6.11.2013

Star Wars #6 [The Wood Pile]

Star Wars #6 (Dark Horse): It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost pointless for me to review this book. It’s got action, heart, characterization, visuals, imagination, and smarts. It’s perfect. There’s no other way to say it. It’s not blind hyperbole because I’m a Brian Wood fan. You guys know I’ll call him on some shit if it feels off or if he’s paired with a less than stellar artist, but that’s just not the case, ever, with this book. It’s genuine entertainment executed like high art. He’s found the perfect voice for these characters and this universe. The tone of their speech sounds like the rhythms and cadence we’re accustomed to. Carlos D’Anda has captured the visuals we’ve been conditioned to for decades, with stringent detail and a “used future” aesthetic that echoes the nostalgia we’re drawn to without being a slave to it, still operating in a style that is recognizable as his own unique intellectual property. Gabe Eltaeb bathes it all in these astounding colors that enhance the detail and action being choreographed by Wood and D’Anda. If ever there was a colorist who wasn't, like, Dave Stewart, Laura Martin, or another newcomer like Jordie Bellaire, who deserved special recognition, it's Gabe Eltaeb. He's become an indelibile member of the squad. Things glow and spark and shine under Eltaeb’s palette. It’s there in the dramatic reveals of the Star Destroyers and the crimson menace that is Bircher amid the wild perspective shots of the T.I.E. Interceptors. It’s just a beautiful book that’s familiar enough to be comforting and nostalgic, but with enough new flash and creativity to keep readers old and new engaged. The issue opens with 2/3 of the book being devoted to an intense action scene that keeps you on the edge of your seat with alarm, despite knowing for a fact that people like Leia and Luke and Wedge will obviously make it out. It’s a crystal clear sequence that sees the crafty rebels largely improvising a way to get Leia in her banged up X-Wing out of trouble. You don’t fight a rebellion with the resources you want, but with the resources you’ve got. I don’t want to spoil the specifics, but (Stefon voice) it’s that thing where, like, there’s a bacta tank and a 2-1B medical droid, and it's got R2-T4, and a cool moment for Luke and Wedge courtesy of Mon Mothma, and techno-jargon about Incom T-16 Skyhoppers, fleshes out “B-characters” like Wedge or Tess or Prithi or wily Imperial officer Bircher, and has what is probably the beginnings of the fabled Rogue Squadron. Brian Wood’s Star Wars run maintains the emotional spirit of the originals, lovable misfit characters in a jam, underdogs who triumph, the essence of what we all want to root for deep in our core. This creative team has delivered a master class in successfully walking the tightrope of pleasing everyone. They’ve stayed true to the original, but balanced that with developing new important content that feels like connective tissue linking what we already know, in something that sits right with diehard fans, curious newbies, the corporate overlords at both Dark Horse and LucasFilm, and looks like it allows the creators themselves to have fun in the process. Not only is it everything I want from a Star Wars comic, it’s basically everything I want from any comic. Brian Wood and his Rogue Squadron of hotshot creators are outmaneuvering the competition like Lando at The Battle of Tanaab. If you like Star Wars, and that’s basically 94.7% of the human race, then you should be reading this. Here’s an unprecedented… sixth in a row… Grade A+.

1 Comments:

At 9:49 PM, Blogger J. Eric Martin said...

I am enjoying the series, but did not like those last few panels. Why not just make the arc one issue longer? And can someone explain how exactly Luke's contraption of fuel cells and a proton torpedo caused such a giant explosion, when any time a TIE shoots down an X-Wing, it blows up the same fuel cells and proton torpedoes?

 

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