Comic Review: Age of Rebellion – Special (2019) #1

Published: April 17, 2019
Writers: Jon Adams , Marc Guggenheim , Simon Spurrier
Pencilers: Jon Adams, Andrea Broccardo , Caspar Wijngaard
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli

The synopsis;

A ONE-SHOT SPECIAL FEATURING YOUR FAVORITE (AND UNEXPECTED) CHARACTERS FROM THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY! Move over, Boba Fett. The most dangerous bounty hunter in the galaxy isn’t who you think. The cold, calculating assassin droid IG-88 had a deadly reputation. Wanted criminals should tremble in fear because IG-88 will stop at nothing to get the job done. But where did it come from? What does it want? Perfection might be a good place to start. SI SPURRIER (DOCTOR APHRA) and CASPAR WIJNGAARD (DOCTOR APHRA ANNUAL) bring the terrifying droid to life! The destruction of the Order, the death of his friends, exile — no matter what he has endured, YODA will always be a Jedi. Even in hiding on the isolated planet of Dagobah, far from the evil Empire’s reach, a Jedi’s work is never done. Marc Guggenheim (X-MEN GOLD) and ANDREA BROCCARDO (STAR WARS) will pay the wise, old master a visit! The freedom-fighting REBEL ALLIANCE has more than its fair share of heroes — like ace pilots BIGGS DARKLIGHTER and JEK PORKINS. But they’ve been fighting the evil Galactic Empire for a long time and sometimes, even noble warriors like Biggs and Porkins need a little rest and relaxation. Is anywhere truly free from the trials of the galactic conflict? Writer and illustrator JON ADAMS (the New Yorker, LOVE ROMANCES) has the answer!

The stories;

IG-88 in “The Long Game”

Bounty hunters live on reputations and IG-88 is no different. These reputations can be built on fact and rumour, but no one really knows except for IG-88.

One of his bounties is holding out under an Imperial shuttle and he decides to break cover. Blasting his way to the ship, he releases of volley that takes down his prey. Venga Liss lies prone, his bounty confirmed dead, IG turns away dropping a thermal detonator. This is a bounty not worth claiming, not because of the money, but when Liss’s outlaw gang know who is responsible, he becomes their bounty. The Imperial Officer asks why he blew up the evidence of his bounty. IG strides past and says the kill is enough, no payment required.

Five years later on Kalarassi, the usual gang are investigating a jail break. A Stormtrooper tells the bounty hunters that Venga Liss has escaped and has been seen nearby. 4 of the bounty hunters flee in search of Liss, but IG knows the truth. Removing the helmet of the Stormtrooper, he reveals one of the jail breakers in Kaluub Akjee. Before he realises, it’s too late and his body is blown apart by Akjee’s fellow escapees.

In a hideaway the escapees attach probes to IG’s head to see what information they can find. The list of unclaimed bounties is endless and they can make themselves some quick money if they claim some from themselves.

They meet with the leader of the Gillanium Syndicate and claim the bounty of Venga Liss. Unbeknown to them, this is the son of the leader and his henchmen take down the would be claimants. IG’s head rolls to one side, but the mini blasters in his head spring to life catching the leader and his men off guard. The ceiling of the chamber rashes through and a replacement body for IG has arrived from his ship above. Head now re-seated on a body, he takes down the remaining syndicate members.

Someday, folks will realise the rumours and reputation are all true.

Yoda in “The Trial of Dagobah”

On Dagobah, Yoda wakes from his slumber. He is hungry, but it is a while since he has eaten meat. He must go hunting, he collects his satchel and gimmer stick and heads through the jungle planet in search of the valley.

Yoda would never use his lightsaber to kill for food, so he takes pieces from his satchel and constructs a bow. Quickly, his arrow hits a target and he is on his way back to his home.

The journey is difficult and he must climb rocky outcrops. He gets to the top, but the floor is weak and gives way underneath him. He starts to fall, but reaches out to grasp the edge. Hanging there he remembers clinging to the pod in the senate chamber on Coruscant while duelling with Palpatine. Then, he falls down, back into the valley below.

The rocks that fell with him have covered his body, he awakes from unconsciousness, but must use the force to move them off him. He heads back to his home.

He is preparing his stew, when a sound through the jungle of a crash, it’s the sound of a visitor. He goes to the swamps edge and sees a boy setting up camp with his droid. The boy has something about him, he is a new hope and maybe Yoda is not the last of the Jedi.

Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins in “Stolen Valour”

In the space above Kashyyk, Biggs and Porkins are in a dogfight with some TIE Fighters. The last is taken down by Porkins, but some debris hits his canopy and it displays a holo of the TIE pilot and his family.

Biggs greets Porkins to celebrate their win, but Porkins has been affected by the holo and wonders what it is all for. It is agreed for them to take some vacation time.

On the vacation planet Irff, they are having the time of their lives. By the 12th day, they watching sunset when they are ousted from their sunbeds by a resort attendant, telling them they can no longer use the beds. A female Imperial Officer replaces them and they have a plan.

Pretending to be armed they break in to the officers room and try to take her hostage. She claims to be there in disguise to take perks, she has taken a break a break from her job and family to recuperate herself. They apologise and leave, but as they walk away she raises the alarm and they are chased from the resort and manage to get back to the Rebel rendezvous.

Biggs and Porkins tell the team of their adventures and they wonder what it is like to be an Imperial. With that, the alert to scramble is sounded, Porkins heads for X-Wing. Sitting in the cockpit, he can see the TIE pilot, rubbing his eyes the images is gone. He launches into space, wondering when this will end?

The review;

Let’s start with the direct edition cover. I really do think this a really good cover from Giuseppe Camuncoli. The detail is excellent and the colours are so vibrant, a real good start to the issue. We then have 3 more variants to choose from, the McKone puzzle piece is probably the best one so far. Again, this is a really good illustration and a good choice. The Checchetto variant only features IG-88, but it is another strong cover that has got some excellent detail in there. For me there is a winner though and admittedly not by much, but Jen Bartel’s Galactic Moment of Princess Leia presenting the medals on Yavin 4 is simply beautiful!

I was really looking forward to this issue after the brilliant Grand Moff Tarkin issue last time out. After reading the first story by Si Spurrier, I was enjoying it. Then after Marc Guggenheim’s Yoda story, I was still really enjoying it, but then I got to the Biggs and Porkins story and, well, oh dear!

So let’s kick off with the last story and I will say there have been comics I’ve not enjoyed, but this was beyond that. I understand there is a story there about battle fatigue in war and the mental toll and stress it can take on someone. I acknowledge that there is a story to be told, but for me this was not the way to do it. I’m not going to go into it, but I’m sorry it did nothing for me at all. I will just summarise it as poorly illustrated and Bigg’s in budgie smugglers, end of!

[Takes a deep breath] …I’m okay to carry on now.

The Si Spurrier story about IG-88 is great. IG is not a character that got too much background story, except for his ‘Legends’ appearances over the years, so it was nice that something a bit different was explored. Supported by good artwork, the pace was good and not rushed. The twist of not claiming certain bounties is clever, in fact very clever. I think writing for the Doctor Aphra series has rubbed off well on Spurrier. I must admit to laughing when IG’s spare body lands in superhero pose that is coined in the Marvel Universe films and comics.

Master Yoda, we all love Master Yoda. Marc Guggenheim gives us an unusual story in deed. Again like Greg Pak with Tarkin, we have a story that directly ties in to the original trilogy. It’s especially good due to the way Yoda goes about his business. He seems almost eccentric when he meets Luke in Empire, but it shows that his final actions on Coruscant before going into exile still haunts him all these years later. I really enjoyed this story and the artwork was first class, maybe there’s something for Marvel to explore as a storyline in the future.

‘Stories Behind the Stories’ by Brian Young is another great addition to the issue and continues the background information articles for the series.

So, as they say, 2 out of the 3 ain’t bad! Next up is Han Solo with Greg Pak back at the helm, so let’s see what is in store for our Corellian scoundrel.

Availability;

 This issue was released on 17th April 2019 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $4.99.