The second issue of Brian Wood’s big-selling Star Wars comic is out today, and GONK takes a peek.
The first issue of the new Star Wars series, simply titled Star Wars, flew off the shelves on its first day, prompting a sellout second printing and even a third printing. Now Issue #2 of the Brian Wood-scripted storyline ‘In the Shadow of Yavin’ is out (DarkHorse.com profile), and the story gets underway.
Summary: Han Solo and Chewbacca start off the issue on a mission for Mon Mothma, only the Millennium Falcon draws the attention of Boba Fett in Slave I, hiding in some debris. As they jump to their next secret rendezvous point, they catch a glimpse of an arriving Star Destroyer. Meanwhile, back at the Rebel Fleet, Leia takes a break from selecting team members for her mission by watching a tourism ad for Alderaan, her destroyed homeworld. Luke and Wedge find themselves against stiff odds in a dogfight simulator against a wave of TIE Fighters, but Luke’s torpedo tactics help him rack up more kills – but Wedge points out that the practice had a different goal: gauging how the pilot responds, and cockiness isn’t a necessarily a plus. At Kuat, Colonel Bircher takes command of Vader’s Star Destroyer, and decides to improve upon Vader’s command of the Devastator, while putting his new assigned ensign onto monitoring Vader’s departure.
Leia pulls her new pilot/commando team together and briefs them on their goal to find a new home for the Rebellion while ferreting out any Imperial spies in their midst. After introductions, she also shows them their shiny new X-Wings and let them know they are now officially off the grid. Luke checks in with the stressed Leia, and is reassured that while Wedge is her second in command, she needs Luke as a friend. And Han and Chewie finally reach their destination to find Mon Mothma’s contact: a place not too welcome for members of the Rebel Alliance.
Review: The first issue treated us to a little taste of the story, with getting into the heads of the main movie characters, and a little action. This second issue seems more the proper start of the main story, by introducing all the key pieces on the field. There’s not really much action here, but a lot of introductions – we get to see the Imperial colonel Bircher on his own, ready to step things up, and his new red-haired ensign, Llona; and then also a whole squadron of Rebel pilots. And we get Han and Chewie a bit more (since they didn’t get much space in the first issue), and the menace of Slave I. But no Vader – I’m sure we’ll catch up with him later.
The pace in this issue seems pretty rapid fire with the scene changes, with so many players, so while not much is happening action wise, there’s a lot of people to keep track of. While this issue is just putting the players into their positions for the start of the game, Wood spends some time with our main characters – showing a bit of Han and Chewie’s relationship when they are on their own, Leia trying to find some time to mourn her lost world after work, and Wedge hoping to nudge Luke in the direction away from hotshot fighter pilot cockiness (and the death that usually comes with it), and a little bit of a look at Colonel Bircher without Vader around. An intriguing opponent, and it is noted that he’s also a top TIE Interceptor wing commander, so I’m sure that will come into play soon enough. Despite all the hopping around from character to character, I felt that perhaps a little more needed to happen. I liked the simulator battle, but maybe the message of it was a bit too subtle – like there was an extra panel cut out at the end.
Carlos D’Anda (with colors by Gabe Eltaeb) brings some solid artwork into this issue – there’s a nice two-page spread of Slave I hanging out with the debris, watching the Falcon, fairly reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, though as a foreshadowing, I guess. But I think my favorite panels include one of Leia holding her head while watching the wonders of Alderaan on holo, and Wedge talking to a Rebel trooper after Luke leaves the sim room. Still, it’s odd that every shot of the Falcon is pretty much the underside, and it doesn’t quite look right. Is the lower half really that flat looking?
As for the Alex Ross cover — Is that the Hound’s Tooth on it (flying behind and to the right of Slave I)? Hmm…. It’s a pretty busy composition, with Vader’s mask covered a bit by the suadron of X-Wings.
In the end, a little slower than the first issue, but the dramatis personae also doubled (all those pilots, as well as their Imperial enemy), with time to get into the motivations of some of our key players.