I picked up a grand total of one comic today. It’s in that weird in-between phase where a lot of the titles I was reading have ended, but the new titles haven’t begun yet. It doesn’t help that I’ve dropped a bunch of DC titles lately because I don’t like the direction they’re heading, and I just haven’t bothered keeping up with any replacements. But in truth, with all the reading I’m falling behind on, a smaller week like this is a bit of a relief.
Anyway, Star Wars 53 is written by Kieron Gillen, and it takes place in the middle of a massive ambush set up by the Galactic Empire. Shortly after the Rebels convinced the Mon Calamari to join their forces, the Empire, aided by Queen Trios of the mining planet Shu-Torun, were led into a trap. In the middle of amassing their new fleet and celebrating, all of their cruisers were disabled by Trios’s codes, and then the Imperial fleet ambushed.
In the previous couple of issues, the Rebels managed to figure out how to dispatch their fighters. With Luke’s newly dubbed Rogue Squadron in the midst, they at least have a fighting chance. However with the big cruisers dropping like flies, things don’t look good.
This is a really intense story, possibly worthy of a movie itself. In the middle of all the insanity, it shows why the Millennium Falcon is in such rough shape during The Empire Strikes Back, why Han Solo is starting to have some authority within the Alliance, and a few other things. The ending also teases a bit of a showdown between Leia and Darth Vader. Well, more like Leia trying to find a password to re-enable all the Rebel ships with Darth Vader on her tail. Despite everything that’s happening in the story, there’s still room for a couple amusing quips, a touch of character drama and showcasing the different leadership styles between the different Rebel leaders and Darth Vader.
The art by Salvador Larroca is great. Everything is highly detailed, like the explosions that look like they’re straight out of an original trilogy movie, all the different control pads and monitors within the command ships, and the variety of angles used with the X-Wings while they’re flying in formation. Facial expressions perfectly convey emotions, like Leia’s sadness as she watches another cruiser being destroyed, Ackbar’s excitement when he’s shown a glimmer of hope, and just the right touch of annoyance in Han’s eyes after Luke jokingly calls him “admiral”. Guru-eFX’s colouring is also great. The comic is bright and colourful as a whole, with the reddened space not only making sense for the location, but also adding to the comic’s intense mood. At times, there are even large objects reflecting in people’s eyes – a nice touch. Not entirely sure who to credit for that though.
Gillen’s Star Wars run continues to impress, with a great balance between action, character moments and humour. It’s really starting to build up towards The Empire Strikes Back now, with touches of build-up towards Return of the Jedi as well. Fans of the Original Trilogy era of Star Wars should check this series out.
Feels good to finally find the time to write another full comic review again.