Monday, May 17, 2021

Star Wars Comics: Jabba the Hutt, The Early Adventures, Dark Empire II, River of Chaos, X-Wing Rogue Squadron

My Recent Reads

Jabba the Hutt: The Gaar Suppoon Hit
Originally Published April 4, 1995
Writer: Jim Woodring
Artist: Art Wetherell
In-Story Timeline: 5 BBY

  • The first of four standalone stories in a series.
  • Jabba, as the title suggests, kills his rival Gaar Suppoon, though he essentially does so through clever bargaining.
  • Jabba the Hutt is an interesting character in that he is Star Wars's underworld kingpin.  But this particular story, while reasonably clever, doesn't encourage me to read any further.

Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #9
April 11, 1995
Reproduction of a newspaper comic strip from 1980
Russ Manning and Rick Hoberg

  • Collects The Frozen World of Ota which originally ran from June 17 - August 10, 1987.
  • Our heroes have an adventure with Boba Fett, the characters first comic appearance.  In fact, it's his first appearance at all save for the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
  • This is the last story of Russ Manning's run on the original comic book series.  It is also the final issue of The Early Adventures series.  
  • It's been a fun series - interesting to see what the broader concept of the saga was like before the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back.

Dark Empire II #5: The Galaxy Weapon
April 18, 1995
10 ABY

via Amazon

  • Lando and his team get most of the action in this issue.  The newly developed Chrysalides make quick work of the Rebels' hijacked War Droids.  The good guys are rescued at the last minute by Salla and Shug, Han Solo's smuggler pals.
  • The Emperor fires another new weapon, Galaxy Gun.  The missile destroys the entire moon of Soocha V, the current Rebel base.  Luke observes and narrowly avoids the destruction and he believes the entire Rebel leadership has been killed.
  • Han and company, now including Jedi Empatojayos Brand, gets past Boba Fett and reach New Alderaan where Han and Luke can spend time with their children and await the birth of their third.

Dark Empire II #6: Hand of Darkness
May 23, 1995
10 ABY

  • As Dark Empire II comes to a close, the story, and all of the key players, converge upon New Alderaan.  The Emperor wants to kill everyone, except for the young Solo children, whom he wants to raise himself to serve the Sith.  
  • The Emperor sends robotic bugs to attack Luke in his sleep.  We see that idea come back in Attack of the Clones.
  • Luke's and Jem's budding romance is cut cruelly short when Jem is killed by the attacking darksiders.
  • Fortunately, the kidnapping of the Solo twins (oxymoron?) failed but the New Alderaan sanctuary is destroyed.
  • The Rebels escape to the space stations above Nespis VIII where they discover, thank goodness, that the Alliance managed to escape Soocha V before it was destroyed.
  • Anakin Solo is born.

River of Chaos #1
June 6, 1995
Louise Simonson/June Brigman

  • A Princess Leia side adventure, set about six months after the Battle of Yavin.
  • On the planet M'haeli, Leia meets Mora, the lone human on the world and one with strong psychic powers and sympathy for the Rebellion.  They both meet Ranulf Trommer, an Imperial pilot turned spy.
  • Despite my genuine pleasure at seeing a series for which the lead creators are both women, I don't see myself pursuing this title any further.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #1: The Rebel Opposition, Part 1
July 1, 1995
Michael A. Stackpole and Mike Baron/Allen Nunis
4 ABY 

  • A series for the Wedge Antilles fans!
  • Wedge is the leader of Rogue Squadron.  He and his mates are shot down by TIE fighters on Clipar during a food convoy run.  
  • There they meet an underground group led by Elscol Loro.  The group has no more love for the Rebels than for the Empire.
  • This series grabbed me and I'm still sorting out why.  I have found with other narratives - Star Trek, Clone Wars - I am drawn to stories about grunt soldiers.  Wedge and his companions are neither Jedi nor smugglers.  They're military pilots risking their necks for the Rebellion.  They provide a dose of reality.
  • Also, with River of Chaos, I could more or less predict where things were headed.  I'm not actually sure with Rogue Squadron.  Perhaps Wedge and Elscol, recently widowed, are headed for a romance but that doesn't seem guaranteed.
  • Plus there's a new Wookiee character: Groznik.  Wookiees are always an improvement.
  • So, I guess I'm in for now.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #2: The Rebel Opposition, Part 2
August 8, 1995
Stackpole and Baron/Nunis

  • We now have a two-pronged story.
  • One of the pilots, Janson, was shot down in the last issue and one of his comrades, Tycho went to recover him.
  • They encounter Winter, also known as Targeter, their Rebel contact.
  • Winter helps the pilots then sends Tycho, a former Imperial pilot, on a mission to infiltrate the Imperial forces as a spy.
  • Meanwhile, Wedge, Elscol and their party fight off the Imperial ground forces and reach the underground's weapon stash.
  • A definite strength of this series: two strong female characters in Elscol and Winter.  Both are badass soldiers and neither seems in any hurry to fall in love with the male principals.

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