In Review: Star Wars #33

I'd suggest going to lightspeed to pick this up. 

The covers: A sextet of covers for those who are willing to travel the universe to find. The Regular cover is by the always impressive Mike Mayhew, who does a great tease of Luke and Leia on a rocky outcropping overlooking a violent sea on an alien world. The remains of their crashed ship are to the left and both characters are looking to the right, stunned at something. What that something is Mayhew doesn’t show, spurring the reader to pick this book up and see what it is. The cool colors are also nice, with Luke’s yellow jacket and Leia’s white outfit catching the eye. The first Variant is the Textless version of the Regular cover, which is just as dandy without the text. There’s also a San Diego Comic-Con Black and White Variant, a Previews Exclusive limited to 5000 copies, which shows only the pencils that Mayhew created for the Regular cover. This is really sharp! John Tyler Christopher created an Action Figure Variant cover. This features a Bespin Security Guard Kenner figure on the card, though it’s a different image and figure from the actual two figures that were produced back in the day. I was lucky enough to snag one of these when this book came out. Next up is the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Variant cover by David Lopez. This has Luke Skywalker in the foreground, practicing his lightsaber skills aboard the Millennium Falcon, while Obi-Wan Kenobi watches with a smile. Ben looks outstanding, but I’m not liking the way Luke looks. The final frontpiece is a Textless 40th Anniversary Variant cover. If one likes the original, one will love this. Overall grades: Regular A, Textless Regular A, San Diego Comic-Con Variant A+, Action Figure Variant A+, Star Wars 40th Anniversary Variant C+, Textless 40th Anniversary Variant C  

The story: “Rebels In the Wild” is a terrific self contained story by Jason Aaron. After surviving the events of the last issues, Luke and Leia are on the run, going into a nebula to lose their pursuers. Luke gives in to Leia’s protests and instead lands on a planet that seems primarily composed of water. Their ship no longer flight worthy, the pair are on the planet for weeks, picking up with Luke having a really bad feeling about what Leia wants to do to get food. Page 4 shows how far the princess will go to get a meal and it is very memorable. Aaron makes this a terrific tale for both iconic characters to grow. Leia narrates the story and Aaron has her revealing quite a bit. There’s a fantastic scene with Luke and Leia laying on their backs, looking at the stars, having a conversation about their homeworlds. It’s really neat to see where they have similarities. Page 9 introduces some new characters into the story, prompting the pair of rebels to make an action that fills the rest of the issue. This story has got three major pluses going for it: 1, Luke plays a major part in the tale (I’m a Luke junkie, so the more of him, the better); 2, a new alien race; and 3, a story that starts small and expands to epic stature by its conclusion. The final page of the issue teases the next story, which features the welcome return of a main player who hasn’t been seen since his own mini-series. This was fantastic. Overall grade: A+

The art: Helping shoot this story into the stratosphere is the artwork by Salvador Larroca. His standard form of page layout consists of having an average of four horizontal panels to give the visuals a cinematic feel. If the action is major, the size of the panels will increase. For example, the first page shows Luke and Leia’s descent to the water world, with all the panels fairly equal sized, save the panel that introduces the heroes. On the second page, the second panel is much bigger to show the treacherous height Luke has achieved. Page 4 has two panels, with the first dominating, displaying what Leia is hoping to lure for dinner. This creature looks amazing and will be memorable for its design as well as its size. The characters introduced on Page 9 look good. 12 features a massive image of one of the heroes looking stunning. This is followed by a surprise reveal that has a fantastic entrance, which is followed by some characters that first appeared in last year’s Star Wars movie. One of the heroes has to make a run for several panels and it’s both realistic and funny with the way Larroca poses this person. The final page is the tease for the next story and it had me jumping up and down in joy. Larroca kills it with his visuals. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Edgar Delgado is the colorist for this issue and he starts the book with an incredible job on the very first panel. It’s the not the first color that any fan thinks of for a Star Wars scene set in space, but pink is used for the nebula that Luke wants to fly into and it’s spectacular. Notice how shades of it exist in the second panel as Luke heads away from it. The sky is a blue to die for when it’s shown on Page 2. The creature that Leia’s luring on Page 4 is a perfect color that suits its habitat and increases its ick factor. A fantastic orange flame lights one page, with its highlights coloring the leads. The colors on the characters that appear on 9 are appropriately blue-green, as is what’s shown underwater. Page 12 has a character back lit by some yellow and orange flames, and one should take note, and appreciate, how it effects the character and the clothing. Oranges are made brilliant with several explosions that close out the story. Delgado is a Jedi on the coloring. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue and narration (the same font), scene settings, yells, whispers, and sounds are crafted by VC’s Clayton Cowles. This book continues to have the same issues with a weak dialogue font, making all characters’ emphasized words lacking. This is compounded by the yells. The first yell occurs on Page 3 and it’s simply an enlarged version of the usual dialogue font. It needs a spiky dialogue balloon to give it power. However, on 4 there’s another yell, but it’s created with a block font. It looks stronger, because it’s a different shaped font, and there’s no need to change the shape of its balloon. Additionally, the dialogue and narration should be two different fonts and the book again remains soundless in the action scenes. Disappointing. Overall grade: B

The final line: A fantastic self-contained story with visuals to match. Luke and Leia show themselves to make a great team, dealing with starvation, meeting natives, and interstellar threats. I’d suggest going to lightspeed to pick this up. Overall grade: A-

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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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