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Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1

Cover: Ben Caldwell
Editor: Randy Stradley
Released: 07/08/2004

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/21/2004)

SUMMARY:

(From the back cover): "Inspired by the Cartoon Network's Clone Wars cartoons, this new series uses the television show as a jumping-off point to tell new stories of heroism and villainy in the same stripped-down visual style."

This issue came out 5 days after a Free Comic Book Day preview (which is not included in this volume). This issue include an Obi-Wan and Anakin story, a Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin story, and a Kit Fisto solo story. It is advertised as a trade paperback, but is actually a digest-size, 96 page format. Only problem it doesn't fit in with the rest my comic book collection.



"Blind Force"
Story: Haden Blackman
Art: Ben Caldwell
Coloring: Ben Caldwell
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

SUMMARY
About five months after the Battle of Geonisis, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to Nivek to investigate a suspected cache of Confederacy weapons. The "night planet" is inhabited by Shadowmen, who live in the dark. The darkness gives them an advantage over the Jedi, until Obi-Wan and Anakin learn to use the Force instead of their eyes.

THE STORY
This is a pretty nice stand-alone adventure, and is faithful to the cartoon series. The darkness is a cool plot device that forces the Jedi to think on their feet. There is a nice parallel to the time when Obi-Wan will teach Luke to do the same thing in A New Hope. The blindfolds not only help them concentrate on the Force, but also blind them to the scenes of carnage that ensue. Jedi can be a bit dangerous in battle, as you see them charge the Shadowmen and body parts are flying out everywhere. Reminds me of the movie Pitch Black with lightsabers.

THE ART
The art is, of course, in the style of the cartoon and it is faithful to that. It's what's to be expected, so since I like the cartoon I also like this art. The Shadowmen, a new species, look like generic inectoid aliens, but they remind me a bit of the cartoon version of Asajj Ventress, for some reason.


"Heavy Metal Jedi"
Story: Haden Blackman
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: SnoCone Studios, Ltd.
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

SUMMARY
Set during the Battle of Ikotch, Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin discuss the differences between speed and precision (Mace) and strength (Saesee) while fighting off an army of battle droids.

THE STORY
This story finds Master Tiin on his homeplanet, alongside Mace Windu. It's a pretty simple but effective story about two different aspects of combat. They fight battle droids, super battle droids, dwarf spider droids, and a new type of super-super battle droid which seems to be 15 feet tall. One scene I really liked was when the giant droid is force-pushed by the two Jedi, seen from his point of view that indicates the distance to the target. Pretty innovative. Not much is said about the Battle of Ikotch, though, and is to my knowledge the only reference to that even so far.

THE ART
Matt and Shawn Fillbach's art is, again, pretty faithful to the cartoon, but at the same time different. It is also different from Caldwell's art, with much thicker lines. What's up with the creases around Saesee's mouth all the time?


"Fierce Currents"
Story: Haden Blackman
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: SnoCone Studios, Ltd.
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

SUMMARY
After defeating the Quarren leaders on Mon Calamari, Jedi Master Kit Fisto suspects that there is another force behind the still resisting enemy forces. After overtaking the main command centers, Kit finally faces off with the real being behind the attacks.

THE STORY
This story seems to take place right after Chapter Five of the cartoon, which had Kit Fisto helping the Calamari fight off the Quarren who had just allied themselves with the CIS. That would mean that it takes place early in the 5th month after the Battle of Geonosis (as indicated in the inside fron cover), since the cartoon takes place in the 4th month. The story also introduces a new race of sentient beings on Mon Calamari, the Moappa, who look like pink jellyfish who form a collective consciousness when banded together. It's a pretty good morality tales as well, with Fisto instructing the Mon Cal to try to share the planet with its other inhabitants instead of be the dominant species.

THE ART
The color effects for the water, lightsaber, holograms and moappa are pretty nice. Again, the Fillbachs display their own style while staying true to the tone of the cartoon.


CONCLUSIONS

Do I need to say it? If you liked the cartoon series, and can't wait for Season 3, pick up this series. It's worth it.

Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended

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