Star Wars Free Comic Book Day 2005 Special
Story: Miles Lane
Art: Nicola Scott
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Michael Sutfin, Dan Jackson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (05/07/2005)
Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent on a mission to Count Dooku's citadel on Ruhe. They were told that Dooku and Grievous are on their way, so they have a chance to capture the Separatist leaders and end the Clone Wars. But when the two Jedi reach the citadel, they find out it was only a decoy and are suddenly faced with an army of droids. This whole mission was a trap...
Aside from the fact that it's free, one other cool thing about this comic is that unlike the previous two Free Comic Book Day specials (Star Wars Tales: A Jedi's Weapon and Clone Wars Adventures: Hide in Plain Sight), this one is an original story as opposed to a preview or reprint. Well I hope it does get collected in one of the Clone Wars TPBs. It would be perfect for the Obsession collection, since the caption mentions it takes place "immediately after the events" of that series. But the last page reveals that Obi-Wan's and Anakin's next mission is to Cato Neimoidia, so it takes place closer to Labyrinth of Evil which couldn't be more than a month before the upcoming movie. The events of Obsession are mentioned, and it's too bad Obsession #5 is not out yet.
Also unlike the other two FCBD issues, this one doesn't have a title. According to editor Randy Stradley, it was originally titled "Brothers in Arms," but this was also the title of one of the stories in Republic #50 so they weren't sure if they would keep it. I guess they didn't. It doesn't really hurt the comic not to have a title, but still it would be nice to be able to identify the story as something other than "that 2005 free comic book day special."
The story itself is kind of simplistic, which can be expected from a one-shot issue intended primarily at readers who don't necessarily read Star Wars comics. Still, it has some moments of exploring Obi-Wan's and Anakin's relationship, and what they imagine will happen once the Clone Wars are over. Plus it's got a good dose of action in the form of a BARC speeder chase and fights scenes with battle droids.
A disadvantage of this simplifying is that it doesn't seem logical that the Republic would send only one transport with two Jedi and a complement of clones to capture such important figures as Dooku and Grievous. I'm sure they had a Republic cruiser in orbit, but still. Also, how did they not expect Grievous to detect that cruiser in orbit once he arrived? Also, it is not explained where the vulture droids who shot down the troop transport at the beginning went. But these are minor points, and the story can be enjoyed without worrying about that too much.
The thing that stands out in this issue is the incredible coloring. Michael Atiyeh is almost a veteran of Star Wars comics at this point, and he has a great talent for the different tones and colors of ships, droids and costumes. Plus I really love the different shades of green in the grass, and the blues in the sky.
As for the art by Nicola Scott, I think it's only average. It's not bad but it could be better. Strangely, I think Anakin looks more like Jake Loyd with a perm than he does Hayden Christensen. And what's with Obi-Wan's big ears? Basically, I believe the coloring work helps this issue a lot by enhancing the art overall.
The cover is good too.
It's free, it's fun, it's a one-shot, it's written by Miles Lane who wrote the Revenge of the Sith adaptation. How can I not recommend it?
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended