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XWing X-Wing Rogue Squadron #23 [In the Empire's Service (Part 3 of 4)]
Story: Michael A Stackpole
Pencils: John Nadeau
Colors: Dave Nestelle
Editor: Peet Janes

EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 10/24/97

Story
I haven't much cared for previous X-Wing comics, so issue 1 was a surprise. Issue 2 I allowed myself to accept that something special was going on with this book. By issue #3, I'm now willing to say that this is the best writing ever in a SW comic.

The characterization is the strongest point in the book, and guess what? It's the Imperial characters that are strongest of all. Baron Fel demands our admiration because of his unwavering morals and commitment to those whom the Empire ruled, not to the Empire itself. If you were a strongly moral person working for the legitimate government, wouldn't you see the rebellion as evil? What would you do once you saw that covernment crumbling from corruption within?

Major Phennir, the eager Imperial, has become very interesting as well.

This is not to short-change the heros... the New Republic characters are also becoming very three dimensional. It's just that most SW stories have one super villian and a bunch of people waiting to die.

Art
Another first for me... I don't have a single complaint about the pencils or colors. This issue had great visuals throughout. A rare mastery of drawing both technology and characters.

Some hilites...
- use of color to fade items into the background
- the pieced together Stormtrooper uniform
- the unsparing use of glowing holo-imagery
- great ship detail in the hanger

Side Note
One thing that always amuses me is seemingly obvious warnings... mainly because most warnings are added to products because someone has done the thing that they're warning against.

On several pages in this issue, "continued on the third page following" is printed in the bottom right. I had to laugh as I imagined people reading along, turning the page and seeing two ads. "Well, I guess that's it for this month. I wonder why they don't print a letter column anymore?" or perhaps people were trying to intigrate the ad text into the story somehow.

Summary
It may be that I'm just desperate for good SW comics, but I think this series is great. 10/10... A must read!

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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