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Republic #67 Forever Young

Story: Randy Stradley
Art: Brandon Bradeaux
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Brian Ching, Brad Anderson
Released: 08/04/2004

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (03/05/2005)

SUMMARY:

It is now eighteen months into the Clone Wars. On the Outer Rim planet Zaadja, Obi-Wan and Anakin lead an army of clone troopers to create a diversion, while young Master Tohno infiltrates the Geonosian hive to destroy the droid factory. But victory has a price.


[final cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

Dark Horse's Vice President of Publishing gives Ostrander and Blackman a break by writing a fill-in issue. Of course this is not Stradley's first foray into Star Wars storytelling. He gave us the excellent Crimson Empire and Jedi Council: Acts of War series.

Unfortunately, this issue also feels like a fill-in, as it centers only on one thing: the whole comic is about Anakin dealing with a fellow Jedi dying. But he has to accept it before it happens. Every time he voices his concerns over Master Tohno risking her life, he is told not to worry. From his Master ("She accepted this mission"), from the Jedi Council ("Masters Windu and Rancisis agreed to this plan...") and from Tohno herself ("I accepted my misison and its possible consequences"). They don't actually reassure him, but tell him to deal with it. So basically, this story centers on Anakin reliving his mother's death, but this time he tries to save her. Useless to say he doesn't succeed as the ending is predicted from page 2.

Anyway, although it feels like a quick interlude, I am looking forward to the return of the regular writers of this series.


THE ART

Bradeaux is still very good, although he doesn't really hit his stride until about the mid-point. The fight between Tohno and the Geonosians is truly stunning. The first part shows a lot of exteriors, and I didn't get a sense of vastness or distance. When the Jedi are looking at the hive and the droid army, it appears they are looking at a miniature right in front of them. Anakin's face looks kind of goofy as well. And this is probably not the artist's fault, but the setting is a bit too familiar. The planet basically looks like Hoth (even with the shield generator) with a hive from Geonosis. It's weird to see Geonosians transplanted on a different planet. Also strange is the pile of Mandalorian armor (bodies?) in the hive. I'm not sure if this is a reference to something.

The covers seems like a generic cover, with background added to fit the story.


CONCLUSIONS

Fun to read, but not necessary. It's going to be a nice bonus story in the trade paperback collection.

Rating: 6 / 10

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