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SW Dark Force Rising #1 (of 6)
Story: Mike Baron (adapted from Timothy Zahn)
Pencils: Terry Dodson
Inks: Kevin Nowlan
Color: Pamela Rambo

Summary

The gang is reunited on Coruscant as Fey'lya launches a political attack against Akbar. Karrde and Mara begin plans to capture the Katana fleet.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 06/02/97

Story
When reading an adaption of something you've already read, the story surprises are no longer there. The criteria I use to judge such works are their ability to capture (or improve upon) the feel of the original.

I may change my mind once all six are out, but so far I'm quite happy with the pacing of the story. Enough story details remain to keep it true to the novel. Yet, the story keeps up a reasonable comic book pace.

For now, I think I'll save discussion of the story/characters for the novel discussion group.

Wait... one comment. It seems to me that the Winter character we see here is different than the Winter featured in Rogue Squadron. I can't put my finger on exactly how at the moment. Anyone else agree?

Art
The art in the 'Heir to the Empire' comic series was the best art I've ever seen in any SW comic. The pencils were great and the colors were simply fantastic. When I heard the creative team was changing, I feared the worst.

While I don't consider the art to be on par with HTTE, it's pretty good. (Taste in artistic style is, of-course, a personal thing. I'm sure many will like this one better.)

What pleased me most about the art is that they maintained a reasonable continuity with the HTTE books. For example, non-film characters like Thrawn, Mara and Karrde are drawn in Dodson's more-real/less-cartoony style but maintain the established likeness and wardrobe. (There weren't any Norgi yet, so we'll have to see if they're still beefed up Kenner-style.)

Another tie-in is the coloring. I've slammed Ms. Rambo on many occasions for her bland color work in titles like "Tales of the Jedi". In DFR1, however, the colors are much deeper than her usual work. While the style is very different than the HTTE coloring (not as good, IMO), the same color sets were used giving a consistent feel. I particularly like the use of the occasional pure- white panel background.

The film-established characters are all drawn to look like the actors that played them. In DFR1, sometimes this works and sometimes this doesn't. A personal peeve of mine is when a pose is clearly a freeze-frame of a movie frame (eg: Mon Mothma, pg 14). I've never understood why current pictures of Harrison, Mark and Carrie aren't used as references rather than the SW films.

I'll also interject that as a Mara Jade fan, I prefer her facial depiction in HTTE over DFR. In DFR she seems very American, while I'd say HTTE gave her a more European look. (She's got a great body in both books.)

Summary
Overall, I give the comic an 8.5/10. Recommended.

Cover Image

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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