In Review: Star Wars #6

Fans of Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett should be pleased with this issue.

The cover: Boba Fett has got his sights set on young Luke Skywalker. The Jedi in training could be a threat to the bounty hunter as he has his lightsaber held ready. I like covers where the hero is being targeted and artist John Cassaday and colorist Laura Martin have created a winning cover with this image. I like the greens in this especially as they make it look as though Fett is having to use his night vision to find the farm boy. When writing this review I found a similar version of this cover, though with different colors. It’s been turned into a day time shot of Luke, with the colors much brighter. I don’t know if that cover is available, as Marvel is terrible at listing its variants in its books. Overall grade: A

The story: Boba Fett found Luke in Ben’s dwelling last issue and blinded him with a flash grenade. This issue by Jason Aaron promises a fight between the two iconic characters and he delivers it. Luke takes a rifle butt to the head from the Fett who calls him Skywalker. Luke feigns ignorance at the name and punches the man, only to be holding his fist for hitting the Mandalorian’s chest armor. His manacles ready, Fett is going to restrain the young man but the native of Tatooine has found his lighsaber. Luke swings wildly and the bounty hunter shoots his binding cable at the him. Luck or the Force allows Luke to cut the cable on its approach and then graze Fett’s helmet, which sends the hunter to the floor, falling over Artoo. “Your armor’s noisy,” Luke says. “So’s your mouth,” Fett responds. He ignites his rocket backpack to plow into his prey, while Luke raises his lightsaber above his head. The scene then wonderfully transitions to Leia and Han, where stuff happens. I love what happens with this pair on the planet. It is typical of Han at this point in his life, and Leia’s reactions to what he’s doing are spot on. The person who’s been after the pair finally arrives in this issue and what’s revealed about this character will either please or irritate fans. I didn’t like the revelation as this type of relationship has been done to death in other stories and screams of a one-off story to be ignored in later issues. I hope Aaron has watched Firefly to see how this can be pulled off successfully. The Luke and Fett showdown reaches its expected conclusion, with Luke’s escape only lacking music to signify what happened. I’m not happy with what Luke has discovered at Ben’s as it goes against the Jedi’s decision at the end of Revenge of the Sith, so I’m looking for a plausible justification in an upcoming issue. The strongest point in the book are the last three pages. They’re also shown in Darth Vader #6, and they’re great. This is a real Star Wars moment for the emotion and power of the scene. I’m liking parts of this issue, but others are rubbing me the wrong way. Overall grade: B-

The art: Luke Skywalker is my favorite Star Wars character so I was in seven heaven with what John Cassaday does with this issue. The opening page has a sensational top panel of blind Luke scrambling on the ground. It’s countered at the bottom with an equally impressive image of Boba Fett bringing his gun onto the Jedi. Pages 3 and 4 have the pair confronting each other with their own weapons and it looks terrific. Cassaday does an outstanding job putting motion into this book with Fett, who’s either shooting something at the lad or ducking or falling when that saber goes into action. I’m not keen on the way the artist is showing lightsaber movement: on the same two pages there are panels where Luke is swinging his blade, Cassaday leaves an illuminated afterimage of the saber to show where it’s been. This doesn’t create an image of movement; it comes off as slow motion, and it’s slowing down the action. The technique is repeated on Page 9 and it looks more like blaster fire than a swing with the ancient weapon. There’s a ricochet off the blade later, and it looks as though the blast has been shattered into several bolts, rather than the one that’s shown being redirected in the panel just below it. Han and Leia look fine, with the smuggler having a continual hound dog face on, and the ships are very impressive, with their shadow’s ship finally landing and Luke’s X-Wing sensational. As with the story, the final three pages are the real highlight of the art with the final page being a scene stealer. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Excellent coloring by Laura Martin, with the battle in Ben’s home strong. Although, why does the lighting dim when Luke ignites his saber? Pages 1 and 2 have the interior well lit, but when Luke activates his blade on Page 3 the lights go out so that the glow from the weapon illuminates the space. All pages are colored well, but that transition between pages is really dramatic. The world Leia and Han are on has a beautiful sky, setting the mood for what’s expected. The space shot of the planet is also excellent, with the blue-violet glow around it a super touch. When the unknown craft shoots through the third panel on Page 8 it’s a powerful image because of the strong colors. The best work of the issue is the top panel on Page 16; Martin does considerable work in the character’s face to create more depth, such as on the bridge of the nose, and the nice steam effect on the left leg continues the effect the artist drew. And I cannot get enough of that sky. Overall grade: A

The letters: Chris Eliopoulos provides dialogue, exclamations, communications transmissions, Artoo’s beeps, and a font for a book. This work is consistent with what has been done in the previous issues. Overall grade: B

The final line: Fans of Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett should be pleased with this issue. A few nits keep it from being spectacular. 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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