Issue #11 of Brian Wood’s brilliant ongoing series was about as good as it gets for a Star Wars comic. In addition to the gorgeously drawn space battle by penciler Carlos D’anda, we were left with some pretty mind blowing cliff-hangers. Chief among them was the revelation that Colonel Bircher, who had been relentlessly pursuing our heroes for nearly the entire book’s run, was actually Mon Mothma’s nephew…and working for the Rebel Alliance!
Star Wars #12 (Dark Horse Comics)
If you’ve been reading the series and thought that this twist was impossible (especially considering that he’s been relentlessly attempting to hunt down and kill the main characters), issue #12’s explanation for it won’t help you change your mind.
Bircher’s revelations about how he was able to infiltrate The Empire at such a high ranking (while right under the nose of two force sensitive beings like The Emperor and Vader) is explained away in such a manner that any suspension of disbelief the reader previously had is shattered like a bone inside a Rancor’s mouth.
“The key was having a perfect jawline and copious amounts of Axe body spray.”
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker (the dude who has already made out with his sister once and will do it again in the story’s timeline) breaks things off with Prithi, the insanely gorgeous, Force sensitive rebel pilot who is totally into him. That might make sense for the eventual cannon that this tale has to be placed into, but in any other circumstance, Luke’s force sensitivity would appear to be severely malfunctioning.
The issue does have a few redeeming qualities, however. Leia makes a bold (and genuinely shocking) decision for what she feels is the good of the Rebel Alliance…but not something that seems to be good for her at all.
And speaking of the princess, we’re treated to a great scene of her getting a tad jealous over Han’s new female smuggler friend, Perla.
“We’ll repeat this sequence of events on Hoth, but in the opposite order.”
We also get an origin for Rogue Squadron, but it feels very shoe-horned in with the rest of the issue’s massive amount of exposition.
- Carlos D’anda’s art is gorgeous as usual
- Leia makes a shocking decision that should be fun to watch play out
- Fun little ride
- The explanation for Colonel Bircher’s revelation feels incredibly weak and contrived
- The resolution to Luke and Prithi’s budding romance comes to a very inorganic conclusion
- Lots of exposition…which would be fine if most of it wasn’t so maddeningly nonsensical when put in the context of previous issues
Is It Good?
While artist Carlos D’anda is brilliant as usual, this feels like the first issue where Brian Wood has stumbled. No matter how much of your belief you are willing to suspend, some of the characters’ actions and subsequent revelations don’t make sense with what has been previously established in the series.
The good news is that the next Sith-oriented group of stories looks to be great stuff. But as far as this issue goes, it’s a very poor end to what had been a fantastic story arc.