In the Shadows of Their Fathers, Part 1 (of 5)
Story: Thomas Andrews
Art: Adriana Melo
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Tomás Giorello
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/26/2005)
The planet of Jabiim has been exploited by the Empire for its ore for decades, enslaving the local populace to work in the mines and changing the climate of the planet. A local group of freedom fighters have been rebelling against the Imperials, and during one of their raids, they get unexpected help from a convoy of Rebels, led by Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, who have come to offer to join their cause. But when the locals hear the name of the Jedi who betrayed them during the Clone Wars, the negotiations turn for the worse...
At last, an issue not written by Ron Marz. This series was in need of a change of hands, however temporary. Let me start off by saying that while this story has a direct link to the Clone Wars, it doesn't feel like a gimmick like it did in Empire #26-27. Here, the story stands on its own, and all we really need is the little flashback on the first page from a sequence that happened in Republic #55. The Outer Rim planet of Jabiim serves as a perfect example of a world that is exploited by the Empire, and has grounds to join the Rebel Alliance. It could have been any other planet, but using one that we alredy know is a nice little twitch. Plus the fact that Luke finds out a bit more about his father, pre-knowing he is Vader, adds a lot to the drama.
In Republic, Anakin used the Force choke for the first time ever on the leader of the Jabimi resistance, Captian Gilmunn, to convince him to stay behind because the Republic didn't have the ships to evacuate them. Now the descendants of these soldiers (and some of the original ones) hear the name "Skywalker" and go berserk. Imagine if they knew Leia was also Skywalker's heir...
You can read my reviews of Empire #26 and #28 to see how much I like Melo's work. But here, it seems she got even better. I like also that she doesn't erase the draw lines, and inks over the major lines. It gives it a distinct and unique flavor. An artist is also a storyteller, and she proves to be one by the way she depicts the action, viewing angles and panel composition.
Let me note that it's cool to see a Juggernaut assault vehicle in a comic book, which is based on a Joe Johsnton sketch he did for The Empire Strikes Back, was re-used later in West End Games' Imperial Sourcebook in 1989, and will also appear in Episode III.
An interesting beginning for a promising five-parter. I just hope they keep the same artist for the whole run.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended