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Clone Wars Adventures Volume 5

Cover: The Fillbach Brothers, Dan Jackson
Editor: Jeremy Barlow
Released: 04/26/2006

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/31/2007)


Four more wartime tales written by two new writers and two regular ones. Also a new artist joins the Clone Wars Adventures family alongside series regulars the Fillbach Brothers. Like the first four volumes in the series, these are unconnected stories which are good for all ages, and you don't need to have read anything else to enjoy them.

[final cover]

[preview cover]

"What Goes Up..."
Story: The Fillbach Brothers
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: Lee Evandon
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

General Aayla Secura and her troops are in the Endor system investigating a Separatist outpost. When Aayla goes off on her own to find some clues as to what happened to a clone recon squad that's gone missing, she is captured by small furry natives. She finds out, thanks to a battle droid interpreting for her, that the natives believe she is a forest spirit and that she must help them defeat the "Beast in the Mouth of the Mountain". In the beast's lair, Aayla soon discovers that the creature is responsible for he missing scout team, and she uses the Force to defeat the creature, thus becoming part of local folklore.

I'm not too fond of the fact that this story takes place on the moon of Endor and that the Ewoks are discovered. But it's not too bad since the only two people who meet the Ewoks will soon after meet untimely deaths: the battle droid is crushed by the giant creature, and Aayla mentions that she'll discuss the mater with Yoda once she returns from Felucia (of course we all know what happens there). Speaking of the battle droid, what an annoying dude! He speaks not at all like a drone Separatist droid, spouting wisecracks and making fun of Aayla, and he basically plays the role of a protocol droid. I know this is a cartoon story, but it's hard to imagine a dumb battle droid would act like that. Another quickie from the Fillbach brothers, and unfortunately I don't think this is one of their best.

The Fillbachs' artwork is up to its usual standard, strongly influenced by the cartoon show but having its own distinct style. They don't try at all to copy exatly the designs from the cartoon series, which keeps it fresh visually. They get to be the first to draw some Ewoks in that style (which ironically is a more realistic depiction than the old Ewoks cartoon), and designed a new kind of giant spider/lobster beast, adding yet another one of dozens of known lifeforms native to Endor's moon.

"Bailed Out"
Story: Justin Lambros
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: David Nestelle
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

Senator Bail Organa meets with Wat Tambor on Metalorn under the pretense that Alderaan is interested in joining the CIS. In reality, Bail's mission is to free Master Shaak Ti from a high security cell.

This is a cool little story. It's always nice to see a planet from an old Marvel story (issue #30 to be exact) appear in a more recent source, although Metalorn was featured in The New Droid Army video game (for Gameboy Advance) and has been mentioned in a few comics and novels in recent years. I always like to see Bail Organa in action and there should be more stories about him and his friend Captain Antilles. So here he helps the Republic and makes an enemy of the Techno Union, which is a major member of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

I like the Fillbachs' art a little better in this one. I think it's better when they draw human characters and civilization instead of forests and creatures. It's not the best representation of Skakoans I've seen, but the Tantive IV looks decent in its cartoon-style incarnation.

"Heroes on Both Sides"
Story: Chris Avellone
Art: Stewart McKenney
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

On the mining colony Viidaav, General Grievous and Count Dooku have set a trap for the Republic forces fighting the native Separatist allies. They plan to detonate mining charges to kill all the clone troopers and the unknowing Viidaav natives in the process. But one leader on each side makes it into the bunker where the array is sending the detonation signal just in time, but only one of them will make it out alive.

A tragic little story about the cruelty of war: the Separatist leaders are willing to sacrifice their allies in order to kill an army of clone troopers. But what's tragic about it is when the two leaders, a clone commander and a Viidaav chief, brave the bunker's defenses and meet face-to-face in front of the detonation array, they both fire but have different targets. The clone commander finds out too late, after shooting the Viidaav, that he wasn't the target: either the Viidaav was a bad shot or he intended to stop the countdown for the detonation.

McKenney is a newcomer to the series, but looking at the extremely stylized designs from the cartoon you wouldn't be able to differentiate from the Fillbach brothers' work. However, this story has one unique visual trick: there are three pages which are repeated like a mirror image, but one side showing the clones, the other page shwoing the Viidaav. It creates a strange effect but it fits with the theme of the story, to show that both sides of the battle have the same intentions.

"The Order of Outcasts"
Story: Matt Jacobs
Art: The Fillbach Brothers
Coloring: Lee Evandon
Lettering: Michael David Thomas

On the planet Ragmar V, Master Sev sends his Padawan Joc on his first solo mission. The goal is to take control of the planet, a vital staging area for an upcoming assault on the Separatist base. But Joc and his troops meet resistance in a band of outlaws who banded together to stop the invaders. While attacking the village, the clone toopers receive the order to execute Order 66 and Joc finds himself on the side of the outcasts, fighting for his life.

I genuinely like this story. I think it's a cut above the usual simplistic tales of this anthology series. It has a twist on the Order 66 thing: what if a Jedi had some allies to defend himself against the clones who turn on him? What if he would become a part of those allies, who are all unwanted people rejected from various planets and organizations? with the help of the outcasts, Joc manages to kill the clones who attack him, bt there is also a Republic cruiser full of more clones in orbit... how long will Joc survive? I guess we'll never know, but it's fun to speculate.

I like the collection of motley aliens and cyborgs in this story: there are some Klatooinians, an Ithorian, a Rodian in a military uniform (my favorite), a Bith, and even a Jawa!


If you liked the series so far, why not continue the fun?

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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