Comic Review: Star Wars Adventures #29
Published: December 18, 2019
Cover Artist: Derek Charm
Ghosts of Kashyyyk Part 3
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Derek Charm
Secret Agent Droids Part 3
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Tony Fleecs
In this finale of a three-part story, the mighty Wookiees of Kashyyyk defend their home against the armies of the evil First Order. Plus, R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8 team up on a top-secret spy adventure for the Resistance.
With the Rise of Skywalker out this week, what better way to prepare than to read the conclusion of these two wonderful arcs. Although their overall impact on the film is likely to be minimal, these are some of the best stories that I’ve read for the lead up to Episode Nine. Funny, witty and incredible art really mark both of these stories out from the crowd. Will these finales be equally as impressive?
The first tale in this issue is ‘Ghosts of Kashyyyk.’ This has been a wonderfully simple story that pulls at the heart strings, and the third and final part is no different. As with the previous issues, what really comes through is the partnership between Barber and Charm. The two rely on each other to tell this story, as for the most part, there isn’t a whole lot of talking. This issue has far more dialogue than the others, but Charm still produces some incredible imagery. Within the page, there is what can only be described as a spin wheel, which is simply gorgeous in its design. And I have to mention the Porgs. Charm draws them with utter cuteness, so much so, that I feel that there may one day be a fight between these Porgs and The Child (aka Baby Yoda), both of whom will try and steal the ultimate cute awards. How Charm delivers their role is perfect, as with this story, timing is everything.
The message of this story is a very important one, both for the upcoming film as well as younger readers (heck, maybe even some older readers who may have forgotten!). Barber ties up the whole of the three issues really well and the message of teamwork comes through again and again. This is what the Resistance is about, it doesn’t matter who you are, how big or small you are, you can make a difference with others. In today’s world at the moment, this seems incredibly poignant. Furthermore, I also like the highlighting that this whole story works because it’s Chewie’s home planet, that his knowledge of it gives him a skill over invaders (as it should). It helps showcase the arrogance of the First Order and how they can fail. One final thing I have to mention, I was very impressed and surprised by Barber’s mention of an old Expanded Universe planet! I won’t say anymore…
The second tale is ‘Secret Agent Droids’, which also ends this week. I said last issue that this story is like a sequel to the Droids tv show, and as soon as you look at the opening panels, it’s like you’ve just come back from an ad break. The villain is there, blaster in hand and it just feels so right. I feel like I’m a kid again, Saturday morning, watching my favourite cartoons. Fleecs does an amazing job of creating the look and feel of this story and not once does he go wrong. Even to simple things as travelling in an elevator. The layout, the angle, it all feels like it’s been taken from Droids. I said a few issues ago, that Fleecs literally took my breath away with his work and he is still doing it now. Visually, this issue is an absolute delight and I’m sure will capture fans both old and new.
To the story itself and we get to see more of Director Orlok. I’ll be honest, not enough. This villain has something about him that makes me want to see more of him. From his design, to the way he acts, he fits perfectly into the Star Wars universe. Moreci also uses him to portray the disbelief that I suppose some readers might have, what can a kid and a droid possibly accomplish? This links seamlessly with the first tale, that actually, together we can achieve more than just by ourselves. It all plays out beautifully, even with R2 taking his typical part in the story (which I won’t spoil).
If there is one thing that has been sorely lacking from the sequel movies, it’s the droids. Yes BB-8 is there, but there has not been enough focus on our faithful guides, Threepio and Artoo. For me, these are the droids I want to see, it’s through their eyes that I want to watch events unfold. This story does that in a very powerful way. The droids have always been able to carry a story by themselves and they do so here with ease. Moreci writes them as they were always meant to be. Threepio as the worrisome, annoyed droid and Artoo, with an equally cheeky BB-8, causing what seems to be chaos. This is how the droids should be and I can’t imagine anyone but Moreci writing them so perfectly. As with every piece of Moreci’s work, this is simply not long enough; I want more, a lot more. Moreci and Fleecs seem an absolute match made in heaven, both get what Star Wars is and that is evident from the incredible work here. IDW if you are reading, please, let’s start thinking about a Droids series for these two to do, a long, long series for them to sink their teeth into.
It’s very bittersweet this week. Two incredible stories coming to an end. The overall feel of these two stories is one of teamwork, that together, anything is possible. Both sets of writers and artists demonstrate this with their incredible work. For me, this is the message to walk into Rise of Skywalker with. Barber and Charm do a wonderful job that shows that ‘Baby Yoda’ has got some way to go before the cutest title can be solely his. And Moreci and Fleecs, two of my ultimate favourites together (uber geek moment for me!), create the perfect complement to Droids. I hope we get to see the duos back very soon (thankfully we know Moreci returns next issue). Adventures goes from strength to strength. There was time I would say that the sequel era was not my favourite to read, but Adventures has met the challenge and shown what can be done, to incredible effect. Young or old, this is the comic that every Star Wars fan should be reading. It’s not preachy or too heavy, it’s what Star Wars was always about; Adventure, excitement and recklessness… oh….and two droids!
Star Wars Adventures is an ongoing series available from IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic bookstores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.