Mainly text with a few pictures. A detailed study of the main characters, events and ships from the entire X-Wing comic series.
On the inside, this book isn't anything like a "regular" comic book, so I won't quite be using my usual review format.
The best way to describe this book is a very focused "essential guide" book.
In this case, the title could well be 'The Essential Guide to the Characters and Ships of X-Wing Rogue Squadron as they Appear in Dark Horse's Comic Series'.
The tight focus of this work is both a strength and a weakness. The text by
Janes strikes a nice balance between brevity and detail. The entry for each
character retells everything we learned about them in X-Wing #1 through #35.
As a reader who held little interest in this series for the first few arcs, I
found this very valuable to fill in the gaps of the story I'd forgotten. For a series with far more than an average number of characters, it was also nice to
solidify each as individuals.
Facts learned about the characters in the movies, novels and other comics are
excluded. I gave up on the X-Wing novels after the first one. This is a mistake I intend to rectify when I have the time, but I would have liked it if the text in this guide extended to the events of the novels as well. This would have broadened the scope of the project considerably, and likely would have watered down the effort. I guess I'll just have to find more patience or
The art throughout by the various artists is all good. It's an enjoyable
privilege for an artist to concentrate their efforts on a single image to
convey the essence a character (as opposed to the occasionally mundane task of
panel storytelling). The kind of quality work we've seen in the Star Wars Galaxy trading cards is what this book contains. It's a pity there isn't more of it. The drawings of the ships are particularly impressive.
While I'm sure X-Wing comic enthusiasts will find great enjoyment from this
issue (loyal fans will especially enjoy the behind the scenes look provided by Stackpole and Janes), its value increases the less familiar one is with the overall X-Wing comics. If you read and enjoy the X-Wing novels, but haven't
kept up with the comic series, you owe it to yourself to pick up this one issue. With it, you will be able read (in prose, not panel to panel) the back
story to the novels which Stackpole always intended.
An issue like this for every comic and novel series would be very welcome, particularly if the creators care as much about their subject matter as these authors.
9.5/10. Strongly recommended.