Star Wars #1 by Brian Wood was somewhat of a lackluster first issue in my book, but how does the second issue fare?
The review and spoilers loom under the cut!
As just about every Star Wars story does lately, issue #2 of Brian Wood’s new comic series starts off with Boba Fett. Han and Chewie are done in by a malfunctioning sensor system and they don’t quite notice that the Galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter is firmly locked onto their six. After a series of daring maneuvers and a surprise visit by an Imperial Star Destroyer, Han manages to escape to hyperspace.
Meanwhile back at the fleet, Leia’s finally getting some time to mourn over the loss of Alderaan while working out the details for her new super secret spy squadron. Luke and Wedge are busying themselves in a simulator but despite the fact that Luke racked up more kills, Wedge needs to point out that such a gung-ho flying style Luke deploys is liable to get someone killed.
Over at Casa de Star Destroyer, Colonel Bircher has taken command of the command Vader recently vacated and totally isn’t letting it get to his head.
Back at the fleet, Leia has assembled her group of pilots to smoke out the rat among the Alliance’s ranks. Introductions are held and Wedge is introduced as the unit’s second in command with her in charge of the whole group. Everyone is shown their shiny new X-Wings straight from Incom and Luke and Leia have a personal moment.
The issue wraps up with Han and Chewie dropping out of hyperspace and flying into Imperial Center to find Mon Mothma’s contact there.
From an art perspective, things are still solid. The character artwork is decent and the Alex Ross cover is fantastic. While not the best interior stuff I’ve seen, it’s a good fit for Star Wars and is pretty visually pleasing.
Issue #2 fares a little better than issue #1, but there’s still a big case of the dulls going on. There’s been a whole bunch of info-dumping and exposition to this point, but not much in the way of advancing plot. Once again I fully have to own up to being spoiled by Marvel’s stuff of late and while I’m loathe to make comparisons, I kind of have to. Contrast this series with, say, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. DeConnick managed to explain everything the reader needed to know within one issue (while still being thoroughly entertaining) and started pushing the plot straight-away in the second. Wood is still struggling to get the story out of first gear.
Leia reads a bit better in this chapter, but still seems to suffer from Swiss Army Knife Syndrome. I’m still having a hard time reconciling her being both a brilliant politician and brilliant military tactician as well as a pilot capable of being the commanding officer of a starfighter outfit. This issue didn’t do much to address the concerns I had last week about making her a too conveniently gifted character. I’m still willing to give this arc its run to see how Wood can deal with this, but right now I’m still iffy on the characterization.
The Imperial subplot really hasn’t done anything for me yet, neither has the Han and Chewie subplot. I’m hoping the next issue adds a good deal more to those areas because right now both feel extraneous.
In all, issue #2 reads a touch better than the first issue, but still is plagued by some characterization questions, slow pacing, and info-dump tendencies. I’d score it a 3/5