In Review: Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3

An excellent read with good visuals, that feature many familiar faces from the trilogy.

The cover: Standing before some type of technology that’s recently been hit, given the amount of cracks in parts of it and the smoke spiraling on the far right, Shara Bey is clad entirely in white, which is a miracle given the setting, and she has a pistol in each hand to take out any antagonists. In the foreground is smuggler Lando Calrissian, who has a blaster rifle ready in his hands. The character work by Marco Checchetto is terrific, and the coloring is good, too. I’d like to see what it is that smoldering behind the heroes a little more clearly, but the visual communicates destruction, so I can roll with it. Nice to see the characters all in white, which makes this reminiscent of the original trilogy. Overall grade: B+

The story: After having an extended cameo in the first issue, Kes Dameron begins this installment of this series, written by Greg Rucka. On the Outer Rim at the Wretch of Yaron, an Imperial Security Bureau Black site is about to be attacked by Rebel forces, among which is Kes. He and partner Sakas let loose with their rocket launcher when commanded by their superior, and it’s their blast that blows open an entrance on the southeast side. The Rebels swarm to this location and soon stormtroopers are falling faster than seen before. However, one trooper has  got a no-miss bead on Kes, but a famous figure appears and saves the man’s life. Commander Solo also arrives and he needs another famous character to help him within the beaten bunker. Meanwhile, on Naboo, the odd weather pattern of lighting strikes continues, and Shara, Leia, and a new ally quickly learn who’s responsible and they hatch a plan to save the planet. As neat as it was to see Han and the other pair of famous characters in action, I was completely taken with the story on Naboo. I really like what happened there. The characters sold the story for me; their interactions were believable and entertaining. Page 9 has an extremely cool moment for Leia and the last panel on Page 10 was a cheer worthy conclusion. I’m not a fan of the space battles, but Rucka did a good job in making this one interesting and thrilling. I’m sorry to see this series end with the next issue. Overall grade: A

The art: Excellent imagery on this issue from Marco Checchetto and Angel Unzueta. The first four pages are an amazing ground war between the forces. Every panel is a work of art independent of the story, but when looked at as a whole they really bring this epic struggle to life. Watching the speeder bike riders get taken out was so cool! The fortunate arrival of the character on Page 5 was awesome — splendidly cinematic looking. Han also is well drawn, as is the second famous character that appears with him. Most of the action takes place on and above Naboo and Checchetto and Unzueta do a tremendous job in this location. The throne room sequences were incredible looking last issue and they remain strong. I was really impressed with the setting revisited from Episode I, and what Leia encounters there — Page 9 has the fan shout out moment of the issue. The character that visually impressed this issue was the Queen of Naboo. Her makeup and hair are amazing, and the final panel on 10 has her looking as regal as when she was first introduced, but the expression on her face gives her so much character. The space battle was good. Again, I’m not a fan of the space scenes, so it takes a lot to keep me interested: Checchetto and Unzueta do so. However, I do have a nit: why are photos used for the explosions? They stick as being obvious photo inserts. They detracted from an extremely well drawn issue. Overall grade: B

The colors: The first panel of this issue is a partial double-page spread through a pair of macrobinoculars. It’s colored in the iconic pale blue that such devices always had in the films. By giving this artwork this coloring, Andres Mossa instantly transports fans into their past encounters with the Star Wars films. The battle that takes place on Tayron is rust colored, giving this complex an aged look and the right tint for the destruction that’s to occur. Contrasting this locale are the colors on Naboo. Beginning in the throne room, which is colored just as it appeared in the prequels, the colors on characters’ faces are exceptional, with Leia being an impressive job. She is flawless in the bottom panel on Page 9, as are the reds and oranges that appear in the panel before that. Mossa is enhancing the artwork in every panel. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Joe Caramagna from VC provides scene settings, dialogue, transmissions, growls, sounds, and next issue’s tease. I don’t like the way any of this looks, save the sounds. Caramagna does a good job them and I wish he had been allowed to contribute sounds to the space battle in the final pages. Overall grade: C

The final line: An excellent read with good visuals, that feature many familiar faces from the trilogy. Overall grade: B+

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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