The cover: I swear I’m tearing up at this being Dark Horse Comics’ last Star Wars book published, and having the subtitle “The Very Last Stand!” is such an appropriate way to go out. Standing in a defensive grouping, Imperial Knight Jao Assam, AG-37, Sauk, and Ania Solo are ready for any attack coming from any angle. Great cover image from Agustin Alessio. Everyone is in their best hero pose, though I’d be concerned with Sauk shooting straight. A powerful illustration. Overall grade: A+
The story: This wraps up all the storylines begun in the first issue only seventeen months ago. All of the galaxy’s Sith have arrived to wipe out Darth Wredd, and all of our heroes in the process. Empress Fel has arrived with the bulk of the Imperial Knights to save the good guys and take out the Sith. Welcome to a free for all. Bodies from both sides litter the surface of this world, with Ania and Sauk surviving because they’re just delivering “insect bites” and aren’t worth noticing. A heroic supporting character is given a surprising blow that spurs Fel to leave the safety of her ship and join her warriors on the battlefield. Co-scripters Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman do an outstanding job in closing this series out, with surprises beginning on Page 9 and hitting a high point on 12–You couldn’t have told me that was going to happen! There is the expected confrontation that’s been building since Issue #1, but it ends in an unexpected way on 16, and I couldn’t have been happier. A terrific cameo comes on 23 and the ending of this issue, this series, this line, ends absolutely perfectly. Overall grade: A+
The art: Outstanding art from Brian Albert Thies runs throughout this book. There is a huge amount of action, due to the huge numbers of characters and he hits every emotional peak excellently. Even Ania and Sauk, who aren’t swinging lightsabers, look great as they take potshots wherever they can. There are several shocks involving sabers that really hit high marks for drama. Fel’s entrance into battle is as glorious as one would expect and is drawn as though it was the beginning of a legend being born. The epic confrontation in the book is also smartly done, with its ending being a fantastic jaw-dropper. I’ve been a huge fan of Ania throughout this series’ run and I was so pleased at all the excellent scenes she gets from the story that Thies makes look magnificent. The final two pages are like a love letter to fans who know the break-up is now final. The first is an acknowledgment to the past, and the final is just Star Wars incarnate. Thank you, so much, Mr. Thies for your work on this issue. Overall grade: A
The colors: Colorist Jordan Boyd also is making this book superior. The artwork would probably look dynamite just in black and white, but Boyd makes this book seem even more deadly and serious. The first page has the results of the battle strewn in gory detail and the somber colors reinforce the finality of the battle for those that have fallen. This makes the first panel on Page 2 all the more shocking as it’s the brightest panel in the book, and the colors are what sells this moment. Every lightsaber and blaster shot illuminates the surface of this battle and they look awesome. Boyd brings the magic. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Michael Heisler ends his nine year reign as the letterer for Star Wars with dialogue, sound effects, and AG speak. It’s a great job, as he’s always done. Overall grade: A
The final line: This is the end of over two decades of work in super style. Thank you, Dark Horse Comics. This is the way to go out. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two 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.