In Review: Star Wars #70

Star Wars comics do not get any better than this.

The covers: A very cool trio of frontpieces to find for this outing set A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… The Regular cover by Phil Noto has Han and Leia in the horrible position of trying to pretend they’re a couple. Awkwardly holding hands, the pair enter a room with Han appearing as though he’s looking upon something offensive, while Leia looks mortified at what she’s having to do. A red droid bows down to allow the couple to enter the room where an alien couple avoids looking at them, another holds a drink, and a dog-like creature trots before them. Funny cover, which summarizes much from this issue, and the colors are great; notice how the doorway is white to capture the reader’s focus and everything else is in oranges to create an overwhelming otherly presence. The Action Figure Variant cover by John Tyler Christopher features the torture droid from Return of the Jedi, 8D8. The fake figure looks excellent and the large portrait of the character looks menacing with much of its face hidden in darkness. I couldn’t pass this up when I saw it in my local comic book store. However, the Greatest Moments Variant by Walter Simonson and Laura Martin is also a spectacular cover. This is looking down upon Darth Vader has he holds Emperor Palpatine above his head as the Sith Lord’s lightning is sparking about, causing Vader’s skeleton to appear as he’s hit. The Emeperor looks both horrific and afraid at what his minion is about to do to him. The characters are great, the energy strong, and the colors make this absolutely electric. Overall grades: Regular A, Action Figure Variant A+, and Greatest Moments Variant A+

The story: The third part of “Rebels and Rogues” by Greg Pak is fantastic. The first seven pages deal with Luke who’s on Sergia having a hard time with possible new ally Warba Calip. Their landspeeder has gone dead because it’s not hers as evidenced by  the de-igniter triggered by the owner. She reveals she wasn’t cheating at cards back at the bar, she was using “an old fashioned Jedi mind trick.” This gets Luke’s interest, but they have to focus on hiding their vehicle as their pursuers are arriving. Evading these men, the pair get some time alone where Warba does something surprising on Page 5, with Luke then surprising her. The two have words, leading to them realizing they need to work together. Unfortunately what Warba wants to do is not the path a Jedi walks. Pages 8 – 14 returns to Lanz Carpo where Leia and Han are checking in as newlyweds. As they follow their droid to their room they realize that trouble could be anywhere…If only they would look behind them. They change clothes to mingle with the other guests until making a move on 11 and immediately encountering trouble. Their situation becomes dire, but a reveal gives them hope, until things become hopeless on 14. Before Pak can resolve their situation he moves to K43 where Chewbacca and Threepio are in the Falcon trying to avoid getting blasted by the Imperial Star Destroyer Executor. The detonators they’ve left on the planet are still counting down and there seems to be no way to stop them so the recently discovered natives aren’t killed in the explosion. The heroes are forced to the ground and something shocking occurs to one of them. Complicating things further for the pair are the final two pages that show what the Imperials are thinking and the reveal of the most horrible person on 20. This is an exciting, funny, surprising, and perfect Star Wars story. Overall grade: A+

The art and colors: Also delivering the goods on this issue is Phil Noto who creates the art and the colors. Warba looks great. She looks as though she’ll do all that she can to survive on Sergia. Her smile is fantastic and completely disarming, which only makes her action on 5 all the more surprising. Luke’s blue eyes are absolutely killer every time he appears. I love the large panel on 5 — that never gets old. I especially like the reflection of light on him. The final panel that ends the tale on Sergia perfectly sums up both characters. The Carpo Grand Regent Hotel looks too rich for the heroes and is the perfect way to visually set them out of place. The small panel that ends Page 9 is a great throwback to similar panels in the previous issue. Han’s new attire on 11 looks more suited for Gil Gerard on Buck Rogers, increasing the humor. The alien couple they encounter look fantastic, with the male’s smile being so full of mischief. The first panel on 12 is great, beautifully teasing the momentous scene between the twosome in The Empire Strikes Back. The setting where they end up walking looks entirely appropriate and would definitely fit into one of J.J. Abrams’s sci fi films. The action that occurs is good and I’m so pleased that it’s not done with a computerized blur as has been done in other Star Wars books; this makes the action so much more believable. The reveal on 14 makes the individual look specifically heroic because there’s only white behind him; he is an angel there to save them. The full-paged splash on 15 is spectacular as the Millennium Falcon is heading straight at the reader and the Executor is in the distance blasting green bolts of energy at it. Having the panel that shows the cockpit of the Falcon tilted shows the frantic actions by the heroes trying to survive. Chewie’s fur looks fantastic, with his final appearance on 18 being gorgeous in design and color. The full-paged splash on the final page is only missing its iconic music. I’ve been a fan of the films since the debut in 1977 and that final page made me shudder at what’s shown. This book looks spectacular. Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles creates this issue’s scene settings, sounds, dialogue, droid speech, whispered dialogue, yells, and Wookiee roars. The scene settings look good in this issue because they’re colored darkly to stand out against the panel’s art and colors. The sounds are great in this issue, with a lightsaber making a sound as it powers on, fisticuffs, and creature wails. They are in varied fonts and look perfect. The dialogue works since it’s from humans talking, though the last character’s strength is weakened because the individual’s font is the same as others. The droid dialogue is set apart from biological characters because they are mechanical and it looks good. The whispered dialogue is slightly smaller than the normal dialogue so the reader knows that the two characters are trying to have a conversation without being overheard. The yells come in several different sizes to match the intensity of their bellows. Chewie’s speech looks good, with it only emerging from their balloons when he’s emotional, and that’s quite often this issue. His final outburst is small and heartbreaking. Overall grade: A

The final line: Three different groups are in peril and things are going to get worse after the reveal on the final page. This is exciting, funny, character driven, and gorgeous to look at. Star Wars comics do not get any better than this. Highest possible recommendation. 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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