I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: in the Star Wars Universe, there’s nothing quite like the era of the Original Trilogy. Throughout most of it, audiences were treated to clearly-defined good guys versus the bad guys. While the lines were grayed a bit in the finale (as seen in RETURN OF THE JEDI when Anakin Skywalker came to grips with his fall to the Dark Side), there were still plenty of Stormtroopers, Tie Fighters, and Imperial Officers to keep us enthralled … not to mention the fully operational Death Star! Brian Wood continues to do the unimaginable every thirty days: he’s returning us to that era of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie for what’s shaping up to be one wild race through hyperspace.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Han Solo and Chewbacca finally find themselves on familiar ground when they’re forced to run away from the Imperials they encounter on Coruscant, and nothing has ever seemed quite so familiar in the pages of a STAR WARS comic book. Han is trying to outsmart the others; Chewbacca is grumbling, always preferring to shoot first and ask questions later; and it all goes to Hell in a hand basket before you can say, “Bantha poodoo!” Plus, Leia and her elite starfighter pilots – now code-named Grey Squadron – finally make a leap forward in trying to deceive the mole buried deep within the Rebellion. In the meantime, Luke sulks – as only Luke Skywalker could – as he’s left out of the action due to his own negligence … but a voice from the past brings him a new warning that promises things are about to go from bad to worse.
There are so many elements that Wood manages to deliver in each monthly installment that I find it no surprise that this title keeps selling out and going into subsequent printings. The demand is understandably high; this is ‘the’ STAR WARS that most of us grew up with, erasing much of the political and/or romantic sentiments of the Prequel Trilogy in favor of what worked best – seat of the pants storytelling. It’s chocked full of familiar faces – as well as a few new ones – as well as a wealth of well-known locations and settings that make this a definite Dark Horse ‘must read’ for the time being.
If you’re not on board, then get on board now. You’ve no idea what you’re missing!
STAR WARS: IN THE SHADOW OF YAVIN (Part 4) is published by Dark Horse Comics. The story is written by Brian Wood; the art is by Carlos D’Anda; colors are by Gabe Eltaeb; with lettering by Michael Heisler. The issue bears the cover price of $2.99 … and I dare you to find as much fun placed into as many pages anywhere else!
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. Brian Wood proves that the Force continues to be strong in the era of the Original Trilogy where Leia finds herself on the run from Imperials; Han and Chewie manage yet one more quick escape; Darth Vader remains in the midst of rebuilding his reputation; and Luke Skywalker is grounded, thanks mostly to his youthful exuberance. So far so good, I say, and I’ll definitely be here again in thirty days for what’s shaping up to be another exciting journey into that galaxy far, far away!
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics provided me with an advance digital copy of STAR WARS: IN THE SHADOW OF YAVIN (Part 4) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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