In Review: Star Wars Adventures #15

A great collection of old and new characters in two fun tales.

The covers: A trio to pick up for this issue, so get your squad going! The A cover is by Mauricet, the artist of the first tale. This has Poe Dameron and BB-8 in a swamp locale, as shown by his half sunken X-wing in the background. Unknown to both heroes is that they’re being watched by something above shown only in silhouette. This is colored really well, with the swamp not being so dark as to make the character truly disappear in it. Arianna Florean, the artist of the back up tale, is the artist of Cover B. Luke is in the foreground holding his lightsaber. Behind him is Han with his pistol, smirking, even though Chewbacca, behind him roars, and Leia, in the back, looks nervous. Two droids’ heads are on the far left and a gigantic head of Bazine Netal. The Falcon is skirting away on the far right. Great cover. Going to hyperspace is Poe Dameron’s X-wing on the Retailer Incentive cover by Jon Sommariva. The pilot is easily seen and so is astromech BB-8. The explosion of light blue behind the ship makes it stand out on the starfield. Nice, but could be a filler for any issue. Overall grades: A A-, B A, and Retailer Incentive C+ 

The stories: “An Unlikely Friendship” is the 12 page first story by James Gilarte. Poe and BB-8 are on the run from locals in a swamp. Poe thought these people might know where their contact is, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. They’re able to hide behind a tree as the mob runs by, though they’re seen by a giant plant covered amphibian that knocks Poe unconscious. The perky droid appears to be at the mercy of the creature, but fans know this droid is resourceful. A new character reveals himself and helps the pair get to their ship, though not without the Neijanian returning to finish the job. This was a quick adventure, with the Resistance pilot’s mission very vague, but not necessary to get the story rolling and have this new face brought into the saga. I’d be more than welcome to seeing Kori again. The eight age page back up story Flight of the Falcon, Part 2: “The Planet of Misfit Droids” is by Michael Moreci and focuses on two droids, Doc and Teetee, recounting a story of the Millennium Falcon to Bazine Netal, who’s in no mood to wait. The tale features the classic heroes, Han, Leia, and Luke on the world of Lotho Minor where they encounter several droids, including the pair of storytellers. There’s also someone else there who makes the heroes’ visit troublesome. Thankfully, one member of the Falcon‘s crew reveals something that changes their fortunes and they’re able to get away. The droids are able to steer Netal to another character who brings her a step closer to finding the Falcon. I love the classic characters and they were great in this short story. Overall grades: Both A

The art: Mauricet is the artist of the first tale, doing a really good job on the Neijanian that are chasing the heroes. The style reminds me of classic Harvey Comics artwork. The amphibian that attacks them continues in this style. I really like the monster’s reactions in the third and fifth panels on Page 3. BB-8 looks great in every panel he appears, but Poe does not look like Oscar Issac, nor anything like Poe. If he wasn’t named, I wouldn’t have known who he was. The design of Kori is good, with him looking young, friendly, and the type of wanderer found in this location. The fire that is created looks really good, with the scenes under the moon effective. The action on Page 9 is good with panels four through six funny. Arianna Florean’s pages for “The Planet of Misfit Droids” with Michele Pasta as assistant inker are awesome. Each page looks like a animation cel, the details and designs are that good. I love the look of villainous Netal, who eats all the scenery when she appears. The familiar faces from the original trilogy look outstanding and have me wishing Florean could draw them all the time. The villain of the story is fairly generic looking, but my love of the others is so strong I can overlook his design. Overall grades: A

The colors: “An Unlikely Friendship” is colored by Charlie Kirchoff. Poe is a standout in the swamp with his iconic X-wing pilot uniform on, as is the white and orange BB-8. The Nijanian really stand out since they’re in pale pinks. I love the aqua used for the giant amphibian, as well as the orange leaves that pepper it. Kori is colored realistically and blends in with the surroundings, but given why he’s in the swamp it’s justified. Florean with Adele Matera on assistant colors do the second tale and it’s very arid looking due to the colors: rusts, browns, tans, and yellows. This gives the location a very harsh tone before the leads exit the Falcon. The green skin of the antagonist allows him to pop when he appears, plus his orange eyes really get attention. The opening and closing segments of the story have a beautiful blue sky that makes the setting a little less inhospitable. Overall grades: A

The letters: The letterer for both tales is Tom B. Long who creates BB-8’s sounds, dialogue, sounds, growls, groans, scene settings, an editorial note, the title of the second tale, and Wookiee sounds. There are several sounds in the first story that pump up the action as Poe and his friends are on the run. I really like the tiny utterance that ends Page 3 which makes me laugh every time I read it — it’s a perfect match for the visual. BB’s sounds are different looking this issue, puffy shaped letters. I’ll admit that this gives the droid a soft sound, much as it sounds in the movie, but it’s almost too soft. The title and subtitle of the second tale look great, making me wish the opening story also had its title presented before the reader. I’ve not been liking any of the Wookiee sounds in any publisher since a wavy shape has been given to each letter. However, I must say that the scene settings are terrific with their classic 1980’s futuristic font. Overall grade: A-

The final lines: A great collection of old and new characters in two fun tales. It was neat to see Poe in an adventure with BB-8 and I’m always more than willing to have an outing with the original group of heroes. The visuals are good, with the first tale having the look of classic Harvey Comics at times and the second looking like stills from an animated feature. This is excellent reading to transport readers of all ages to a galaxy far, far away. 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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