Charles Soule pulls double duty, penning the main ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’ storyline as well as the concurrent issues in the main ‘Star Wars’ run.
Detailing what happens when Luke is away from the group, he joins Starlight Squadron on a reconnaissance mission that soon becomes a rescue mission when Starlight locates the remnants of the Eleventh Fleet under attack from one of Admiral Zahra’s Star Destroyers.
With seven starfighters against the Star Destroyer and the ground forces overwhelmed, one soldier transmits a location for Starlight Squadron to attack which could turn the tide of the battle.
As Luke approaches a small geographic vent, lining up the shot he has a vision of his Death Star trench run but instead of Han saving the day, Vader destroys the Falcon in his fighter. The vision distracts Luke but the rest of Starlight Squadron open fire and hit the target causing a reaction which leads a dormant Volcano to erupt, the blast wiping out the Star Destroyer.
As the ground and air forces celebrate, Luke takes his leave to join Leia, Lando and Chewie in the rescue mission just as the rest of the Squadron get a message from Mon Mothma, who it turns out they just rescued.
I like that the issue give us a break from the events on Jekara and follows up on the seemingly forgotten storyline of the hunt for the missing Rebel Fleets as well as Shara Bey. I get that Han is an important character but I find it tough to understand why everything would drop just for him, so seeing the continuing story unfold alongside the ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’.
Soule does a great job of making the heroes seem fallible, in other hands it wouldn’t have been unheard of that a small group of fighters could take out a Star Destroyer but not on his watch. It takes a whole freaking Volcano which I have to admit, is one of the best images in a ‘Star Wars’ comic in a while.
Unlike in the ‘Darth Vader’ series which uses flashbacks and images from the films ad nauseam, the use of the flashback to Luke’s heroic attack on the Death Star reactor works well as it’s the whole reason he was nominated for the seemingly impossible run on the fissure, and the twist of the flashback being a Force Vision gives us a look at Luke’s developing connection to the Force as well as a terrifying ‘What if?’ scenario.
Soule is truly a multitasking genius, with this series, ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’, the recently released ‘Eye of the Storm’ mini-series and now ‘Crimson Reign’ and the upcoming ‘Secret Empire’, not to mention his non-Star Wars work, it’s surprising that his work remains consistently brilliant with so many plates spinning. Rosanas’ art is stunning, he really captures the starfighter battle brilliantly and whilst not being photo realistic, his renditions of the film characters are great.
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