In Review: Star Wars Adventures #20

Need this, you do.

The covers: A trio to find as if you want to follow the path of the Jedi. Derek Charm is the artist for the A cover which features Yoda leaping into the reader’s face with his lightsaber lit for action. Behind him Anakin Skywalker holds his lightsaber like a baseball bat, ready to take a swing at their unseen foe. This perfectly captures the spirit of the first story and is sure to get potential readers excited. The colors on this are also eye catching, with the master’s greens and the Padawan’s dark colors popping against the light pinks, yellows, and violets in the background. The B cover by Valentina Pinto focuses on the second tale’s lead character, Bariss Offee. Her hood is on and her blue lightsaber is ignited and held before her with both hands. She is awesome! I love her and I love this image. The light white outline around her makes her stand out on the dark violet background. This is poster, print, and tee shirt worthy. The final cover is the Retailer Incentive cover, also by Pinto. This returns to Yoda and Anakin, both striking defensive poses as battle droids close in on them from the left and right. It’s colored very darkly, but the lightsabers and the Jedi’s colors direct the reader to them. Overall grades: A A, B A+, and Retailer Incentive C+

The stories: “Hide and Seek” by Cavan Scott is the twelve page opening story and is set in Wild Space on Retta. Three battle droids are told via hologram by General Flebek to continue searching for the secret that’s there. As soon as she ends her transmission they come across Anakin who cuts one droid in half and then Yoda takes down another from behind. The final droid is felled and Anakin asks why the Jedi Master is there, as he was told by Master Windu that this was a solo mission. Yoda sensed a presence on the world so he came. Suddenly a massive boulder is tossed between the pair. Using the Force they realize someone is there. Anakin lifts the character in the air who reveals herself and Yoda is happy to see this individual. I like the explanation for this character’s ability and what she is using it for. It was also good for Anakin to be taught a lesson, but not one that hammers him. Yoda’s final line is perfection. “The Journey” by George Mann is an eight page Tales From Wild Space story that has Padawan Bariss Offee on a mission for her master, Luminara Unduli. She has many obstacles to overcome on her journey, with the ending of her efforts a surprise. It’s clever and Jedi cool. Overall grades: Both A 

The art and colors: The artists of both tales also color their own stories. Derek Charm handles the visuals for the first tale. I like the design of every character, with some of them looking familiar and others original. The action is good when the Jedi go into action, and you can’t go wrong with them battling clankers. I like that colors are used to show where invisible characters are. The full-paged splash on Page 9 is a great reveal and the coloring is keen for having a bright light shine down upon the characters, making them look heaven set. Flebek has got an excellent design and her reflective reds are wonderfully evil. The background colors are a rusted violet and allow every character to stand out on the page. Sound effects also stand out due to their bright colors. Valentina Pinto is the creator of the second tales visuals. The first page has the characters looking fine, but the colors make the proceedings seem ill, with a lot of greens on gray, but this only happens on this one page. Things improve when the story turns to Offee. I love her large eyes and how her face and hands stand out on dark backgrounds. The bottom panel of 14 has gorgeous orange backgrounds. The sounds that follow are in several different colors, making each action unique. The action that ends Page 18 is done very well and provides a great transition to the first panel on 19. The emotion on the second character on this page is wonderful. Overall grades: Both A 

The letters: Tom B. Long letters both stories and creates scene settings, transmissions, dialogue, sounds, whispered speech, the title for the second story, and droid speech. The scene settings are in an electronic font that resembles videogame fonts from the late 80’s and it works. The transmissions are done in italics, giving them a metallic edge, which they should have since they go through a machine. Sadly, this is not done for battle droids who only receive a change in their dialogue balloons. The sounds are neat, with lightsaber and blasters looking as cool as they sound. There’s one bit of whispered speech, for a battle droid, that is humorous because of its size. The droid speech that opens and closes the The Tales From Wild Space looks soft and friendly, which is the intent for this tiny mechanical droid. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Two Jedi tales that will entertain fans of any age. The first tale has Anakin and Yoda make a discovery that could change the war and the second has Bariss on a quest for something intangible. The visuals are good on both stories; I’m always happy to see Jedi in action and there’s plenty of that in this issue. Need this, you do. 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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