Star Wars vol. 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger



Last time in “Star Wars” Jason Aaron introduced a promising idea — that of a jail run by the Rebellion — only to drown it under conventional, predictable storytelling and see it written out of the series by the end of the arc.  It would be hard for him to do worse after that and I’m happy to say that’s not the case here.  “The Last Flight of the Harbinger” introduces us to the Special Commando Advanced Recon (SCAR) stormtrooper squad and makes it quite clear from their introductory issue that these troopers are some of the best they have to offer.  So while SCAR squad is quickly establishing themselves as a credible threat by swiftly dismantling a rebel cell, our protagonists in the Rebellion are working on pulling off one of their craziest schemes yet.  Tureen VII, one of the worlds sympathetic to the Rebellion’s cause, is currently being blockaded by the Empire with all attempts to break through it having failed quite spectacularly.  If they’re going to break through it, then they’re going to need to use something big.  Something “Star Destroyer” big.

 

It’s hard not to like the idea of Luke, Han, Leia, and co. setting up a plan to steal a Star Destroyer and use it against the Empire.  Granted, the ease with which they pull it off does kind of make you wonder why they don’t try to steal every Star Destroyer, and I’m wondering just how many people they were able to get on hand after we were told that they wouldn’t have nealy enough to meet the minimum 2,000 crew members needed to pilot it.  If you can get past those gaps in logic, then this volume does offer an entertaining ride.  Particularly when the SCAR troopers show up to complicate things with their deadly set of skills.  Even if they were set up to be defeated by the good guys, we do learn an important thing about this squad by the end of the volume:  They never leave empty handed, and that’s going to cause some long-term problems for our heroes.

 

Art for the main arc is provided by Jorge Molina who has improved considerably since his very busy work on “Wolverine and the X-Men” and “X-Men:  Legacy.”  Here, he adopts a style that’s closer to Stuart Immonen’s which does give the arc a lot of energy even if it serves to remind you that the latter is one of the best there is.  Mike Mayhew returns to provide art for the “From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi” interlude and it’s another reminder that he can do incredible work when given enough time.  The story itself is fairly “meh” as these Kenobi flashbacks have been, though seeing the old Jedi take on Black Krssantan does perk things up a bit.  It also appears to offer a bit of closure for these flashbacks, so maybe we’ll see Aaron try something more interesting whenever he needs to slot a single-issue story into his run.

 

jason@glickscomicpicks.com


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