In Review: Star Wars Adventures #8

Fun stories, but the visuals on the first tale aren't as good as the second.

The covers: A trio to track down if your can avoid any Imperial entanglements. Ezra tries to keep a squirmy Argora still while two stormtroopers search the corridors for the Rebel and his prize. Great cover by Sean Galloway that instantly tells the reader what the danger is for the young Padawan. I like everything about this cover. In the bottom left corner is a tease of the Tales From Wild Space story featuring the two lead characters: the Jawa Jitt and the Power Droid EG-30. The B cover has much more action as Hondo, clutching the Argora, is pursued not only by Kanan and Ezra, but several other creatures, such as an Acklay and a Rancor. Good luck, pirate! Terrific, fun cover from Jon Sommariva. The same corner image of Jitt and EG-30 is in the bottom left. The RI cover is by Otis Frampton. This a wonderfully sweet image of the Jawa pointing to the stars for the Power Droid. The setting is beautiful — dusk on Tatooine. An excellent touch are the footprints that lead up to their outcropping. Just flat out excellence. Overall grades: A A, B A+, and RI A+ 

The stories: The first tale is “Endangered, Part 2” by Sholly Fisch. This picks up where it ended last issue, with Hondo releasing all the exotic creatures that are intended for the Emperor’s private zoo, which leaves the crew of the Ghost at the mercy of these creatures. The pirate runs off with the Argora in this possession and Ezra takes off after them, leaving his friends to fend off the animals. Zeb is attacked by Mordon, but can’t kill it since it’s endangered. Meanwhile, Ezra catches up with Hondo who’s been stopped by a squadron of stormtroopers and the ship’s captain. How the heroes get out of this mess is fun and having Hondo adding to their woes is always a welcome story element. This story concludes well, reminding me of a good episode of Rebels. Fun and exciting. The second tale is another sampling of Tales From Wild Space titled “Gonk!” by Otis Frampton. This is an exceptionally sweet tale of a Jawa named Jitt and the Power Droid that she cares for. She and EG-30 do everything together: work, play, nap, vacation, and just spend time. However, being a Jawa, droids are always sold and the day comes for a possible parting. This was a unquestionably cute tale and I hope that Frampton gets to do more for Star Wars Adventures and perhaps return to this pair. Overall grade: Both A+

The art: Jamal Peppers provides pencils and Gary Martin inks on the first story. This looks okay but just isn’t as polished looking as the first installment was in the previous issue. The characters and familiar creatures do resemble their screen likenesses and the action is done well, with the creatures in action fun to see. The top panels on Page 7 are a fun progression of the story and the final panel on the page made me smile at how silly the action was. The release on 11 is glorious and is matched by the reactions on 13. Otis Frampton is not only the writer of the second tale, he’s also the artist. I’m never seen a Jawa drawn so sweetly and Jitt’s interactions with EG-30 are as cute as can be. I especially like the progression of panels on the third page of the story that shows how they interact together. The visuals on Pages 5 and 6 are filled with tension, only to be undone in the final panel. It’s impossible not have one’s heart melt by this tale’s visuals. Overall grades: “Endangered, Part 2” B+ and “Gonk!” A+

The colors: “Endangered, Part 2″‘s colors are by Luis Antonio Delgado and they, like the art, are fine, but they are very muted. There are no bright colors in this story, which is odd considering there are several opportunities to insert some. Blaster shots, sounds, exotic animals, and even a lightsaber are muted. This doesn’t mean that the story doesn’t look good, but it does mean that nothing in the visuals really pop off the page. Better is the Wild Space tale which has Otis Frampton being a triple threat by also being the colorist on his tale. This has some welcome bright colors starting right out of the gate with Noni having a sensational deep orange. Tatooine is the primary setting and the colors are beautiful considering how harsh this environment is. Yellows and oranges are used for Jitt’s eyes and they’re incredibly effective in making the reader feel strong emotions for her as she emotes. There are also some sensational panels with blues that create the night without blackening out the panels. Great stuff. Overall grades: “Endangered, Part 2” C and “Gonk!” A+

The letters: Tom B. Long is the letterer for both stories. He creates sounds, dialogue, a story summary, and narration (all three are the same font), scene settings, yells, and screams. I’m disappointed that dialogue, the story summation, and narration are the same font. They should be visually different in font selections, rather than differed by the shape and color of the box or balloon that contains them. The sounds are fun though, with plenty of them in the first story. Overall grade: B

The final line: Fun stories, but the visuals on the first tale aren’t as good as the second. If one enjoys Star Wars, this will be an enjoyable read. However, if one saw the first installment of “Endangered”, this concluding half will be a visual letdown. Overall grade: B+

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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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