This issue of the anthology series focuses on stories about heroism. The main storyline features some big names including Leia and Luke Skywalker and the backup gives us some more Mattis Banz. There have been many Star Wars comics of varying quality and for varying audiences, but this series continues to prove that it is among the best for younger readers. This issue also does a decent job of catering to older readers by including characters from the original trilogy and providing deeper thematics to interrogate.
The main storyline, set after A New Hope, is titled “The Trouble at Tibrin.” Landry Q. Walker writes a very well-balanced story showing what Leia and Luke were up to during this time. We see all these little moments that tie it to the larger narrative with Leia getting ready for a supposed “Diplomatic Mission” and calling Luke a “Flyboy” along with other moments such as the appearance of a K-2SO unit. I laughed out loud when a pilot exclaims, “I heard you fought Darth Vader!” when talking to Luke. It can be easy to forget how big of a thing that is when there is this much character saturation. This statement also engages with the concept of what it is to be a living legend much like what was done in The Force Awakens. For Star Wars as a whole, the interrogation of heroism is one of its most important facets. Artist Eric Jones’ lines start out very clean and long creating a sense of leisure and grace. When the action hits, the lines get shorter, but they stay clean thereby keeping the gracefulness even in the more energy filled sequences. I also love the way that he introduces Leia slowly and piece by piece building to the big reveal. He then shows her being just as active as the boys regardless of her more princess-like appearance. Her dress flowing behind her is imbued with just as much power as any other attire. In many ways, this is her story.
The examination of what it is to be a hero continues in the “Tales From Wild Space” back up story titled “Mattis Makes a Stand.” In it, writers Ben Acker and Bed Blacker tell the second Star Wars Adventures story featuring Mattis Banz from the Star Wars: Join the Resistance series. It is a rather inspiring little anti-bullying story talking about the importance of stories in real life. Regarding this, Emil states that they, “can inspire us to great acts. Stories can inspire us to be heroes.” The stories he is referring to are those in the original trilogy making this work for both younger readers and older ones who remember the first time they saw the movies as a kid. Regardless of the specific matter at hand, Star Wars has inspired many of us to be heroes (or at least rebels) in our own way. Artist Annie Wu has a real sense of spacing and knows just how to set up a power shot. On the other hand, Lee Loughridge’s colors could use some more variation. The way that colors are used to shift locations is quite effective, but they fall rather flat overall. I was also less impressed with the “Dispatches from Wild Space,” which was mostly made up of letters talking about how great the comic is instead of the more interactive or informative letter section it could be.
Overall, this issue is a love letter to the universe with a special emphasis on the original series. It looks at both the impacts of bigger heroics and smaller heroics in a way that inspires, which is what Joseph Campbell argues a story should do. Even if you haven’t enjoyed the other issues of Star Wars Adventures, this issue is more than worth a read. It might just remind you why these stories are so important.
(W) Ben Acker, Ben Blacker (A) Eric Jones (CA) Nathan Greno