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Republic #50 - The Defense Of Kamino

"Brother In Arms" Story: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Dan Parsons
Lettering: Digital Chameleon
Coloring: Joe Wayne

"Jango's Legacy" Story: Haden Blackman
Pencils: Stephen Thompson
Inks: Ray Kryssing
Lettering: Digital Chameleon
Coloring: Joe Wayne

"No End In Sight" Story: Scott Allie
Pencils: Tomas Giorello
Inks: Ray Kryssing
Lettering: Digital Chameleon
Coloring: Joe Wayne

Cover: Patrick Blaine and Batt
Released: 02/26/2003

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood (03/01/2003)
[Read JF Boivin's review.]

SUMMARY:

This 64 page comic is the first "Clone Wars" comic from Dark Horse. It features three stories, all part of "The Defense of Kamino":

"Brother In Arms" - After receiving advance intelligence about a surprise attack on Kamino by the Separatists, the Jedi set up a trap on the planet along with the Republic forces. Obi-Wan, Anakin, Aalya Secura, and the others form a squadron of Jedi starfighters to defend the planet. Meanwhile, Anakin wrestles with his own internal conflicts about the secrets he is keeping from his master.

"Jango's Legacy" - As Separatist battle droids overrun the Kamino clone facilities, the Kaminoans unleash their secret weapon - ARC (Advance Recon Clone) Troopers. Featuring more of Jango's personality and independence, they were also personally trained by their "father". Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan, and Anakin team with the ARC Troopers to fight the droids, but can these unpredictable clones be even more than the Jedi can handle?

"No End In Sight" - In this tale we get to see the battle from a different perspective - that of the Mon Calamari attackers. Using Trade Federation weaponry and their own amphibious assault vehicles, the heroes of the classic trilogy lead the attack on the Jedi and the clones. However, it doesn't take them long to realize they've been set up by their supposed allies.


[final cover]


THE STORY

"Brother In Arms" - This story has several noteworthy elements to it. First of all, it's the first time we really see Anakin after "Attack of the Clones". It's interesting to see him feeling the guilt of hiding his wedding, the slaying of the Tusken Raiders, and the death of his mother from Obi-Wan. We also get to briefly see an entire squadron of Jedi Starfighters fighting together. It had the potential for a lot of excitement, but it is only quickly looked at in the comic. Anakin and Obi-Wan then fight a group of sea-monsters on Kamino in a scene way too reminiscent of Episode I. The time with the characters could have been better spent elsewhere.

"Jango's Legacy" - This story features the debut of the ARC Troopers. These special clones will be a critical part of the upcoming Clone Wars cartoon series. They are more interesting because they have a lot more personality than your generic clones. This will help keep future stories a little more entertaining. It was quite a thing to see a clone smarting off to a Jedi. I do wish they had jet-packs like Jango, though. If he trained them, you'd think they'd also have his preference for that kind of equipment. They do keep Jango's brutality, though, which might shock you.

"No End In Sight" - You always think of the Mon Calamari as the good guys from Return of the Jedi, so it's quite a shock to see them not only fighting with Trade Federation equipment, but fighting against the Jedi. You can tell from even this early date in the timeline that they oppose Palpatine. This story really makes you rethink your perceptions of the Separatists as the bad guys.


THE ART

The cover of this comic is fantastic. It's really eye catching and action packed. The colors really jump out at you and the characters are perfectly dramatic. But the ARC trooper is absolutely hulking. Isn't he supposed to be a clone of Jango Fett? Ah, well, he still looks cool.

"Brother In Arms" - Jan Duursema is really great at drawing the characters and vehicles from the films. She's one of the few artists who can draw a good brooding Anakin Skywalker. She also adds the nice touch of giving Anakin's mechanical hand a black glove. It's a throwback (or forward?) to Luke's in Return of the Jedi. Even the stuff that wasn't in the movies looks great. A good example is the crab-like droid with C-3PO-like eyes. It looks perfectly Star Warsy. Great work.

"Jango's Legacy" - Stephen Thompson gives us our first look at the important ARC Troopers. While I wish they were a bit more like Jango Fett's armor with a jet pack, they still look cool enough. Thompson's action looks good in the comic and that's important for an all battle issue. The characters range in quality through the story, but they all get the job done.

"No End In Sight" - Tomas Giorello draws perfect Mon Calamari. They look just like their movie counterparts and he even gets their fish-like faces to express some emotion. Quite an accomplishment. Giorello can also draw the ships and battles well and I particularly liked his Mon Calamari ships. They were very reminiscent of their cruisers from ROTJ. The fantastic coloring also helped the control displays to really pop out of the page. Giorello's only problem was with drawings of Yoda and Count Dooku. They didn't look as good as they could have. Overall, though, it's a great effort.


CONCLUSIONS

Even at 64 pages, this comic seems a bit brief for a story featuring the "epic battle for Kamino". I think a story this big could have taken up a few more comics. I would have liked to have seen more clone trooper action, too. Maybe even have the kids get into the battle more than they do? In any case, this is still an entertaining story that's well worth checking out. It's light on the drama and heavy on the action which I like. All the writers and artists did a great job on the story to make this a landmark issue. I just think $6 is a bit much for a comic, though.

Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended

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