Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire #2
Dark Horse (June, 1996)WRITER: John Wagner PENCILER: Kilian Plunkett INKER: P. Craig Russell COLORIST: Cary Porter SEPARATIONS: Heroic Age COVER ART: Hugh Flemming LETTERER: Dave Cooper DESIGNER: Scott Tice EDITORS: Peet James & Ryder Windham
I don’t have the first issue sadly, but I do have the novel. Shadows Of The Empire is an interesting project; create an original story that would be licensed as if it was another movie. The comic follows the same events as the novel but along a different path. They also made a soundtrack. I have it, and it’s quite good. The series is set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.
Knowing someone is out to kill Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader (who wants to capture and turn Luke to the Dark Side), knows Luke and his friends will attempt to rescue Han from Boba Fett (as other bounty hunters are trying to do so THEY can collect the reward). So he sends an agent, Jix, to try and bring Luke in alive and foil his would-be killers…like the tech Xizor, head of Black Sun and a rival of Vader, hired to program an X-Wing computer to target Luke’s during a rescue attempt when Fett is forced to set down for repairs. Evidence suggests Vader, but Leia suspects Black Sun. Meanwhile, Jix makes contact with a swoop bike gang on Tattooine that works for Jabba The Hutt.
What they got right: Dash Rendar (whose story is told in the video game) is an interesting character. He’s like Han Solo, early movies, but even more self-interested (but still a good guy deep down). The art is good, and the individual stories link together well.
What they got wrong: I can’t think of anything.
Recommendation: Shadows Of The Empire is a fascinating series. If you can get the novel (which I’ll review as part of Chapter By Chapter closer to The Force Awakens) or the comics I recommend doing so.