In Review: Star Wars Adventures #5

A strong issue with one tale concluding and another focusing on the Porgs.

The covers: A trio to find for this issue, with each being a solid choice. The A cover is by Eric Jones and features Princess Leia again in an Imperial trash compactor, though this time she’s dressed in an Imperial uniform. She looks on guard as she skims every corner while holding a blaster. I admit it, I was looking to see if there was an eyeball peeking up from under the water. In the bottom left corner is a happy Porg with the Tales From Wild Space logo by it, telling readers who will feature predominantly in the second tale. The B is by Arianna Florean with the cute birds from The Last Jedi looking out at the reader from the island of Ahch-To. Nice, but there’s too much empty space between the title and the Porgs. There is a small circle in the upper left containing an image of Leia, with text hyping Tales From Wild Space above her and her name below it. She’s not in the Wild Space tale, so this is incorrect text. Overall, this cover seems rushed. Better is the final cover, the RI by Jon Sommariva, with Luke in his yellow jacket from the end of Episode IV and Leia in her iconic white dress from the same film, both in the trash compactor now. Luke has his lightsaber ignited for any threat that comes his way. In the bottom left is the Porg and the same text from the A cover. Nice. Overall grades: A-, B C, and RI A-

The stories: “The Trouble at Tibrin” finishes out, with Leia dressing as an Imperial to infiltrate the Star Destroyer Stormbringer, which is where Luke was taken last issue. Skywalker is about to be tortured on a similar table that Han Solo was on in The Empire Strikes Back. Not helping is that the Imperial interrogating him, Captain Davin Bryce, has his lightsaber, so he knows the man in his custody is not a normal Rebel. Leia makes it on board, but is stopped by two strormtroopers, with one o them actually flirting with her! How she gets to Luke is not easy, but it is exciting, with it ending explosively. I really like that when Luke tried to take charge of their escape, he puts an arm out protectively, but she shrugs it off to lead him to safety. This is an extremely entertaining conclusion by Landry Q. Walker. “The Best Pet” is the Tales From Wild Space story by Delilah S. Dawson. Droid Crater recounts the story of the Porgs and how their journey with Rey and Chewbacca led to troubles aboard the Millennium Falcon. I don’t care how hard your heart is, the Porgs are cuter than the dickens and extremely funny in this tale, with one doing something unthinkable to the Wookiee. This is a short feature that’s fabulous. Overall grade: Both A

The art: Eric Jones is the artist on the first tale and it looks good. I like the slow build to Leia’s reveal, who looks tough as an Imperial. Captain Bryce is a wonderful villain visually: immaculate with a black facial hair that gives him a devilish appearance when he grins at the bottom of Page 2. Leia in action is really strong in this issue, with her kicking, running, punching, and blowing things up — I mean look at that second panel on Page 5, that’s awesome! When Luke is tortured on 7 enough of it is insinuated without things going too graphic for the intended younger readers. I really like the additional character in the fourth panel on the same page, which had me yelling at Leia, “IT’S RIGHT BELOW YOU!” I was glad to see that Jones hadn’t forgotten this individual in hilarious fashion on Page 10. Arianna Florean is the artist on “The Best Pet.” I love the design of each character, with the Porgs and Chewbacca looking terrific. The little birds get a lot of emotion under Florean’s direction and they’re fabulous. If the birds were to get their own one-shot, Florean is the one to illustrate it. I especially like when the birds smile, it’s infectious. Overall grade: Both A

The colors: Imperial settings don’t usually lend themselves to much color variations, employing black, white, and gray. However, Charlie Kirchoff provides plenty of variations in that holy trio of Imperial colors, plus Luke’s yellow jacket, holograms, sounds, and sparkling electricity provide lots of colors. The sounds also get some strong colors, as do the blaster shots the princess and the farmboy have to evade. And the light violets for Tibrin’s skies are beautiful. There’s no stated colorist for the Tales From Wild Space, but whoever did it did a great job. Noni starts the book out with stark reds and purples, while the Porgs have cool shades of brown and tan against their whites, making them look adorable. Chewbacca’s colors are also strong on this tale, as he tries to keep the birds out of trouble. This, too, is a well colored story. Overall grade: A

The letters: Tom B. Long is the letterer on both tales, doing a neat job with scene settings, dialogue, sounds, yells, and a Wookiee roar. Everything he does is solid, especially the sounds. Half the fun of comics when I was a youngling were the sounds. Most comics today seem to be omitting them, but thankfully that’s not the case in this book. Each of Leia’s skirmishes has killer sounds and the Porgs are a delight as they get into trouble aboard the Falcon. Overall grade: A

The final line: A strong issue with one tale concluding and another focusing on the Porgs. A terrific read for young and old fans, guaranteed to delight as you wait for the next Star Wars film. 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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