Comic Review: Shadows of the Empire

As I’ve already covered the full novel of Shadows of the Empire, this time I’m going to be focusing more on the comic book version and some of the differences that were made between the two.

Writer: John Wagner
Penciller: Kilian Plunkett
Inker: P. Craig Russell
Colorist: Cary Porter
Cover artist: Christopher Moeller

First off – with John Wagner on writing duties for this story, considering his involvement in the Boba Fett comics earlier, we get a particular focus in this storyline on Fett and various Bounty Hunters coming after him attempting to steal Solo. The core points of the novel still happen – the scheming between Xizor & Vader, the half-leak/half-theft of the Death Star II plans, the attempts on Luke’s life, the attempted seduction of Leia, etc. However, Fett’s plot comes much more to the forefront, along with the added character of Wrenga Jixton or “Jix” – a spy for Vader who is sent to infiltrate Jabba’s palace and ends up taking control of one of Jabba’s swoop gangs.

All of this is to the further detriment of any additional character development for Dash Rendar, who is effectively pushed to the back burner. Additionally, the attempts by Xizor to seduce Leia are very understated. Leia’s reaction to Xizor is exclusively through internal monologues – almost to the point that I kind of wish we’d gotten an artist with a more manga-influenced style, like Joe Madureira. Just having a little bit of a luminescent blush around Leia’s face would help sell Xizor’s effect on Leia, and that it’s getting her flustered and acting out of character. That said – Plunkett is going to be a long-time artist with Star Wars (moving into the new continuity by serving as an art director on Rebels)

It’s certainly not the same experience as reading the novel, but I’m not particularly sure if it’s required in addition to the novel. The additional material is effectively an additional issue or two of Wagner’s Boba Fett comics – which is great if you liked those, but you just wanted to see the novel on the page, you’re not getting that here.

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