Han and Fel follow leads to find the kidnap victims while discussing philosophy. Leia makes a costly
agreement with Pestage. Tycho and Winter escape.
X-Wing is one of the few titles where characters wrestle with issues more than
with each other. I love the dilemma of the choice of freedom for many at the
cost of the few. We've seen it before, but it's good to admit that race
relations aren't eliminated even within the Alliance.
The best part, however, is the more subtle and interesting conflict and
ongoing philosophy discussions between Han and Fel. On the surface, these two
have more in common than differences. How does one weigh the merits of loyalty
vs being on the right side vs skill vs accepting responsibility? These men
have made mistakes that give their characters and edge that Luke and Leia and
even Wedge can't really have. I think that's why Fel and Mara Jade are my
favorite new characters... they're multidimensional.
There are very few new plot points in this issue. Story-wise I'm sure that a
reader could skip #30 and move on to #31 and never really think twice about
missed elements. But that's just fine with me every now and again when the
writing is this good.
Once again this issue used two pencilers, but you'd be hard pressed to notice
if you don't look at the credits. I'm sure that using a single inker and
colorist helps maintain the continuity. Hall's Baron Fel is a little beefier,
but that's OK he's a strong character. Everyone else is pretty consistent,
I've made reference to Johnson's Chewbacca before, but he's a "Wookiee Master"
in comparison to Hall's rendition. On the first page Chewie looks like some
kind of German Shepherd and in the rest of the panels he looks like a skinny
naked man. Too much fur, then not enough. This I could do without.
This style makes the dog-fight scenes seem a little flatter and less exciting,
but overall I'm enjoying the style for this arc. Coloring and covers remain
I hope this title never loses Stackpole. He can write an issue with virtually
any focus. Average art keeps this from being a truly great issue.