In Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-Allegiance #3

A predictable installment with some fun visuals makes this an adequate read.

The covers: A trio to collect for this third issue. The Regular cover by Marco Checchetto connects to the previous covers. On the far left is a First Order stormtrooper looking forward. Two stormtroopers are on his right looking in that same direction. Six TIE Fighters are flying out from beneath these villains. Poe Dameron is in the foreground holding a pistol up in his right hand. Is it or me or does that pistol look like Han’s weapon of choice? Behind him and looking to the right is Finn who’s got a rifle in both hands. The art is fine, but the colors are really dark in violets, making it difficult to find a focus. Connected with the other covers, I’m sure this looks better. The Movie Photo Variant features Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron. Poe is looking to something off to his right, his eyebrows are up in surprise and his hair is disheveled. He looks as though he’s been awake too long. Neat photo of Isaac is from the film that comes out in less than fifty days. The┬áVariant cover by Mike McKone & Jason Keith is an actual moment from this issue as Rey is battling a massive droid that has a buzz saw for a hand. She’s in an arena with a Quarren and a Mon Calamari looking on from the left, while to the right Leia, Threepio, Rose, and Chewie look on, with the latter pair in manacles. Good cover with solid action and the coloring strong. Overall grades: Regular B+, Movie Photo Variant A, and Variant B+

The story: On Mon Cala in the Court of Justice’s Royal Throne Chamber, Leia pleads the Resistance’s case for aid before King Ech-Char. Watching from behind are Threepio, Rey, Rose, and Chewie, with the final three cuffed. Quarren adviser Chadkol Gee advises they be sent away. Arguing on their behalf is the son of Admiral Ackbar, Aftab. He and the Quarren spar until the latter suggests the Ancient Rite of Challenge be used to solve this disagreement. Before anyone can stop her, Rey volunteers to fight. The Jedi thinks fighting Gee will be easy, until he reveals he’s not fighting, but is instead having his personal security droid, Arkay-Nine fight for him. “Oh dear…I hope the other Resistance mission is having a better experience,” Threepio says as the story moves to that team on Base 354-23X on the moon of Avedot. The bounty hunters from the recently collected Galaxy’s Edge have trapped Poe, BB-8 and Finn in a room and are trying to enter so they can capture the rogue stormtrooper. Knowing that they’re out for him, Finn tells Poe of a plan for their escape that doesn’t go as he planned. Poe comes off as a pro, while Finn makes a major mistake. Rey’s battle with the droid ends surprisingly. Just when it seems all is lost on Mon Cala, something happens on the final page that worsens the heroes’ situation. This was an okay story from Ethan Sacks, but fairly predictable with the arena battle and the action on the moon. The last page was interesting, leaving me definitely wanting to see more. I enjoyed this, but wasn’t wowed by it. Overall grade: C

The art: I’m liking just about everything created by Luke Ross in this issue except for the Quarren characters, with their eyes and mouths making me long for them just to look like masks. Arkay-Nine looks awesome. His debut on Page 4 is fantastic, with his buzzsaw hand terrific. I love the look of anguish on Rey’s face that ends the page. The small panel that moves the reader to Base 354-23X is great. The panel that introduces Poe and Finn in this issue has the characters looking just like their screen personas. The action at the bottom of Page 6 is awkward to understand; I needed some speed lines to communicate it more clearly to me that Finn is falling. I like what Remex does on 7. The next page has Finn looking good in panic mood, though that seems to be all he’s capable of in this issue; this isn’t Ross’s fault as this is where the story has him. I love the battle between Rey and the droid. It’s very Edgar Rice Burroughs and Rey looks fantastic as she advances or retreats with each strike. The action in the penultimate panel on 12 is too small; it’s hard to see what’s occurring, even though the sound makes clear what the action is supposed to be. I love the reaction shot from Rey that ends the page. Seriously, Ross needs to get a Rey miniseries to illustrate. The large panel at the top of the next page certainly buffs up this character, but the look on this character’s face diminishes what’s been done. I love every panel on 14, with the ship, its landing, and the running looking fantastic. The non-fight that follows is great, with that punch in the fourth panel cool. Look at the panel that ends the page — the details in the setting are awesome! The action that occurs to the shooter on 17 is lost because the reader is too close to the character; only the face can be seen and a body shot needs to be shown to illustrated what’s happened. I love Page 18 with the character and the scanning map very cool. The massive action that ends the issue is a full-paged splash and deservedly so. Overall grade: B+

The colors: There’s good color work on this issue from Lee Loughridge. The blues in the Royal Throne Chamber are a constant visual reinforcement for the reader that this opening scene is occurring underwater. The orange used for the cut in the metal on 5 looks good. I like the soft coloring in the Poe and Finn scenes, giving it a dark tone, but not so dark that things can’t be seen. The blues used for the middle panel on 8 give that gun shot an explosive effect. The battle in the Sacred Arena has outstanding yellows and blues. I love the yellows for the ship landing on 14, making this moon especially alien. The cool blues on 18 are very reminiscent of the films and are also very calming after all the action that’s gone on. The oranges and yellows on the final page are powerful and perfect. Overall grade: A

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles creates this issue’s scene settings, transmissions and See-Threepio’s speech (the same font), dialogue, Wookiee speech, sounds, Wooro and Basso’s indecipherable speech, and BB-8’s bleeps. The scene settings come off blurry due to their coloring. The transmissions and droid speech are in italics, looking like classic mechanical speech. Chewie’s roars are loud in wavering letters, which look a little odd, but aren’t very large to draw too much attention. I like the dialogue from Wooro and Basso, but it doesn’t seem to be following a pattern that language would have. The other characters’ dialogue is in a thin font that makes them sound weak when they speak. The sounds are incredibly fun, with the ones during Rey’s battle with the droid the best. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A predictable installment with some fun visuals makes this an adequate read. I’m not thrilled with the story, but it will feed my constant need for new Star Wars tales. I’m hoping there’s a bigger twist in both stories in the next issue. The visuals are good, though an alien race that features strongly in one tale looks odd. Still, some Star Wars is better than no Star Wars. 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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