|STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS No. 4, November 2016|
Sadly, such befuddling summarisations of the $2.068 billion grossing-film are seemingly ‘par for the course’ for this twenty-page periodical’s narrative, with the First Order’s sudden appearance on the planet Takodana and subsequent attack upon Maz Kanata’s cantina, proving all the more surprising without any explanation as to just why the “military faction ruled by Supreme Leader Snoke” believes destroying the establishment will help them capture the droid BB-8. The assault certainly looks a little ‘out of sorts’ with the preceding explosive death of Chancellor Lanever Villecham, as both scenes involve Han Solo’s son, and therefore somewhat suggest Darth Vader’s petulant protégé has ‘transported’ himself from the Resurgent-class Battlecruiser, the Finalizer, onto the Mid Rim planet within the space of a few heartbeats…
Similarly, there is absolutely no build-up whatsoever to “traitor” Finn’s light-sabre battle with a fellow stormtrooper, nor his contrived capture along with the crew of the Millennium Falcon; “Don’t move! TK-338, we have targets in custody.” In fact, whether it be Po Dameron’s welcome arrival at the head of the Resistance’s most able x-wing squadron, Rey’s chilling abduction to Starkiller Base, or General Leia Organa’s emotional encounter with the elderly Corellian smuggler at the publication’s conclusion, Wendig frustratingly provides little rationalisation as to why any of the events are transpiring as they are.
Ultimately however, this comic’s biggest disappointment is the poor pencilling of Luke Ross. Better “known for his work on books such as Gen13, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Indiana Jones and Captain America”, the Sao Paulo-born artist disconcertingly seems to consistently struggle with this book's subject matter, whether it be the maniacal look upon Hux’s face as he enthusiastically yells “Fiiiiire!”, Han Solo's almost comical facial expressions during an otherwise scintillating shoot-out, or the woefully blob-headed First Order stormtroopers depicted throughout the book’s more action-orientated passages.
|Writer: Chuck Wendig, Artist: Luke Ross, and Colorist: Frank Martin|