Star Wars Empire #12
Dark Horse Comics, $2.99
Released October 22, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus on October 30, 2003
After a mind-bogglingly dull two issue tangent on the funeral of Roons Sewell, we can thank the Force that Dark Horse has brought us back to the life and times of Biggs Darklighter's infamous mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic. After years without a single Rogue Squadron title, this brings us back to a style of storytelling that's a lot more fun, as it has lots of explosions and many familliar faces. Hobbie, Porkins, and several other familliar characters light up this book's all too short story.
In this story, we find out what happened on the Ecliptic after our heroes escaped, and we see them join up with the Rebellion, and much, much more. There's even an echo of an older story involving the Rebellion purchasing a cargo hold of astromech droids. Rather than continue to give the play-by-play, though, it's best just to say that this is a fine story and well worth checking out if you've read the previous stories in the series.
Despite seeming too short, it's still significantly superior to the previous two stories in the arc and infinitely superior to the Sewell storyline.
The Story Thus Far
From the inside front cover: When we last saw Biggs Darklighter and his companions, they had just staged a mutiny on board the Imperial frigate Rand Ecliptic. Feeling outnumbered and outgunned, Biggs and his friends fought their way to their TIE Fighters and escaped into space. But now, after an entire day of searching for sanctuary...
...and that's where it picks up.
Story & Art
Paul Chadwick continues a great story during the early days of the Empire. While it's unfortunate it's hard to pick out things to make it great, the thing is, it just works. As far as Star Wars comics go, this is pretty stellar and doesn't reek of the many awkward moments seen in a number of recent books. So if you're out there, Mr. Chadwick, kudos to you on a job well done.
Doug Wheatley and Chris Chuckry provide the interior art while Killian Plunkett has provided a wonderful cover with several familliar faces. The interior art is necessarily gritty and handeld skillfully, and they even explain to us why the TIE Pilot helmets have been changed for this storyline. All in all, it's good.
Fans of Lando Calrissian should keep their eyes peeled for a small, easy-to-miss vehicle in a space scene. You can make out the Lady Luck in the sea of frigates and transports.
It's at fine comic book stores everywhere as of last week. As such, get ye to the store and snag a copy. Cover price is $2.99 in the United States.
It's a solid installment in a good series. While that other storyline that was inserted in between these issues was baffling from a fan's perspective, it's good to see that they made sure the Darklighter storyline continues to be both compelling and entertaining. After over a decade of books based on the Force, it's nice to see that they're still capable of something great after the likes of Leviathan, Vader's Quest, and pretty much anything involving prequel-era Jedi.
Our sample was purchased from a local Atomic Comics in Phoenix, Arizona.