Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell #1 (of 3)
[Also available Daniel Cover and Photo Cover]
Story: Ryder Windham
Art: Ramon F. Bachs
Inking: Raul Fernandez
Coloring: Bodhi Tree
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Ramon F. Bachs, Raul Fernandez and Bodhi Tree
Alternate Cover: Tony Daniel, Howard Shum and Dave Stewart
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/07/2004)
Five years before the fateful events of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan take upon themselves to protect Baroness Omnino when she arrives on Coruscant. After saving her life, she asks the Jedi to go rescue her son, Baron Sando, when a distress signal is received from his ship. The Jedi find the ship drifting near Ord Mantell, with all the crew members, including the baron, apparently killed by a mad Savrip. The two then decide to go to Ord Mantell to find more clues, when they are unexpectedly ambushed by unknown attackers.
[Dynamic Forces cover]
As you might notice from the summary, there is a lot going on in one issue, which is exactly how a first part should be. The characters and locations are set up perfectly, and there are enough twists and turns to keep a reader interested. Windham's use of little known references, like Valorum's aide Sei Taria, and the moisture plant on Ord Mantell (where the bounty hunter Skorr will meet with Boba Fett to decide the fate of Han and Luke from Archie Goodwin's "Showdown" newspaper strip, reprinted in Classic Star Wars #20), is a very nice bonus for knowledgeable fans. Not to mention the Dejarik/Mantellian Savrip connection. The dialogue is very natural and not too expository. I liked the fact that Qui-Gon is not always teaching lessons to his Padawan, but sometimes lets him use his own judgement. In short, the story has a perfect mix of action, adventure, mystery and characterization. I always look forward to read anything by this talented writer.
Bachs' style is a little too cartoony for my taste. The characters have exagerated features, almost like caricatures. But it does the job and conveys the action very well. The inks and coloring give the comic an overall unique visual style.
For this reason, I prefer the alternate cover by Tony Daniel, although it is also caricaturesque. There are also two different photo covers. Why so many covers for this issue? I guess we'll never know.
This is a top-notch Star Wars story.
Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended