Star Wars #18

8

Great

StarWars18VCStraight from this comic’s first scene involving Chelli Lona Aphra it must have been abundantly clear to its audience that Jason Aaron loved “writing Kieron’s [Gillen] characters” and was getting “a huge thrill” spending some more time with the female archaeologist seeing “how she bounces off the cast of my book.” Indeed, due to the good doctor’s humorous-laden interplay with Sana Starros and her subsequent ability to rewire a ‘one-man-army’ droid so it can thump a path through to Sunspot Prison’s Control Room, Darth Vader’s sharp-shooting, smart-talking sidekick is undeniably the star of “Rebel Jail”.

Equally as enjoyable though is the Alabama-born author’s intriguing development of the robot intruders’ “boss”, who mysteriously takes it upon himself to visit the inmate of Cell Seventeen in order to initially interrogate and then cold-bloodedly dispatch its feisty occupant in close combat. Just why the ‘terrorist’ would risk all by opening a maximum security cubicle alone and tackle a madman who has previously slit the throats of three Jedi isn’t particularly clear, albeit the killer does seemingly use the encounter so he can cathartically verbalise his “secret” that the “Emperor Palpatine is a Sith Lord.” However, what is evident is that a lot of the scintillating suspense found within Issue Eighteen of “Star Wars” is arguably due to the mass murderer’s secret motivation, rather than its “focus on the ladies of the book.”

The Inkpot Award-winner made it clear as part of this magazine’s pre-publicity that “Darth Vader has embarked on a separate adventure off in his own title”, so any perusing bibliophiles shouldn’t expect “to see Darth Maul or anybody too crazy” within this story-arc. Yet Aaron’s insistence upon the main villain still being “someone we’ve seen before”, as well as the central antagonist’s later admission to Leia that “he’s trying to teach you something… the way you once taught him” positively provides the narrative with an irresistible hook.

Sadly, the American writer’s handling of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker doesn’t debatably provide anywhere near as much enthralling entertainment, as the constantly bickering duo successfully complete a smuggling run to Ibaar on the Outer Rim, and then presumably head back to Princess Leia’s location with “supplies… for the Rebellion.” Admittedly, many within this publication’s 98,880 strong audience probably enjoyed seeing the former moisture farmer at the controls of the Millennium Falcon, but the pair’s persistent quarrelling with one another soon becomes somewhat grating until they finally arrive at Organa’s overrun incarceration facility and appear to be about to fall prey to an ambush; “Luke and I got your message. So relax, will ya, your highness? We’re here to save the day.”

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This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.
8

Great

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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