Goodwin, Archie

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

3 out of 5

(3 books)

Classic Star Wars: Escape To Hoth

(Art by Al Williamson)

0 ABY.  The third in the series of graphic novels reprinting the old Star Wars newspaper strips.  The Rebel Alliance evacuates their Yavin 4 base in the face of the Empire's deadly new battlecruiser, the Super Star Destroyer Executor, and they then set up home on the ice planet Hoth. 

Meanwhile, Luke, Han and Chewbacca have another run in with bounty hunters on Ord Mantell.  This latter story gives us perhaps the best moment in the book when we get to see Boba Fett and Darth Vader together once more, the two coolest characters in the saga. 

The book as a whole has all the good and bad elements of its predecessor, 'The Rebel Storm', but does have the benefit of having an actual ending.  Once again, worth a read but far from the best book in the franchise.

3 out of 5

 

Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm

(Art by Al Williamson)

0 ABY.  The second book of the Classic... series in which the old black and white newspapers strips have been reworked, coloured and collected into trade paperback format.  We get several linked adventures here set between 'A New Hope' and 'The Empire Strikes Back' the best of which are Luke's crashlanding on a seemingly uninhabited ice planet called Hoth and Darth Vader's plot to get to Luke using an Obi-Wan Kenobi impostor.  We also get to see the Rebel heroes' first encounter with Admiral Ackbar and the Mon Calamari. 

So, by the simple merit of being packed with Star Wars excitement, this book is worth reading.  There are, however, downsides.  Firstly, because of the nature of the newspaper serials, the book starts halfway through a story and then ends halfway through a story (I'm giving Lucasfilm the benefit of the doubt there that this element isn't a cheap stunt to force you to buy the previous and subsequent books).  Also, because so much had to be conveyed in limited space in the newspaper strip, it means the book is very dialogue-heavy with reams of now unnecessary exposition. 

One final thing that bothered me was Williamson's habit of filling every inch of empty space, meaning that in some of the pictures there are half a dozen physically impossible planets providing a backdrop that I feel crowds the main focus rather than highlighting it.  So, some good things, some bad.

Followed by 'Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth'.

3 out of 5

 

Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection

(Art by Howard Chaykin)

When a SHIELD team is wiped out in Peru, Nick Fury personally takes on the investigation due to the apparent involvement of Scorpio, the villainous younger brother whom Nick believed dead.  Also on the trail with a personal vendetta is Wolverine, out to avenge a friend who died at Scorpio's hands.  However, there is far more to the identity of this returned Scorpio than it first seems.

Logan and Fury make for a good pairing with their military backgrounds and their pragmatic, ruthless demeanours and it is this pairing which is the book's strongest point.  Both characters, whilst nominally good, have been known to skirt the grey areas of morality and as a result we get a somewhat more adult graphic novel than much of what Marvel was producing in the late 80s.

Familial revelations aside, Scorpio isn't a great antagonist and the fact that he's little more than a pawn for his controlling mother doesn't help that.  Not having a really solid villain to pit Fury and Wolverine against is pretty detrimental to the story and a real shame considering how many great villains Marvel have at their disposal.

Not a great graphic novel, but not bad if you want to see two of Marvel's badasses team-up.

3 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures - Volume 1 (here)

Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... - Dark Encounters (here)

Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... - Doomworld (here)

Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... - Far, Far Away (here)

Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... - Resurrection Of Evil (here)

Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1 (here)

Read more...

Indiana Jones (here)

Marvel Comics (here)

Star Wars (here)