In Review: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #3

This continues to be one of the worst adaptations of a Star Wars film due to the visuals.

The covers: Two covers to find for this third issue. The Regular cover is by the sensational Phil Noto who does a terrific job creating a large profile of Orson Krennic and behind him are two death troopers. There is a green schematic separating the director from his troopers and at the bottom of this diagram is an illustration of Galen Erso as he’s seen in this issue. Great layout, excellent artwork, and perfect coloring. Duncan Fegredo does the Variant cover which showcases two points in Jyn Erso’s life: at the top of the image is the horror of her running from the death troopers on Lah’mu, while the larger image below shows her hitting a stormtrooper with her baton and pushing another over. This illustration shows how the character has changed over time. Nice, but the coloring is really too dark at the top. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant B-

The story: The Death Star has fired its weapon for the first time, upon Jedha. Saw Gerrera’s men know that disaster is coming and abandon the base, but Captain Andor doesn’t want to perish there and is able to open the door that imprisons him, Baze, and Chirrut. He leaves to find Jyn, while he orders the other two get the Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook. They get him and Andor finds Jyn with Saw, who tells her to leave because he will no longer run. They all escape the destruction of the Death Star’s blast, though it’s unclear how the ship that arrived knew to save them, except Gerrera, whose last word is for someone close to his heart. The rebels decide upon their next choice of action, while Tarkin forces Krennic to make one as well. This issue, written by Jody Houser, follows the film to Eadu where one character finds his fate. There’s only one scene in this issue that’s not in the comic and it occurs on Page 13. Otherwise, this book faithfully follows the movie. Decently done, but undone by the visuals. Overall grade: B-

The art: New artist Raolo Villanelli takes over this issue and the results are not an improvement. Things appear troubling in the first panel with the blast on Jedha looking like a smear. The characters are close enough to their respective actors to be familiar, though some, such as Saw and Galen, could be stronger. The explosions continue to look poor as the heroes make their escape: there’s no excusing Pages 4 and 5, with that latter one absolutely terrible. Villanelli does move the point of view around well in tight quarters, such as on 6 and 7, but 8 has the back of too many characters’ heads. The crash on Eadu is not good, but Villanelli redeems himself with a terrific collection of characters on 10. Page 13 looks as though it was created by an entirely different artist, it looks so unlike the rest of the book and Galen is horrible. 14 and 15’s settings look like sketches, more so than finished art. Page 18 has no sense of scale in the first panel, so someone who hasn’t seen the movie has no idea how high it is that Jyn has ascended. There’s no point in continuing to discuss this artwork. It is the deal breaker for this book. Overall grade: D-

The colors: When characters’ faces are shown, Rachelle Rosenberg shows that she’s a capable colorist, but she’s not given enough opportunity to show her skills. Jedha is a swirl of colors, rather than defined ones, because if they were defined, Rosenberg would be doing the artist’s job. She completes the rain environment on Eadu, but there’s only so much she can do. The explosions are a uniform orange and tan, which gives the visual a sloppy feel. When a character is standing before a light source, the back lighting effect she creates is really neat, such as with Saw. I don’t understand why Page 13 is so pale — Yes, characters in the background are often colored more lightly than those in the foreground, but those in foreground are also lightly colored. I also don’t understand the need for a red tint in the fourth panel on 16. These colors were an extremely mixed bag. Overall grade: D+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, K-2 speech, a yell, an explosion, and the tease for next issue were created by VC’s Clayton Cowles. The scene settings look weak, using a very thin font. I’ve never been happy with the font chosen for dialogue for Star Wars comics and this issue hammers it home with the yells on the last two pages: they look horrible. The dialogue balloons are pointy — Why? The only reason for making them pointy is to make the yells look bigger. However, if the font were an appropriately strong one, there would be no need for the shape of these balloons. Look at the lettering in those yells — they look like they came from a computer from the 1980s. And the only sound appears on the final page? Marvel, you’re destroying Star Wars because of the way people speak and the lack of sounds. Overall grade: D+

The final line: This continues to be one of the worst adaptations of a Star Wars film due to the visuals. If this were not based on a film, this comic would die a quiet death. Only for hard core collectors. Overall grade: D+

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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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