Star Wars #2: In The Shadow of Yavin

Star Wars #2: In the Shadow of Yavin, Part 2

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Carlos D’Anda
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Star Wars #2 kicks off with Han and Chewie jumping through hoops on a mission for Mon Mothma. Their hopping from one part of space to the next is somewhat of a theme for the entire issue. Brian Wood balances between four different story threads. There’s Han and Chewie, Colonel Bicher, Luke, and of course, Leia.

When we last left off, Leia was on the hunt for a new home for the Rebellion or a spy among its ranks. She also dropped her Senatorial whites for some military blacks, the beginning of what Mon Mothma called her Shadow Council. In this issue, we see a moment of remembrance as Leia sheds some tears for her lost planet of Alderaan. Then she kicks into gear as she rounds up a group of pilots for her special squadron. The roll call of the pilots felt like something straight out of one of Michael A. Stackpole’s X-Wing novels. There’s a mix of hot shot humans and aliens. Leia also alludes to them having certain secondary skills which will come in handy, and refers to them as part of a commando team, very reminiscent of Rogue Squadron.

While we don’t get to see Leia in action again, we do get another dogfight. This time it’s with Luke and Wedge tearing apart a group of TIE fighters. One thing I liked about this scene was how it served several purposes. First off, it provides a nice burst of action for the issue. Secondly, it shows where Luke is at this point in his life. He’s still the cocky farmboy who just destroyed a Death Star and has yet to seriously taste defeat. The scene highlights some of Luke’s flaws, as well as setting up a relationship between Luke and Wedge. Luke might be Force sensitive, but Wedge has seniority, and it’s up to him to help form Luke into a well rounded pilot.

Vader is absent from this issue, but his replacement aboard the Devastator makes his debut. Colonel Bircher establishes himself to be almost as cocky as Luke. Like Luke, his ego is on the rise. He’s a top notch pilot, in charge of an elite force of TIE interceptors, has a personal mandate from the Emperor himself allowing him free reign to hunt down the Rebels, and now has command of Vader’s personal Star Destroyer. The cherry on top being Vader’s reassignment to make room for Bircher. To me, this looks like a great storytelling opportunity. Luke and Bircher have a lot of similarities going for them. By telling both of their stories, we can see how the two contrast against each other. In a way, Bircher might give us an idea of what Luke would have looked like if he hadn’t ended up with the Rebellion.

Getting back to Han and Chewie, the two have a very brief run in with the notorious Boba Fett. However we only get to see Fett’s ship, the Slave I. Furthermore, Han and Chewie spend the whole issue jumping from one spot to another. That said, their final destination is kind of interesting, and it’s also where the issue leaves off: Coruscant aka Imperial Center.

Artwise, this issue looks really good. Carlos D’anda and Gaeb Eltaeb churn out some really nice looking visuals. Again, there are some liberties with the character likenesses, but they’re consistent and visually appealing. The panel layouts work really well at conveying the action and spotlighting the characters. There’s a really nice two page spread of Slave I in pursuit of the Falcon. The dogfight scenes have some great looking colors contrasting orange explosions and missile flame with the blackness of space. Plus the last panel has a gorgeous shot of the Falcon coming in for a landing on Coruscant. Throughout the issue, there’s a great attention to detail, and none of the panels feel cheap. Each panel is done well and pays off in the end. You can really feel the quality and effort that was put into each one.

While the story did jump around a lot between all the plot lines, it allowed the issue to fit in quite a bit of storytelling. With solid artwork, good characterizations, and some thought provoking themes, I give Star Wars #2 a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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