In Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-Allegiance #2

Politics and muted visuals make for a disappointing comic book.

The covers: A trio to pick up as the Resistance has problems finding allies in their fight against the First Order. The Regular cover by Marco Checchetto connects to his previous cover for Issue #1. Kylo Ren dominates this book with his lightsaber held back in his right hand and his left reaching forward at the reader. Beneath him is a small bust image of Hux, with full illustrations of See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo to the left. A giant First Order stormtrooper helmet is in the upper right and several TIE Fighters fly out beneath it with the their guns spitting emerald. Very nice. The Movie Photo Variant cover features a close-up of Daisy Ridley as Rey looking to her left at the reader. I need this! The Variant cover by Luke Ross & Guru-eFX has Poe and Finn trying to hush BB-8 as bounty hunter Wooro has walked into the room they’re hiding in. The art is great and the colors perfect. Overall grade: Regular A, Movie Photo Variant A+, and Variant A

The story: This issue written by Ethan Sacks picks up where the last issue ended: the heroes have landed at Dac City on Mon Cala and are greeted by drawn weapons. Rose, Chewie, and Rey are ready to fight, but the timely arrival of Aftab Ackbar diffuses the situation. The son of Admiral Ackbar hugs Leia and the two are soon underwater at the Mourning Shrines where a large bust of the admiral stands. The son asks if Leia was with his father when he died and she recounts what happened. Aftab then asks why she’s come and Leia reveals she’s there for a favor. Meanwhile, the other heroes are nearby in an underwater ship, where Rey continues to doubt if she’s doing the right thing as a Jedi. On the moon of Avedot, the bounty hunters have arrived to catch Finn who’s there with Poe and a small contingency of fighters to retrieve something. The action on Avedot is good, with it having the expected thrills and mishaps. Leia’s mission in Dac City is political maneuvering that doesn’t go too far. It’s believable that Leia would have to do this, given the situation of the Resistance, but it doesn’t make for thrilling reading, let alone an exciting visual experience. Thankfully the final page has an excellent cliffhanger regarding the heroes on this water world. Kylo Ren gets two pages as he makes a dramatic move and retakes an important location for the First Order. This was an okay read, but felt really slow due to the sequences on Mon Cala and Rey’s doubt. Overall grade: B- 

The art: The visuals open up in dramatic style from Luke Ross with a gorgeous large panel that shows the entrance to Dac City. I like that Rey is so intense looking when the suggestion of battle comes up. The hug between Aftab and Leia gave me the feels. Page 3 is a large panel that shows this tiny pair swimming before several giant underwater stone heads of deceased Mon Calamari. I don’t know if Ross changed up his style for the underwater sequences or the colorist made a choice, but the visuals underwater look too smooth, with the art looking simplified. One need only look at Page 5 to see how the visuals look different. Things improve considerably on the next page with an excellent establishment panel of the setting and the introduction of the bounty hunters. Page 9 looks fantastic for the exterior shot and the person pleading with Ren. This villain has a powerful introduction on 10 and the action he makes looks great. This page makes 11 all the more frustrating to look upon with the artwork again so smooth. The partial transformation that ends 13 is terrific looking; I love that even while changing the character looks unhappy. The next two pages are still in the same location, but they’ve become too smooth, as the visuals look in the underwater sequences. I just don’t know what’s going on with the visuals. 16 has visuals that are much more defined, with Rey looking outstanding on the bottom two panels. The action that follows is good, but the final page has a large image that steals the book. That illustration of Hux looks absolutely like something Ross would have drawn. Again, I don’t know what was going on with this book’s art. Overall grade: C+

The colors: I love the blues on the first page, making Dac City look regal, yet absolutely part of the ocean. The colors by Lee Loughridge on Page 3 blend in too much with each other, creating a blob of an illustration. Page 5 starts the funky coloring, with the book having pastels instead of traditional colors. This hurt my reading of the book. I like the splash of orange that ends Page 8; often reds are used in this situation, but the dark orange resembles the surface of this moon. I love all the blues at the top of the next page, and the dominating reds on 10 are perfect. 12 is just too blue, making the art hard to make out. I like the dark blues for the backgrounds on 16, making the characters pop on the page. Overall grade: C 

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles creates the issue’s scene settings, dialogue, Wookiee roars, transmissions, droid speech, Wooro’s unique speech, BB-8’s dialogue, and yells. The scene settings blend in too much with the background due to their colors. This problem has happened in other Star Wars books for years. The dialogue is frail, making strong characters, such as Kylo, sound weak. Chewie’s roars are okay, as is Threepio and BB-8’s speech. Wooro’s dialogue is in an undecipherable font that’s been used for other aliens in the past year. There are several sounds in the book and they look good. Overall grade: B-

The final line: Politics and muted visuals make for a disappointing comic book. The story is logical in what occurs, but not exciting. Ren and Finn create the most enjoyment in this issue. I’m hoping the characters leave Mon Cala quickly and go someplace more interesting and drawn better. Overall grade: C+

To order a digital copy go to https://comicstore.marvel.com/Journey-To-Star-Wars-The-Rise-Of-Skywalker-Allegiance-2019-2-of-4/digital-comic/52691?r=1

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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