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Clone Wars Adventures Volume 4

Cover: The Fillbach Brothers, Dan Jackson
Editor: Jeremy Barlow
Released: 10/12/2005

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/30/2005)


With the release of the third prequel movie since last issue, and more importantly the third season of the Clone Wars cartoon (coming on DVD December 6th), it's only natural that this issue would take place "just before and during the events in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith." In this issue, we have some Battle of Kashyyyk and Republic Commando action, and some other adventures starring our favorite characters.

Note that Rick Lacy is miscredited in the book as being the artist on "The Brink," but he actually did "Orders."

Also a note about the cover. Although Chewie and the droids don't appear in the same stories, the cover is very cool. It almost looks like it could be a scene on Endor in Return of the Jedi...

[final cover]

[preview cover]

"Another Fine Mess"
Story: The Fillbach Brothers
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: Pamela Rambo
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

While trying to reassemble Threepio's head on Bri'ahl, a result of an Artoo-piloted sky-sled accident, the two droids manage to foil a plot by Separatist-supplied activists to assassinate Senator Amidala from Naboo and the Bri'ahlian president Vuul.

A fast-paced comedic piece, very reminischent of the old Droids cartoon. It takes some elements from the movies, such as Thrrepio's similar accident in Episode II and a lot of droid banter as in Episode IV, and spins it into an adventure where the two droids inadvertently save Amidala. Of course, since she doesn't know what they did only that they disobeyed her orders to not stray from the Presidential Palace, she is not happy with them. The title refers to an old Laurel and Hardy movie, who of course were in part the inspiration for the two droids in the first place.

The Fillbachs still maintain the level of quality that they brought to the earlier issues. So here, I'm going to talk about the colorist, Pamela Rambo. That name instantly rung a bell and in fact, she is a very prolific and well-known artist in the comics business. She previously did coloring work on DC Comics titles such as Batman: Gotham Knights and Preacher. She also worked on some of Dark Horse's Star Wars series as well, such as the Dark Force Rising and The Last Command adaptations, and most of the Tales of the Jedi and Droids series. Needless to say, the shading and the varied colors and tones are extremely well-done. The same goes for the story "The Package" that she did in Volume 3.

"The Brink"
Story: Justin Lambros
Art: Rick Lacy [the Fillbach Brothers]
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

Near the end of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker receives a distress signal and leaves Obi-Wan and the Republic fleet to land on an abandonned space station. There, he meets Jedi Knight Serra Keto and the reason of her call for help.

This story shows the first time Serra and Anakin met. Of course, if you've played the Revenge of the Sith video game you know about the last time they will meet. Lambros has a good grasp of Anakin's brash character. Here, we see a side of him that wasn't really explored before: he tries to impress a girl. But unfortunately, that girl is a Jedi Knight, so it doesn't work so well. Plus, Anakin is married. But in any case, I really enjoyed this story, although the monsters they fight (Anakin ignores Serra's warning to leave the station immediately) are very weird. They look like small chunks of pinkish meat with talons for legs and some kind of mechanical apparatus on their backs. Plus, they can all merge together and take different shapes, such as Spider Droids. But it really shows Anakin's human side and also how powerful he is with the Force.

Somehow, the credits are mixed up and list Rick Lacy as the artist on this story. It was actually done by the Fillbach brothers, while Rick Lacy did "Orders." The art is too identical to the Fillbachs' other works it's hard not to notice the misprint.

Anakin has his facial scar as in the last 5 episodes of the cartoon, and Serra looks exactly like a cartoon version of the character in the video game. As mentioned before, the tiny "aliens" are very strange, but I think this is more a creation of the writer. I really love the art on the sixteenth page where Anakin causes a breach in the hull to suck out the aliens into space. In the space of three panels, you can see the breach getting progressively bigger, and the two Jedi having a hard time avoiding being caught up in the wind. Makes me nostalgic over the Clone Wars cartoon. I wish Lucasfilm would hire these artists to take on the cartoon torch from Genndy Tartakovsky, or at least keep publishing more volumes in this series.

Story: Ryan Kaufman
Art: The Fillbach Brothers [Rick Lacy]
Coloring: Ronda Pattison
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

A squad of clone commandos, Aiwha Squad, find a survivor among the remains of a village that was recently bombed. It's a small boy and they have to bring him safely to the refugee camp. Along the way, the boy learns about how clones live to follow orders, especially when Order 66 comes through and they have to eliminate the commanding Jedi General Traavis.

According to the writer's blog, this story takes place on Garqi but it has no importance to the plot. It is a really good exploration of the nature of clone troopers, bred to follow orders. Kaufman proves, as he did with last issue's "The Package," that he has a good grasp on writing clone characters, much like his friend author Karen Travis (did you catch the reference in my summary?) Although at this point, it's getting a little repetitive. The clone stories are good, but it's time to move on. There are no more stories being published about the Clone Wars, the licensees having now moved on to the post-Episode III era. I am looking forward to Travis' next book Republic Commando: Triple Zero, but I hope it, along with this story, will be the last piece about this subject for a while. That being said, "Orders" is a great little story. It is really poignant to see the little kid realizing the soldiers he thought were cool are basically natural born killers.

Rick Lacy should be credited as the artist on this story, and this is actually his first professional art in a publication. Lacy has his own distinct style which, although still in the vein of the cartoon, is a nice change from the rest of the issue which is entirely illustrated by the Fillbach brothers. The little kid has big, blue eyes which convey a lot of emotions. The different features and colors for the four members of Aiwha Squad are also good enough to give them some personality.

Story: Haden Blackman
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: Dave Nestelle
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

A group of Wookiee warriors, led by Tarfful and Chewbacca, defend a village against clone trooper Triton Squad.

This story is a very quick read. I think the book would have been incomplete without a story by Blackman, even a brief one. This supposedly takes place after Order 66, as the troopers are inexplicably following orders to burn down a village of Wookiees and its inhabitants, which include elders and children. It then shows how Tarfful and Chewbacca use Kashyyyk's dangerous environment against their attackers. One of the troopers mentions a previous mission of Garqi; could this be a reference to "Orders"? Not much story, but a lot of action.

The Fillbachs are at it again, portraying Wookiees for the first time. They are done in pure cartoonish style. There is also the clone squad, which inlcudes a Republic Commando and an ARC trooper. The Kashyyyk monsters are very simplistic though, and look like they were based on concepts drawn by a five-year old. Otherwise the art is fine.


Just in time for the second DVD of the cartoon series, read this if you can't wait or if you just want to enjoy good stories.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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