Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Special #1 Review

by Kaasen Koy on April 17, 2019

Age of Rebellion Special cover

Writers: Simon Spurrier, Marc Guggenheim, Jon Adams
Artists: Caspar Wijngaard, Andrea Broccardo, Jon Adams
Colorists: Lee Loughridge, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Chris O’Halloran
Publisher: Marvel

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Special #1 collects three short tales from the time of the Galactic Civil War. “The Long Game” describes the legend of IG-88 and shows us what makes the infamous droid tick. “The Trial of Dagobah” follows a day in the life of an exiled Yoda. Finally, “Stolen Valor” gives us Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins on vacation.
“The Long Game” continues Marvel’s recent trend of standout bounty hunter stories. Another dive into the psychology (or… technology?) of an iconic underworld figure, the first story of this special builds a great mythos around IG-88 for the current canon and is the best in the special. The artwork is fitting and menacing enough, but the color really shines as it runs the gamut from entire pages bathed in the orange glow of flame to neon cantinas and crystal-green caverns.
“The Trial of Dagobah” features almost no dialogue but is incredibly wordy. An omniscient narrator describes Yoda’s thoughts as he goes hunting and becomes trapped on his journey back home. It relies too much on repetition — Yoda’s mantras abound throughout — and on working movie quotes and titles into the script. It’s a shame because the artwork is fantastic and would tell this tale much more effectively if the writer got out of the way. It’s worth a second look after reading, just to follow the Jedi’s journey again through beautiful visuals alone. 
The last short story, “Stolen Valor,” is the strangest of the group. It’s the most cartoonish, both in story and in artwork, and it delivers a strangely satirical story that might have a place… but not in this special. Despite the cartoonish framework, it deals with some heavy issues, starting when a memento of a TIE pilot’s family strikes the window of Porkins’ fighter. The overall tone is hard to follow from here and lines like, “I’m ambivalent about all this carnage, but I love the adrenaline rush,” make it even harder. Is it mocking? Is it just the writer throwing in a joke, as he continues to do throughout? This feels like it should be a light throwaway tale to round out the special but it’s just a bit off.

Age of Rebellion Special #1 is an uneven but generally successful anthology. IG-88’s character study vignette is worth the price of admission, and strong artwork makes Yoda’s "day in the life" a great look at the Jedi’s time on Dagobah. Biggs and Porkins' vacation escapade leaves this comic on a sour (albeit visually fun) note, but the Age of Rebellion gets a much stronger special than the Age of Republic did.

Our Score:


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