There are those looking for a ride and then there those who want a distraction and are happy with observing a ride rather than riding it. Star Wars is such a ride; for some it’s everything they want and for others it’s nothing but fodder. At a time when Star Wars is ramping up to become the next new thing at the cinema, is Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars #5 good?
Star Wars #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
If you were expecting this comic to be anything more than a well-drawn addition in the same vein as the countless novels published since Return of the Jedi you may need to check yourself at the door. This is about as fun as it gets when it comes to Star Wars because we get to experience more of the characters we love. One problem though, instead of Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill interpreting the scenes and acting them out as they see fit it’s Carlos D’Anda doing the acting. Not everything will line up as it would when acted by the actual human beings that made these characters so popular. That’s a long way of saying this is a fun ride, but not necessarily a definitive one that needs to be ridden.
What, no sound effects?
This issue devotes devotes 15 pages to Luke and Leia as they battle tie fighters in space, five pages to Han Solo and Chewie evading Boba Fett and two pages to Darth Vader declaring his new goals to an Imperial general. Judging by the cover you might be slightly surprised by this, but generally speaking this is Leia’s book with brief asides from Solo and Chewbacca.
Leia…super soldier fighter pilot, like that [snaps figners]!
Unfortunately for this issue a lot of the space battle stuff doesn’t seem very genuine. It’s a forced way of saying Leia is 100% for the cause and ready to sacrifice herself to attain it. Okay, we get that from earlier issues, but when her compatriots are telling her they won’t give up on her, and she repeatedly says, “no go, leave me” it gets a little annoying. Said battle is just okay too. D’Anda does an okay job making it as exciting as possible, but his focus is more on the faces of the heroes sitting in the cockpits. He doesn’t add the flair another artist might bring to these battle scenes, but decidedly focuses on the humans inside the spaceships. This stifles the action and makes things a bit of a slog to get through.
Did you forget the tractor beam!?
Han Solo’s portion isn’t much of a ride either. A new character is introduced that will most likely pay dividends later, but what we have here is a bit of a promise of Boba Fett with no actual payoff. We do finally get to see the bounty hunter in the flesh, but those expecting a little more will have to wait longer.
The final pages with Darth Vader are also rather disappointing, mostly because it’s a rather predictable turn of events. Writer Brian Wood has foreshadows this turn with a panel here or there of Darth simply ruminating on the name “Skywalker” so it’s not a surprise the choice he makes in this issue.
Love that shadow.
- New character to explore Han with
- D’Anda can do no wrong in the faces of his characters
- Eye-rolling melodrama
- Less than exciting action sequence
This issue has “segue” written all over it. It’s unfortunate, because the battle between X-Wing’s and Tie Fighters should have been much more exciting, but instead it wasn’t paced very well. That leaves the reader with a lot of exposition and setup for the following issue. Anyone enthralled with the characters will want to take this ride on and probably don’t need me to tell them. Anyone hopping on and off this series however can avoid this one and wait for the next issue.
Is It Good?
Not really. Point A to point B issue that’ll be summed up quickly next issue.