Tag & Bink Are Dead #1
Story: Kevin Rubio
Pencilling: Lucas Marangon
Inking: Howard M. Shum
Coloring: Michelle Madsen
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Lucas Marangon, Michelle Madsen
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/14/2007)
Tag and Bink are two soldiers aboard the Alderaanian consular ship Tantive IV when the Star Destroyer Devastator captures it. After almost being captured, they dress up as stormtroopers and get transported to the Death Star. They try to leave by stealing TIE fighters... twice. Unfortunately, Darth Vader needs two TIE pilots as wingmen for his attack on the Rebel starfighters attacking the space station from Yavin, and Tag and Bink are already dressed up.
Star Wars fans should be familiar with Kevin Rubio's work by now. Of course he is famous for his Pioneer Award-winning short film "Troops". Then he got to write two stories for Star Wars Tales ("A Death Star is Born" and "Force Fiction"). So writing a comic series would seem like the next logical step. Like in all his previous work, Rubio shows a talent for comedy and a great knowledge of the GFFA. This story is not a parody like "Force Fiction", it's an adventure story starring two new characters who get mingled with the events of A New Hope. Rubio created two cool characters, based on his two brothers, and gave them a cool relationship and great dialogue.
To fully enjoy this story and "get the joke", it helps to be familiar with the movie. Aptly titled "Episode IV.1", the two heroes' adventure takes place in the background or just outside the frame of the movie. Already in this first issue, we find out Tag and Bink were the two stormtrooper Obi-Wan distracted aboard the Death Star, the TIE pilots that the Falcon followed there, and also Darth Vader's wingmen who get destroyed by the Falcon during the Death Star trench run. This last one earned the series it's title, as they are seen floating in the vacuum of space in the last panel. How can it be them?
Although this is obviously a non-canon story, it is nevertheless enjoyable. The jokes about stormtroopers' peripheral visions and a great dialogue scene between the two guys and Admiral Motti are my two favorite elements. Can't wait to find out in the next issue how "Bink and Tag Live!"
Lucas Marangon has been the artist on Rubio's previous stories as well, and their styles fit very well together. The artist seems to get the writer's humor and attention to details. Although I don't really care for visual jokes like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy logo floating in space, the Dark Horse logo on the Death Star and a Big Boy statue standing in for a Death Star turbolift shaft, I do like little details like the Death Star droids (namely R4-I9 and 5D6-RA-7) and the recognizable Imperial officers. Howard Shum's inks smooth out the art nicely with clear lines which completes Marangon's simplistic-yet-not-cartoony style.
A good comedy set in right in the midst of the familiar movie.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended.