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Star Wars: Invasion - Refugees24. Mai 2010
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
When Dark Horse Comics first announced the Invasion comic book series back in February 2009 Executive Editor Randy Stradley warned fans that Invasion would not just 'fill the gaps' left in the 19-book The New Jedi Order series nor would it 'patch up the cracks or answers all of the questions from the Del Rey novels', so I'm glad to say that Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson's first story in this series, Refugees, lives up to Randy's assertions. Taylor's story contains the right mix of drama, adventure, intrigue, action and tragedy to keep the reader interested from the first panel to the last. Our chief protagonists in this story aren't the 'big three' of Luke, Han and Leia (although they do make good, in terms of storytelling, cameo appearances), instead we have the four members of the Galfridian family from the planet Artorias and our introduction to them, as well as to the antagonists, the extra-galactic invaders that are Yuuzhan Vong, is done gradually throughout the story. We are first witness to Caled Galfridian's birthday celebrations, husband to Nina and father to a son and daughter, on the eve of the unprovoked and unannounced Vong invasion of Artorias. Then as the devastating and horrifying invasion unfolds in front of our eyes, we learn that Caled, as well as being a veteran of the Battle of Hoth, is also the king of the Artorian people, while his son, Prince Finn, is Force-sensitive. But where assumptions may lead that such a royal family should lead a privileged lifestyle we find Nina and daughter Kaye, shopping at the local market on the very day the Vong invade. Yet even amongst the horror and drama of the invasion, Taylor still finds the time to add some individual touches. He injects some humour into the story with Finn's attempt to lift a small rock using the Force and Luke's response when he succeeds; and invokes pathos from the reader with Han's moroseness at finding fewer and fewer strands of Wookiee hair on his clothes. Although these individual touches add a respite to the story, it is Taylor's ability for intrigue and drama that really drives from this story forward. The opening premise of 'The Yuuzhan Vong are coming' and 'What's a Vong?', spoken as deathly cries in the opening pages, grab the reader's desire to know more and Taylor simply doesn't let go of this premise throughout his story. Just as Taylor's introduction to the reader of the Galfridian family was piecemeal, so too is the Yuuzhan Vong's. Taylor deliberately reveals sporadic pieces of information to the reader throughout the story: their origins, their purpose and their beliefs. For readers unfamiliar with The New Jedi Order series of novels, this spasmodic supply of information forms a good part of the story's intrigue, while fans cognitive of the novels will tend to concentrate of Taylor and Wilson's portrayal of the Vong and their 'technology'. Fanboys will simply love the cameos by not only the big three, but by Kyp Durron, Mara Jade, Lowbacca, and the Solo twins Jacen and Jaina. As in so many real-life war situations, the Galfridian family finds itself torn apart and separated by the invasion: while Caled attempts to secure the evacuation of his people and form a resistance to the invaders, his wife and daughter are captured and imprisoned on a Vong slave ship, while Finn is rescued by the surprise and timely appearance of Luke Skywalker and taken off-planet to the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 for training. Taylor establishes within this story three separate, yet at the same time intertwining and connected, story arcs to follow in this and future Invasion publications. Wilson's art compliments Taylor's story perfectly: from the sorrowful brow of Han Solo, to the frightening scream of an attacking Vong warrior, Wilson's artwork captures the real passion and emotion expressed by the characters, the drama and horror of the invasion as it affects not only the protagonists but also the supporting characters. Wilson's superb use of perspective, especially in the drawings of the attacking Vong, from the looming warrior over Kaye to the impaling of Lar Le'ung on an amphistaff, only help to extenuate further Taylor's unfolding drama. There is a natural flow to the story as the reader moves from panel to panel with the right balance between action and necessary exposition. Refugees will appeal to all Star Wars fans, however, if you've never read a Star Wars comic story, Invasion: Refugees is not only an excellent read in itself, but also a great place to start reading Star Wars comic stories (the second Invasion story arc, Rescues, begins in May 2010 with the release of Invasion issue #6).
[Review originally published at [...]]
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This isn't the comic you're looking for. . .16. Mai 2010
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
It seemed an odd decision, in these days of declining comic book sales exacerbated by a poor economy, for Dark Horse to tie its new Star Wars comic, Invasion, into the New Jedi Order, a series of Star Wars novels that had ended nearly a half-dozen years earlier. Odd, but not unwelcome -- that epic story, of an invasion of the Star Wars galaxy by a seemingly unstoppable extragalactic threat and the subsequent war, would seem to provide perfect fodder for a comic book series. The opening chapter of Star Wars: Invasion is, alas, a tremendous disappointment.
Scribe Tom Taylor may be an award-winning playwright, but upon starting this book it quickly becomes clear that he has not figured out how to successfully transfer those skills to comics. The dialogue ranges from unremarkable to hackneyed, but that's the least of the problems here. Taking place shortly after Vector Prime, the first novel in the New Jedi Order series, this comic opens with the invasion of the planet Artorias in the first wave of the Yuuzhan Vong assault, as the aggressors attempt to gain a foothold in the galaxy. Following the invasion, we follow three different plotlines.
Foremost is the story of Finn, an Artorias survivor whom Luke Skywalker recognizes as being strong in the force, natch. So Finn goes on a series of adventures to locales familiar to Star Wars fans such as the Jedi Academy and Nar Shaddaa, teams up with Luke, Leia, the young Jedi Knights and even meets Han, and manages to hold his own in a battle as well. Unfortunately the way he bounces from event to event doesn't allow for much character development, and what there is involves him being a cocky youth who happens to be a paragon of virtue, wise beyond his years -- a combination that's both boring and unbelievable, given his circumstances. Also, far too much time is spent with familiar characters; it's nice to bump into familiar faces, but mixing them into the plot to this extent, especially in a story with this much going on, takes a lot of time away from the new characters we should be getting to know, and doesn't add anything at all to our understanding of the existing characters.
The second plotline follows Finn's sister Kaye as she is enslaved on a Yuuzhan Vong vessel and her efforts to survive. Oddly enough, despite spending enough time as a slave to a brutal and aggressive species for her brother to have a whole series of adventures, Kaye and her fellow captives never appear any the worse for wear -- even the guy shackled to the wall. Kaye's exactly the same spunky kid at the end of this story as she was at the beginning. The final plotline follows the local resistance on Artorias itself, which continues even as the planet is being radically transformed to sustain the Yuuzhan Vong. There are some questionable moments here as well, involving such stunts as people swimming to a depth of several kilometers without any apparent difficulty.
The proceedings are not helped much by artist Colin Wilson, whose functional but hardly attractive art is marred by what seems to be a lot of difficulty rendering mouths, to the extent that barely a panel seems to go by without a character making a truly asinine face.
So while I really would have liked to like this book, I cannot in good faith recommend it. It's a busy book with too much going on, too little narrative flow tying it together, and virtually no character development or earned emotional payoff. Dark Horse has made a lot of good decisions with its Star Wars properties over the years, from Dark Empire to Tales of the Jedi to X-Wing Rogue Squadron to pretty much anything written by John Ostrander and more. Along the way they've has also had a few missteps, of which this is one of the worst. I may pick up the second volume to see if there's any improvement, but the bar has been set so low here that I may decide it's just not worth my time.
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A great new series with great potential19. Juni 2010
Eugene M. Roby
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I have never read any of the New Jedi Order books, so I will not be able to inform anyone on how well this series ties in with the books or fills in any gaps.
That being said I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume in this new series. Even though I have not read the books, I know the basic storyline that this new series is supposed to tie into. In short a race of extra-galactic superwarriors (who hate machines and technology, and embrace bio-technology and use said biotechnology to create incredible weapons, ships and creatures of war) invade the (Star Wars) galaxy we all know and love. They lay waste to almost all of the galaxy and are virtually unstoppable. Eventually they are stopped, but the wake they leave in the galaxy, will change the galaxy forever.
When these books were first published I thought to myself "this would make a great comic-book". And "Lo and behold" we now have one. Like I said before, I am no subject matter expert on the New Jedi Order, but I found the story compelling, and loved the art. It was great to see Vong warriors laying waste, and Jedis clashing lightsabers with amphistaffs.
In short, after reading this first volume, my interest in the New Jedi order has defenitely sparked. I can imagine this would be a "must buy" for anyone who seriously likes the New Jedi order novels, and for the "run of a mill" Star Wars comic enthusiast it is defeniltey worth checking out.
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Gritty and true to the source material13. Juni 2012
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
An interesting story that stys true to NJO and feels fresh with a gritty art style that perfectlet conveys a sense of hopelessness and still has it's quircky moments to remind you that all is not lost and give a bit of hope.The galfriddian family in this book has a very good story and this is right behind legacy in quality.
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Tom Taylor Invades the Star Wars Universe12. Mai 2010
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Tom Taylor (now, unsurprisingly, writing The Authority for Wildstorm) has achieved more with the Invasion series than many fans (including myself) were hoping. The Invasion storyline goes much further than filling in gaps from the other extended Star Wars universe fiction, both comics and novels. Taylor manages to do something quite rare in such an established universe: he maintains existing characterisations and manages to enhances our understanding of those characters that remain core to the SWU whilst introducing and establishing new characters as well.
There's a heady mix of intrigue, action and just the right level of humour to Taylor's dialogue to draw you into the world that he's made his own.
Whilst invasion features Luke, Leia and Han, the pivotal characters to the story are new - the Galfridian family from the planet Artorias, whose patriarch, Caled, has links back to the story of Empire Strikes Back. There are parallels to how Taylor draws us into the family, just as he does with the revelation of a new threat (the Yuuzhan Vong) - slowly revealing further depths to their relationships and circumstances, hooking us with strong characterisation, sharp dialogue and the drama of the coming conflict.
This is fundamentally the story of a family writ large, torn apart by the invasion. Whilst the father strives valiantly to save his people, the mother (Nina) and daughter (Kaye) are taken prisoner aboard a Vong slave ship, with son Finn being rescued by Luke Skywalker and taken to the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. Taylor interweaves each strand of the story perfectly - balancing the building tensions and developing motivations so as to leave us constantly, enjoyably looking forward to the resolution.
Colin Wilson handles the art duties here, and his storytelling prowess complements Taylor's script beautifully. His attention to detail and expressive emotion fully convey the drama and horror brought by the Vong to Artorias and beyond. I'm looking forward to the continuing Invasion storyline and hope that Dark Horse see fit to make this an ongoing series