In Review: Star Wars #60

I'm ready to move away from Hubin and not speak of it again.

The covers: Last issue’s tease is spotlighted on the Regular cover by Jamal Campbell. Luke wields his lightsaber against Scar Squadron’s Commander Kreel and his green saber. Luke looks incredibly focused as they clash, with energy sparking at the collision of blades. It’s raining heavily upon the pair, with the droplets hitting their figures looking amazingly well done by Campbell. The background is a fiery orange and yellow, giving the impression that destruction is occurring behind them. A really terrific cover. Another Kenner figure cover is available for pick up on the Action Figure Variant by John Tyler Christopher. The action figure looks great, though he doesn’t come with the useless baton that the actual toy had back in the day. The large illustration of the character looks awesome. I never grow tired of seeing what Christopher has cooked up for these covers and I want to collect them all. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: The penultimate chapter of “Escape” by Kieron Gillen opens on Hubin with Threepio overjoyed to have new legs installed. He’s joined by Artoo who has his companion go to the window to see the danger that their masters are in. Looking outside, the droid sees Luke and a stormtrooper facing each other with lightsabers. Aero comes upon the scene and asks Commander Kreel if he really wants to fight the boy. “I’ve been looking for another chance to cross swords with this boy. A duel suits me fine,” he answers. Before the two engage, Tula goes to Luke and kisses him passionately, using the opportunity to slip something into his jacket. Thane pulls his daughter back to allow the two to fight. The trooper charges the farmboy again and again, until Luke makes use of the device that Tula gave him. The situation changes and the troopers join Thane. With them gone, and only Aero left behind the guard the prisoners, Tula does something. Being a hunter, Thane easily catches Luke before the stormtroopers arrive and their conversation goes as one would expect, leading to a confrontation on 13 – 17 which has the inevitable outcome. I never took to Thane, so the actions that occur were like water off a duck’s back. The best moment of the issue is in the first four panels on Page 18, which had this minor character do something absolutely awesome. I felt this moment with this individual and my love of this person increased. The last two pages are predictable, with the ending being funny, but making the individuals look incredibly incompetent. It’s hard to continually believe how cool, smart, and superior these characters are with an ending like this. I’ll be happier when this story wraps up next issue. Overall grade: C

The art: Angel Unzueta’s art is good. The first panel of the book shows Threepio with his partially completed legs recall how he looked in Episode I. His and Artoo’s journey down the hall to get to a window is very smooth. The distant images of the characters is a good tease to get the reader to rapidly turn the page. I like that the first panel on the second page is from the same angle but pulled in closer; the details on the characters are well done. The bottom panel on that page is stellar; this image will sell this book to members of the 501st unquestionably. Luke and Tula’s scene is good, but it’s so dark that it’s hard to make out the details. The background on the character that ends the fourth page is too much — it looks as though he’s caught in a whirlwind. The fight is quick, but good, and the close-ups of Luke on 6 are excellent. Unnecessary speed lines return in the second panel on 7. They serve no purpose but to fill space. I love the female characters on 8 who look incredible. Pages 10 and 11 have excellent character work, though why Thane’s ponytail is whipping about so much comes off as if he’s caught in that whirlwind from pages earlier. The last two panels on 13 are great, with the final panel deserving those speed lines to heighten the beginning of the action. The village and its inhabitants on 14 look sharp and the blaster fire on the page is strong. The large panel on 15 is an excellent calm before the storm. My favorite sequence of panels is on 18 and it’s just perfection. As a whole, the visuals are better than average. Overall grade: B

The colors: Yes, the setting is an exterior at night. The coloring makes that obvious. However, it’s so dark at times that the visuals are obscured too much. I wish that Guru-eFX had cheated with reality a bit more and brightened things up so the art could be fully seen. Threepio and Artoo look great, with their reflective surfaces looking outstanding. Both panels on the second page are excellent. I love the emerald reflection on Kreel’s chest armor. The third page is just darned dark! The first and fourth panel contain important actions and should be clear to the reader. Page 9 continues to make things too dark, though the pages before it are fine. Things continue to be dark through 14 with Tula’s close-up on 15 finally breaking up the muddy imagery. The colors used in that panel should have been used on the panels and pages before it. The explosion on 18 is fantastic, employing a color not often used in Star Wars. The books ends with too much again in the darkness. The colors hurt the reading experience of this book. Overall grade: D+

The letters: Scene settings, droid speak, Artoo’s exclamations, and dialogue are crafted by VC’s Clayton Cowles. I’m pleased to see the scene settings no longer have the white outline around them, which made them blurry. They are much better without them. I like that the droid speak is in a different font than the living characters’ dialogue, making them stand apart from them. Artoo’s utterances are large and look absolutely appropriate for the astromech. The dialogue continues to be so thin it neuters every line and the lack of sounds make the action sequences disappointing. A mixed bag. Overall grade: B-

The final line: I’ve not enjoyed where this story has gone and I’m looking forward to this being done. The art is gravely hurt by the dark coloring. I’m just ready to move away from Hubin and not speak of it again. Overall grade: C+

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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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