To the Galaxy Far, Far Away now, and the Journey To The Rise Of Skywalker continues in IDW’s Star Wars Adventures #28, as anticipation builds toward that film’s December release.
The monthly all-ages title continues the stories it began last month, kicking off with part two of ‘Ghosts Of Kashyyyk’. Attempting to head-off the First Order’s occupation of his home planet, Chewbacca races off into the Black Forest, accompanied only by Terbus the Porg. Back at base-camp, Nien Nunb, Beaumont and Resistance pilot Daz attempt to track the Wookiee’s movements so that they might help. But for the time being, all that needs to be done is the cracking of Stormtrooper helmets, and Chewie’s an old hand at that…
As per the previous instalment, this is penned by John Barber. While the comic is wordy where it needs to be (sections featuring Beaumont) and visually descriptive when it doesn’t (Chewie stalking troopers), the writing feels like the weak link in this part of the chain. Not because any of the actions or dialogue are out of character, more that the story doesn’t seem to progress much over its dozen pages. Chewbacca is in the forest at the beginning of this entry, and in the forest at the end. Although he’s closer to his goal, the reader feels no closer to knowing what his actual goal is. This feels a little like padding; a two-issue storyline which has been stretched out to three, and not what Star Wars Adventures does best.
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That’s not to say ‘Ghosts Of Kashyyyk’ doesn’t look absolutely gorgeous. Derek Charm handles the artwork in his trademark style – heavy stylisation, heavy outlines and a simple yet surgically-executed colour palette. Bonus points are also awarded for a feature-panel showing our Wookiee dynamically descending onto a pair of hapless Stormtroopers, that’s also a clear shoutout to Dark Horse’s iconic rendering of Chewbacca’s trouble on Sernpidal. It’s details like that which keep an old fan very happy. Lettering in this issue comes courtesy of Jake M. Wood, rather than series-regular Tom B. Long. His style is lighter and a little more formal, but no less clear.
Moving in to the supporting-strip, the second chapter of ‘Secret Agent Droids’ sees BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO having answered a distress call from a beleaguered fighting force on Garel while Leia Organa and Poe Dameron are conducting an undercover operation. The squad turns out to be Likana, a lone, young Duros data-slicer who needs help from the Resistance in disabling the planetary communications-blocker about to be put in place by the First Order. In order to do this, she’ll need to gain access into the enemy’s communications tower, and in order to do that she’ll need a distraction. Fortunately, she’s found three of them.
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Once again, the creative team is that of part one, with Tony Fleecs lending firm but intricate pencils and inks to Matt Herms’ understated colours. The huge eyes of the Duros species leads to a wonderfully expressive Likana throughout, but even she has her work cut out opposite Fleecs’ excited renderings of the droids and even the faceless Stormtroopers.
Michael Moreci’s story continues at a rollicking pace, mixing action, humour and a moral-justification for the absolute carnage that the droids unleash. At its best this is a fitting tribute to the Droids comic-runs of both Marvel (1986-87) and Dark Horse (1994-97), and if anyone is qualified to carry that mantle forward, it’s IDW.
With both of its tales already established, Star Wars Adventures #28 doesn’t pack quite the punch of issue #27, but it brings the solid, reliable fun of the title at its best. More interesting still will be seeing how much of an impact each conclusion has on the wider story…
Star Wars Adventures #28 is out now from IDW Publishing and your preferred comic outlet.