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Star Wars Tales #22

[Also available in photo cover.]

Painted Cover: Lee Bermejo
Photo Cover: Keith Wood
Editor: Jeremy Barlow
Released: 02/23/2005

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/26/2005)

SUMMARY:

This issue is two months late, but it's worth the wait. Plus, it means the next one will be out sooner :) It contains a Republic Commando tie-in, the second part of "Nomad", and a post Return of the Jedi adventure. The art cover, I don't really like the weird blocky style and colors. Plus, why the heck does a flag need four clone troopers in strange postures to plant it? I just don't get it. The photo cover is better, although I'm not a fan of recycling movie stills.


[art cover]


[photo cover]


"Honor Bound"
Script: Ian Edginton
Art: Steve Pugh
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler

SUMMARY
About a year after the Battle of Geonosis. The last surviving member of a Clone Commando squad gives his report his last mission, which was successful but came with a high price. The mission was to escort Director Oviedo's starship back to Coruscant, but an ambush near the moon of Asturias causes them to crash and fight off an army of battle droids. But there might be a traitor in the ranks...

THE STORY
In the vein of Keren Traviss' excellent book Hard Contact, this is another spin-off from the upcoming Republic Commando game for Xbox and PC (to be released next week.) And like its literary spin-off brother, it stars a different group of commandos, deals with issues of clones being bred to die in battle, and is equally as fun to read given the small amount of pages given to the story. Writer Egdinton makes the most of it, though, as the story is entertaining and straightforward. And the ending has Yoda foretelling an event that will happen in Revenge of the Sith... 'nuff said!

THE ART
I haven't seen Steve Pugh's work before, but here it is very good, and has a realistic feel to it. Pugh is equally adept at depicting Humans, droids, starships and explosions. You can have a look at six finished pages on ComicBookResources.com. Looking forward to seeing more of Mr. Pugh's work in the future.


"Nomad" Chapter Two
Story: Rob Williams
Art: Brandon Badeaux
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael Heisler

SUMMARY
Darca Nyk is still roaming the Outer Rim, looking for a criminal Jedi named Lycan. On the way to the planet Molavar, he gets ambushed by the crew of the freighter he was travelling in, forcing the ship to crash on an unnamed planet. There he rescues a girl a her brother from an assassin. But are the siblings as innocent as they first seem?

THE STORY
This series is giving me a sense of nostalgia. It feels like the old Star Wars Adventure Journal which had on-going adventures starring brand new characters that had nothing to do with the movies. And despite of that, it gives a fresh new look at other aspects of the galaxy, while still keeping a strong Star Wars feel. In this chapter, we find out a bit more about Nyl's past. And about the target he's after, Lycan. Seems like Lycan has a very short temper and is very strong in the Force. Not a good combination. Can't wait to see the inevitable showdown, although I hope the series will go on for a few more chapters first. This one also has a similar twist as the previous part, which is that sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Very enjoyable and humorous at times.

(Note: If you haven't read the first chapter, go to this page.)

THE ART
I really like Badeaux's work. He drew two of my all-time favorite issues of Republic, and he keeps showing his talent in this series. Although I don't like that the animals look a bit too Earth-like to me, I really love his ability to make unmoving pictures like they are in motion. Witness the ship crash, with part flying everywhere and sparks coming out of broken wires.


"Marooned"
Story: Lucas Marangon
Pencils: Lucas Marangon
Coloring: Lucas Marangon
Lettering: Michael Heisler

SUMMARY
Thirteen months after the Battle of Endor, a Rebel and Imperial trooper, who were stranded on the planet since then, meet and make a truce. They are found by a tribe of Ewoks and with their help, they find the remains of the Imperial bunker and a crashed Star Destroyer. They managed to get a rescue signal off, but when the ship arrives, one of the two decides to stay behind.

THE STORY
Marangon has a knack for storytelling and humor, and it shows in his tight scripting as well as in his panel art. While the story is enjoyable on many levels, it feels a little too humorous for me, reminescent of his past work with comic writer Kevin Rubio. Although the story has no impact on continuity, it just feels more like an Infinities story that was the old style of Star Wars Tales prior to #21. Also, I don't understand how the two troopers have been around during the battle, yet had no clue who won, never met each other or any Ewoks, or didn't even know the Death Star was destroyed. I mean in the movie, everybody on the surface can see the weapon station explode in the sky!

THE ART
Marangon's style is crisp, with very clean lines and colors. It is also a bit cartoony, another reason why this looks more like an Infinities story. But taken for what it is, I enjoyed it.


CONCLUSIONS

A good mix of artistic styles, story types and different periods in the timeline.

Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended

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