In Review: Chewbacca #5

This is one of the best Star Wars series Marvel has made.

The cover: Chewbacca swings high above a Star Destroyer’s bay, with Zarro holding tightly to his neck, avoiding blaster fire from several stormtroopers. This is an excellent heroic shot of the famous Wookie in action. The perspective is perfect and the coloring awesome. Phil Noto nailed this. Overall grade: A+

The story: The concluding chapter of this series begins aboard the Star Destroyer where the shuttle that Chewie and Zarro are aboard has landed. A translator droid is speaking to the commander about being sent to translate for the Wookie, though transmissions from the ship ceased moments ago. A stormtrooper’s helmet then comes rolling down the ship’s ramp. The scene then moves inside the shuttle where Chewie and Zarro are in the process of making mincemeat of the troopers. With a break in the action, the young girl slides down the ramp with a gun pointed at the commander. Chewbacca emerges with stormtroopers hanging onto him, wailing at the top of his lungs, prompting the droid to translate. A stormtrooper helmet to the head shuts the droid down. He then rips an arm off the droid and begins to beat the troopers off of him. Zarro tells the Imperial that Jaum is a Rebel spy and that he’s setting the Imperials up. In fact, the droid coming down the ramp — smoking — is a bomb. Jaum then emerges and questions why she and the Wookie are on the ship, just as the droid explodes. Chaos erupts and our heroes are on the run, trying to avoid blaster fire and escape the ship. Gerry Duggan has written a good closing chapter to this story, with one hero getting something unexpected and another going someplace not seen since Revenge of the Sith. This fun, exciting, and recommended reading. Overall grade: A

The art: Doing the illustrations and their colors is Phil Noto. This book looks amazing. The ships and their interiors, especially that of the Star Destroyer, are picture perfect. When the heroes have to escape, Noto has to draw them from a variety of angles and he does so flawlessly. As superior as these vehicles are, the characters are magnificent. In the past, I’ve always seen that children have been a bugaboo for artists, but that’s not the case with Noto: Zarro looks and moves as someone should at that age. When she smiled, I smiled. Chewbacca is stunning. Duggan has written a story where the Wookie’s dialogue is never translated, so it falls upon the artist to make every facial gesture or movement telling to the reader. Noto commands Chewie fantastically. This is obvious on the final four pages where there is no human speech. The final page is an incredible splash which creates an enormous state of joy. The colors also need to be discussed because they’re beautiful. I have no idea how Noto is coloring his work, but it’s simply gorgeous. Chewbacca’s hair is amazingly blended in the browns, tans, and blacks that he wears in the films. When explosions occur the coloring is a brilliant yellow. There’s also a sequence when the characters are in a ship whose interiors are colored red and the characters are colored similarly. This heightens the tension with the visuals. The exterior lighting of the final setting is just beautiful, making the location look idyllic. Sounds also benefit from the coloring, making each explosion or utterance strong. Noto is working this book like a Jedi Master. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna creates droid speak, dialogue, sounds, and Wookie speech. I’m continuing to be unhappy with the font used for the dialogue, but the sounds on this book are incredible. There are so many different screams and wails, not all from Chewie, that make this book visually impressive just with its noises. Overall grade: A-

The final line: A fantastic read for all ages. This is one of the best Star Wars series Marvel has made. Overall grade: A

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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