|STAR WARS No. 12, January 2016|
Doubtless on paper Jason Aaron's idea to arm Leia, Han and Chewbacca with light-sabers and then depict the party battling stormtroopers, alongside Luke Skywalker in an alien gladiatorial arena, probably seemed like a great idea to Editor Jordan D. White; especially when the hairy Millennium Falcon's co-pilot is equipped with two of the Jedi weapons. But such an awkwardly contrived resolution to so entertaining a five-issue story-arc actually proves to be something of a “preposterous” ending as none of the combatants understandably wield their laser-swords with any great aplomb, and actually seem to spend the best part of their time in the coliseum "just trying not to cut my own face off."
Indeed this entire situation fashioned by the Alabama-born writer is arguably so illogical and forcedly false as to appear ludicrous. Why, for example, has the Emperor and Darth Vader knowingly allowed Grakkus the Hutt to “stockpile a collection of Jedi artefacts this big” in the first place? Surely not just because “he helped us rid the galaxy of more scattered traces of the Jedi”? And how come the vile gangster’s “Grakkus Five” localized electromagnetic pulse only effects the TIE pilots’ blasters and not the giant gastropod’s mechanical legs or his ‘decaying’ collection of ancient hand-held weapons? The simple answer would appear to be because it indolently allows the America author to pit this title’s protagonists against a horde of disarmed Imperials for a climatic confrontation.
Fortunately Issue Twelve of “Star Wars” is so stunningly action-packed however, that it is very easy to forgive so ‘shoe-horned’ a situation and it is very clear why this comic sold 123,133 copies in November 2015. In fact Aaron’s narrative throughout this twenty-page periodical just doesn’t let up, starting with Chewbacca hurling the bounty hunter Dengar off of the top of a high-rise tower block and ending with the Dark Lord of the Sith himself questioning Sergeant “Gamemaster” Kreel as to what he has learnt “of this boy” Skywalker.
All of this pulse-pounding drama is stunningly illustrated by Stuart Immonen and inker Wade Von Grawbadger, with the Canadian’s pencilling of the series’ main cast proving particularly impressive. The book’s pacing is equally as inspiring, with plenty of overlapping panels depicting Grakkus bludgeoning TIE pilots, Artoo-Deetoo recovering light-sabers amidst a panicking auditorium crowd and stormtrooper laser bolts ‘zinging’ everywhere, really adding to the rapid flow of events.
|The regular cover art of "STAR WARS" No. 12 by Stuart Immonen|