In Review: Star Wars Adventures #23

Lando's plan goes awry and Jabba shows kindness.

The covers: Three covers to find if the odds are in your favor. The A cover by Tony Fleecs has Chewie putting a surprised Lando in a headlock before the Dejarik board on the Millennium Falcon. I love the expressions on both characters’ faces, with Lando’s being wonderfully cartoonish. The colors on this are also good with the holographic creatures looking sharp. The B by Drew Moss is an excellent image of the demanding Jabba pointing fiercely as he orders Bib Fortuna on an errand that obviously displeases the Twi’lek. Bib’s reaction is terrific and I love that the Hutt is on a bezillion orange pillows. The cool factor goes to eleven on the Retailer Incentive cover by Michael Avon Oeming. Lando is in the foreground pointing forward. Behind him is Chewie. Between the human and the Wookiee is one of Jabba’s skifts in profile. Behind Chewbacca is a massive image of Lando’s helmet in profile. This headpiece was used to disguise him at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. The sky is a dark violet, the desert a calming tan, and the twilight in between pink. Gorgeous work. Overall grades: All A 

The stories: “A Race for Answers” by Ian Flynn is set after the events of Episode VI with Lando and Chewie aboard the Millennium Falcon investigating some pirate trouble. Lando tells the Wookie his plan: “Seems there’s a washed-up podracer who’s become a battle-racer. He runs in dangerous circles and has some connections to our pirate problem. He’s the skittish sort, since apparently he owes the Hutts some serious credits — or so I hear. So I’ve signed us up for a battle-race. We’ll slip into the ranks, single him out, disable his ship, and we get the info we need.” Unfortunately live ammo is used in these races, so the ship is taking massive fire from the combatants. Then a Star Destroyer arrives to claim everyone’s ship and provisions. Three’s a lot of action in this tale, with the return of a memorable character from The Phantom Menace. The second tale is one of the Tales From Wild Space. “Majordomo, Major Problems” by Arie Kaplan is a hilarious peek into the life of Bib Fortuna who has do everything the Hutt asks. The tasks are despicable and take a toll on the major domo, resulting in something surprising occurring on Page 17. The penultimate page has a deal made and a really funny final line. Overall grades: Both A 

The art: Tony Fleecs is the artist of the first tale and he gets to create some funny faces on the characters, especially on Chewbacca when he pictures an unthinkable moment on the second page. The cockpit of the Millennium Falcon looks incredible with all the lights that Fleecs places within it, which are complimented by the stars outside. The vessels involved in the battle-race look neat, with the one piloted by a familiar face looking especially cool. This individual, whom I’ll not name, looks awesome and has me hoping that Fleecs will get to return to this character at some point. The blaster fire and explosions on 6 are epic. The bottom four panels on the eighth page introduce some of the pilots to the reader and I’d be more than willing to see them appear in some other stories as they look so cool. The anger on the character’s face in the third panel on 11 is stellar. The panel that ends this story is hilarious with Lando looking as if everything went as he predicted and everyone else having an opposing opinion. Very funny! Drew Moss is the artist on the Bib Fortuna tale. I’ve never seen Jabba or Bib emote so much in a story and they look fantastic. With just a slight wrinkle in Bib’s brow Moss makes the Twi’lek look like a beaten man. I was surprised to see him taking such an active roll in one of his missions on Page 16, which has me hoping to see more outings with Bib doing this, hopefully drawn by Moss. The panel that ends that page is full of so much emotion that it makes the dialogue humorous. The fear in one character’s eyes on the two panels atop 18 was also surprising. The worry that this character has on the next page was great and I laughed out loud at the joy on the character’s face in the second panel at an individual’s fall. The last panel that features the leads is terrific. Overall grades: Both A 

The colors: Fleecs provides the colors for his own work with Lauren Perry providing flats. I really like the the backlighting done on Lando and Chewie in the Falcon; it gives the environment a strong realism. The shading on characters’ skin is also good, with Lando and that familiar face being standouts. The explosions and blasts in space are gorgeous in bright colors. The second story is colored by Valentina Pinto and she’s not given a lot of opportunity for a wide range of colors since the leads are stuck primarily within Jabba’s palace. However, she does make things pop where she can, such as Jabba’s many pillows a data screen, or a character’s headboard. Overall grades: “A Race for Answers” A and “Majordomo, Major Problems” B

The letters: Tom B. Long letters both tales creating narration, dialogue, and transmissions (the same font), scene settings, Wookiee speech, Huttese dialogue, sounds, a yell, and droid’s one line of dialogue. I know this book is intended for children, but it would have been better had Long used unique letters for the narration, dialogue, and transmissions, rather than have them be differed by the shape and color of their balloons. The scene settings are in a neat font that resembles Aurebesh. Chewie’s roars suit his nature. The translated Huttese dialogue is in italics, reminding the reader that it’s in another language. It’s neat to see all the sounds in this issue, as Star Wars films have won Academy Awards for all their noises, so the comics should also employ a lot of sounds. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Lando’s plan goes awry and Jabba shows kindness in this latest issue. I enjoyed the humor and visuals of the first story, while the second tale gave a neat peek into working for the biggest crime lord near the Outer Rim. I would eagerly welcome all the contributors to this issue back for another. 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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