover. Great image and beautiful coloring. Philip Murphy is responsible for the B cover which is an intense cover featuring a super close-up of Bazine Netal, who was last seen in The Force Awakens in Maz Katana’s castle altering the First Order to BB-8’s appearance. This has her using macrobinoculars to see the Millennium Falcon. She has a slight smile on her face as she adjusts the magnification. Where’s Chewie? He’s in the corner roaring to promote his story in this issue. The final cover is the Retailer Incentive by Ryan Jampole. This has the Wookiee in a beach chair soaking up the sun with his arms tucked comfortably behind his head. Unbeknownst to him, Vullen Candroon has just arrived and is about to lower his gun to blast Chewie. Fun cover, even if there’s danger in the background. Also great coloring on this. It’s rare to see the Wookiee in such a warm environment in comics, and the blues brings out his browns. Overall grades: A A, B A+, and RI A

The stories: “Chewie’s Day Off” by John Barber starts off aboard the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewie doing two different things and arguing. The pair are going to Marquinn so they can sell some merchandise for some “reasonably decent credits.” The Wookiee is on edge because he believes Vullen Candroon is after them for stealing some marked sabacc decks. The Corellian tells him that he’ll hand their contacts in the casino while Chewie does something — anything — to take the edge off. Naturally he goes to a spa for some fun visuals, then Candroon finds him and the chase is on. There’s lots of action with some great hijinks. A really neat aspect of the story is that no one speaks Standard except Han — everyone else is speaking in their native language. This requires the reader to pay attention to repeated words to glean meaning and to pay close attention to the art. A clever and fun story. Next up is “Spy Games” Part 1 of Flight of the Falcon by Michael Moreci. In a seedy watering hole Bazine Netal is meeting with bounty hunter IG-88 to find the location of the Millennium Falcon because he almost caught its infamous pilots. She’s even willing to pay him for his story. He then recounts his tale of being hired by Agent Kallus to find the Falcon. He accompanies the agent that hired him, Kallus, and two pilots of an Imperial Shuttle to the ship’s location. Things don’t go as planned for the Imperials and a chase through space commences with Solo proving why he’s a great pilot. This, too, was fun and has me interested what Netal wants with Solo. To be continued in the next issue! Overall grades: “Chewie’s Day Off” A and “Spy Games” B+

The art: Mauricet is the artist on the first tale and I love everything about this story’s design. The look of fear on the characters’ faces, especially Chewbacca, is great. The backgrounds of practically every panel are filled with droids or aliens and it makes Marquinn an interesting place to visit. Page 4, panels three through five are hilarious. If the entire issue had just been Chewie in the spa I would have been happy. I really like seeing one of the Pau’an, as those characters look fierce and weren’t seen enough in Revenge of the Sith. The chase is terrific, with lots of running, jumping, and crashing into objects. The sequence in the bottom three panels on 7 was excellent. The way in which Han exits the casino was hysterical. I’d love to see Mauricet back anytime on this book. “Spy Games” is illustrated by Arianna Florean, with assistant inker Michele Pasta. The characters look terrific, as if they were from an animated adventure, though the bounty hunter is a little too smooth for me. Netal, Kallus, and Solo have the best reactions to events in this issue, with Bazine looking wonderfully frustrated by the end of the story. Overall grades: “Chewie’s Day Off” A and “Spy Games” A-

The colors: “Chewie’s Day Off” is colored by Charlie Kirchoff and his work is spectacular. Space is colored a vivid blue to make the environment dark and it allows the Falcon to be an instant eye catcher. The skies of Marquinn are a pale orange, giving it a sunny flavor and making Chewbacca’s shaggy browns pop off the page. Droids and aliens are brightly colored making them beautiful to look upon no matter how strange their design. The red flight suit that Candroon wears has him as a stark spot anywhere on this world. There’s also some neat work done with reds for the interior of the casino. I love the colors of this tale. Florean is not only the artist of the second tale but the colorist, along with assistant colorist Adele Matera. The colors for this tale aren’t as showy as the first since the main settings are the interior of an Imperial Shuttle and a desert world. However, the colorists do have exceptional shading done on characters and objects to make them realistic, the sky of the world is a neat pale blue, and IG-88’s visual sensors gleam in crimson. A solid job. Overall grades: “Chewie’s Day Off” A+ and “Spy Games” A-

The letters: Both stories are lettered by Tom B. Long who creates the issue’s dialogue and droid dialogue (the same font), Wookiee speech, sounds, and the tease for next issue. I don’t like that droid dialogue and others’ dialogue is differed only by the shape of the balloon containing their speech. They should be different fonts to visually emphasize how different they are from air breathers. This would make IG-88 truly inhuman. Chewie’s speech looks tiny throughout, with his roars contained within dialogue balloons. This made him come off quiet, or I could just be spoiled by his larger utterances in Marvel Comics. The sounds are spectacular, with most of them in the first tale, though the latter has a great WHOOOSH. Overall grade: B

The final line: This issue answers the burning question how a Wookiee relieves stress and it’s a hoot. Plenty of fun in the first tale and a great tease of more to come from a supporting character from Episode VII. The visuals are great on both tales, keeping the scares safe for younger readers and entertaining for the older fans. Great Star Wars entertainment. Overall grade: A-

To order a print copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/star-wars-adventures-14/

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Adventures-14/digital-comic/696061?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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