Star Wars #18

Star Wars #18

Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciller: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist: Leinil Yu and Sunny Gho

Star Wars #18 rolls on as Leia, Sana and Dr. Aphra team up to take back control of Sunspot Prison. However, the clock is ticking as the unknown attacker continues their purge of the prison, killing inmates one-by-one. Elsewhere, Luke and Han wrap up their nerf smuggling and get roped into the prison plot as they answer a distress signal. There’s some action, some mild plot development, and some bickering as the uneasy alliances push forward.

First off, let’s go over the juicy stuff that was dropped on the readers. The as of yet unnamed attacker took out a guy who claimed to have murdered three Jedi. During their fight, the attacker reveals that he knows Palpatine’s secret, that he’s a Sith Lord. Later, we get a snippet that insinuates that Dr. Aphra may have stolen one of Sana’s old boyfriends, which is why she doesn’t like Aphra. Other than that, we get to see the first time Luke flies the Millennium Falcon. The problem with these reveals is that there are still one really big question being withheld from the readers. We still don’t know who the attacker is or why they were suddenly motivated to attack the prison. Holding that answer back is starting to muddle the impact and drive of the story a little. Every story needs a punch to impact readers and make it worthwhile. In this issue, there’s no real punch to walk away with, just some small jabs of story development.

For the most part, the writing is good, but there a couple missteps. Some of the Luke and Han dialog is hit and miss where it sometimes sounds right and sometimes sounds off. The dialog between the attacker and the Jedi killer inmate seemed forced as his reveal of knowing the Emperor’s secret didn’t have much impact in the situation. Part of that was do to the fact that we knew nothing about the inmate or why they would care if Palpatine with a Sith Lord. We also don’t know if the Emperor’s secret would really have much of an affect on anyone at this point. Does the galaxy care about Sith? And then there was a bit of dialog when Leia says, “Nobody move!”, Sana chimes in, “Move once, you won’t be moving again,” and then Aphra amps up the cheesiness with “Hi, I’m not a rebel, but I’ll still shoot you.” It’s groan worthy. But the good news is that these little nitpicks didn’t kill the comic, they just keep it from being better.

On the art side, the comic looks pretty good. The biggest selling point is the flow of the panels as it does a great job of capturing the eye and leading the reader along. You can get a sense of it from the first couple pages. There’s an opening shot showing off a desert valley. It transitions to Han and Luke standing in the wind as they bicker about the nerfs. Then we see the nerfs being herded out of the Falcon. There’s a close-up of Han and Luke, then an aerial shot showing them looking down at the Falcon and nerfs. The imagery circles around itself, going from scenery to characters back to scenery and characters, which sounds repetitive but when done with different visual cues, it creates a fluid scene that fits together. With just those two pages, the artwork keeps a tight, connected stream of visuals that tell the story in a seamless fashion. Throughout the comic, the artists are able to maintain that formula. While the colors are sometimes subdued and the layouts opt for more panels rather than big splash pages, it results in a good flow.

While Star Wars #18 doesn’t pack a lot of punch, it’s still a good comic and it keeps the story rolling. The visuals are good and most of the dialog is pretty good. I give it a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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