Published: August 21, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Jody Houser
Penciler: Rogê Antônio & Juan Gedeon
Cover Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards
THE EMPIRE STRIKES! The mission is to deal a devastating blow to THE REBELLION. Can the squadron come together in time to complete the mission? And will any survive the fight?
The series has been a wonderful breath of fresh air in Star Wars comics. Looking at things from the side of the Empire and from the viewpoint of a TIE squadron. The writing, the art, the flashbacks has worked so perfectly. But now it’s the final issue; can Houser deliver a tremendous finale?
Let me begin with the story, when you get down to the nitty gritty, there isn’t a lot here. This issue is all about one final battle that shows the Empire winning. That’s not to say that the battle itself is written badly, it’s not, but the nuisances that we have grown accustomed to for our characters aren’t really here. And I don’t think they should be. This series deserved to go out with a big battle, it does. We are straight into the action almost immediately, and that’s where we stay. It’s what we expect from a Star Wars movie and I’m glad Houser followed this trend.
The battle itself is wonderful, so wonderful I’m not even sure where to begin. We get to see the pilots trying to work together and the more experienced members almost ignoring the cadets. In all honesty, I could have done without the cadets, as they took valuable time away from the more established characters. The artwork in the battle is tremendous. I’ve been saying that the artwork seems to harken back to older times, and I truly love it. The frames move you from one part of the battle to another flawlessly and the colour brings it all to life. Antônio really knows how to frame things just right to envelope the reader and I’ll never grow tired of the masks on/off the pilots.
I liked how the comic went past the events of Return of the Jedi, letting us see the reactions of the pilots. It leaves quite a dramatic end. Now I’ve had to be very careful not to read Alphabet Squadron as I didn’t want anything to be spoilt for this storyline. As such, I’m wondering how these characters lead into that series, or if Houser has another follow-on series for this group of characters. Her work is wonderful. I’ve said before how it really reminds me heavily of Rogue Squadron and I think there is a big demand for comics like this, so I do hope we see a return.
Of all the issues, this is the one that really has a very clear beginning, middle, end and not too much depth to it. This is what I’d expect from a finale, the groundwork has been set and now it’s time to watch the pieces fall. The only misstep for me, was the time spent on the cadets, but whether this has an impact on Alphabet Squadron, or a future series may very well explain the heavy focus. I’m very sad to this entire series end. Everything about this series is what Star Wars is for me. Character development, starship battles and dogfights, great art; it all has woven together beautifully. I really hope Marvel brings Houser and Antônio back, as their work is so enjoyable to read. If you’ve been waiting to see if this series is worth reading, I can tell you, without hesitation, yes. This is the sort of series Marvel needs to have more of.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter is a five-part series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores. This issue retails at $3.99.