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Manga A New Hope - Manga Volume 4
Art: Hisao Tamaki
Covers: Adam Warren
Editor: David Land

Summary

Translates and reprints a Japanese adaptation of the classic film, Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope. Luke and the rebel pilots attempt to destroy the Death Star.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 12/29/98

Story
Considering the difficulties I've seen in many other comics trying to translate a Star Wars-style dog-fight onto paper, this issue did an admirable job since the Death Star trench run is pretty much the whole story here. The pacing was well done, but didn't quite match the movie pacing as well as the previous three issues. I noticed more missing snippets of dialog than in previous issues as well.

The pacing of the award ceremony felt quite rushed, and not quite true to the film. I'm not sure is Tamaki ran out of pages, or if the drawn out feel of the film turned out to be boring in translating it to paper. While still the best comic adaptation of this scene to date, it was a slightly disappointing end to an otherwise near-flawless series.

A brief version of the Biggs-Luke reunion in the hanger (as seen in the Special Edition film) was the only added scene not from the original film. The dialog was likely taken from an early script draft or from the radio drama. As in the Special Edition, the lines about Red Leader knowing Luke's father are left out.

Art
Of course, the primary marketing point for this title was the terrific manga renderings of our favorite heroes and villains. This art form lends itself particularly well to a space-opera epic like this. As in previous issues, the black and white artwork is filled with great new camera angles and facial expressions that breathe new life into the familiar plot and dialog. Particularly effective this time around is the coloring and texturing of Vader as he slips into the power of the dark side of the Force.

However, while concentrating and praising the book for its fresh take on the characters, it is easy to overlook the stunning clarity, detail and accuracy with which the Star Wars technology is drawn. The ships, droids, Death Star and other technology is quite simply the best I've seen in any comic title. Yes, it rivals even the best work in the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron series.

Conclusions
Still the best comic adaptation of a Star Wars film ever put to print. While prohibitively priced, the quality shines through. I look forward to the upcoming ESB Manga and trust that ANH Manga was required reading for the Episode 1 adaptation team.

9/10. Recommended.

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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