In Review: Star Wars Adventures #2

Fantastic adventures for younglings of all ages.

The covers: Five is the magic numbers of covers you need to find if the Force is with you. The A cover is by interior artist Derek Charm. Rey is bolting to escape the wrath of Unkar Plutt who’s right behind her. Looking closer at the illustration, it appears that Plutt is running from something as well. Great point of view with both characters racing into the reader. The B is by Elsa Charetier with colors by Tamra Bonvillain and Rey scavenging inside a large structure and being confronted by several Teedos, which is the same character that captured BB-8 in The Force Awakens. The creatures have staffs to go head-to-head with Rey, who holds her own ready to battle the minuscule monsters. Nice. The RI is by Tim Levins and features the same artwork from the Fan Expo Convention Exclusive that was used for Issue #1. If one couldn’t pick that cover up, here it is now. The Baltimore Comic Con cover is the same as the B cover, just without Bonvillain’s contributions. This looks fine, but I prefer it colored. The IDW Convention cover is by Levins and is the same as the RI cover, though without any colors. This is a good way to see what Levins’s work looks like in its original state and it looks sharp. Overall grades: A A, B B+, RI A, Baltimore Comic Con B-, and IDW Convention A-

The stories: “Better the Devil You Know” Part 2 is by Cavan Scott opens as last issue ended: Unkar Plutt stretched out on the sands of Jakku, with Zool Zendiat and thugs trying to get him to tell them where a particular droid’s head is located. Rey, who is watching from afar, has it and feels it’s her fault Plutt is in this position. Thinking up a plan for rescue, Rey takes some comlinks from a bag she carries and does something very creative. Her plan is a clever one and gets her close to her target, but things become complicated. This is a fun story where the escape is exciting and Unkar and Rey’s relationship is solidified for the reader. Tales From Wild Space features “The Flat Mountains of Yavin” by Elsa Charretier & Patrick Colinet. Emil recounts to his droids how Rebel Evaan Verlaine helped saved Yavin IV from being blasted by a Star Destroyer. It’s a fast paced story with some solid suspense. What’s particularly interesting about this tale is that it’s stated as occurring just before the Rebels evacuated the base. A neat little chronological tidbit! Evaan is a fun character and I hope to see Emil tell some more tales about her. Overall grade: A

The art: Derek Charm is the artist of the first tale and he does a terrific job. His Rey emotes wonderfully, and I love when she takes glee in her actions, such as at the bottom of Page 4. There’s a really neat action sequence for Rey at the top of 5 that shows how quickly she moves; reminded me of classic Spider-Man moves. The final panel on this same page has a shocking moment for the heroine. Page 8 has an excellent point of view panel that shows where the characters are in relation to each other, as well as the object they all want. No 3-D glasses are required for this book, but the large panel on 11 has an illustration that will make a reader think that something is going to hit them. The last panel has a smile on Rey that would melt Hoth. Charm is excellent on this book. Elsa Charretier is not only the co-author of the second tale, she is also the artist. Her figure work is good on humans, but the droids are really rough looking, especially Crater, who doesn’t meld well with any of the art in this story. Evaan looks terrific, running about and piloting a ship. I like the supporting rebels as well, with a famous character getting a few panels. One odd moment with a character occurs when an individual got a gap between his teeth in a panel, though in other appearances his teeth are fine. Odd addition. The ship work is sketchy, composed of lines that suggest the familiar ships, but don’t have enough details to make them gel with the characters. They appear muddy throughout. I like most of Charretier’s work on this, but it could have used some more finishing. Overall grade: B+

The colors: There’s no stated colorist on the first story, so I’m going to assume it’s also Derek Charm. Set at night, Charm nicely uses shades of violet and blue to create the dark locations. Rey’s narration is done in a faded yellow to give the reader a visual recognition as to whom they’re hearing. I love the blue and reds used for the last panel on 3 and the blues used in the closing illustration on 5. Sarah Stern colors the second tale and this has a wide range of colors that I love seeing in comics. Evaan’s pilot’s uniform is a stand out every time she appears, popping off the page especially when she’s in an Imperial setting. I really like that bright colors are used when there are no settings: it’s rare to see such vivid greens used and they look sharp. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Tom B. Long provides the text for both stories which includes dialogue and narration (the same font), sounds, yells, and the title for the second story. I prefer to see dialogue, narration, and droid speech in different fonts, rather than differentiated by the shape and color of the dialogue balloons, but what Long does looks good. The sounds look really good, with the ones in the first story being exceptionally. For an example of this, take a look at all the varied sounds on Page 5. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Fantastic adventures for younglings of all ages. Fun stories and thrilling visuals make this more exciting than the Kessel Run. 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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