Sometimes even the bad guys can be good. Or, said in another light, every villain thinks they’re the hero of their own story. Jody Houser and Roge Antonio continue to develop the story of a TIE-Fighter squadron of good and bad people working for the wrong side. There are those of course who think the Empire did nothing wrong.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Houser wowed me with the first issue, introducing an eclectic bunch of characters. It ended on a wild cliffhanger.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue does a good job resolving the cliffhanger and then diving into a whole new ballgame. I won’t spoil it, but it’s an interesting twist on good and evil in the Star Wars universe we’ve never seen before. Like any good drama, throwing a curveball at characters tends to reveal their true nature and we get some interesting moments with most of them. It’s also nice to see the characters fighting outside of their TIE-Fighters as well. Houser is using the plot to help define the crew and show us they’re a great squadron in their ships and outside.
There’s also a good juxtaposition of the main crew of characters against another crew that makes a choice that ends them all. We already know a few of these characters aren’t 100% all-in with the Empire, but it’s becoming more clear even if they are pro-Empire they’re not going to blindly die for nothing. They’re too valuable.
Antonio, joined by Josh Cassara with colors by Arif Prianto and Neeraj Menon continues to draw the dogfights expertly well. Not once, but twice they introduce clever ways of telling us who is in which TIE-Fighter, first with red bubbles and then later with an incredible close up of each with see-through helmets. It takes a beat to understand what you’re looking at, but the artists have shown us their reactions even though they’re nearly completely covered up. Stormtroopers that pop up look great and there’s a fantastic use of body language to help convey the characters’ feelings.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The backup is being used to reveal a bit more about one of the characters and here it doesn’t quite work as well as the first issue. We get a sense of who they are via a conversation between them and family, but over the five pages all we really get is a sense of the falsehoods one must live with at times of war to keep on going. There isn’t enough meat here to fill out five pages.
Is it good?
I continue to enjoy this series for how it breaks away from your expectations of a Star Wars story. It also continues to develop its characters well while giving us what we want: TIE-Fighter action and plenty of explosions to go along with it.
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