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XWing Star Wars Handbook Volume One: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
Author: Peet Janes
Art: Arthur Adams, Edvin Biukovic, Steve Crespo, Rodolfo Damaggio, Doug Mahnke, John Nadeau, Jordi Ensign, Stan and Vince
Color: Dave Nestelle
Cover: John Nadeau
Editor: Peet Janes

Summary

Mainly text with a few pictures. A detailed study of the main characters, events and ships from the entire X-Wing comic series.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 07/04/98

On the inside, this book isn't anything like a "regular" comic book, so I won't quite be using my usual review format.

The best way to describe this book is a very focused "essential guide" book. In this case, the title could well be 'The Essential Guide to the Characters and Ships of X-Wing Rogue Squadron as they Appear in Dark Horse's Comic Series'.

The tight focus of this work is both a strength and a weakness. The text by Janes strikes a nice balance between brevity and detail. The entry for each character retells everything we learned about them in X-Wing #1 through #35. As a reader who held little interest in this series for the first few arcs, I found this very valuable to fill in the gaps of the story I'd forgotten. For a series with far more than an average number of characters, it was also nice to solidify each as individuals.

Facts learned about the characters in the movies, novels and other comics are excluded. I gave up on the X-Wing novels after the first one. This is a mistake I intend to rectify when I have the time, but I would have liked it if the text in this guide extended to the events of the novels as well. This would have broadened the scope of the project considerably, and likely would have watered down the effort. I guess I'll just have to find more patience or more time.

The art throughout by the various artists is all good. It's an enjoyable privilege for an artist to concentrate their efforts on a single image to convey the essence a character (as opposed to the occasionally mundane task of panel storytelling). The kind of quality work we've seen in the Star Wars Galaxy trading cards is what this book contains. It's a pity there isn't more of it. The drawings of the ships are particularly impressive.

While I'm sure X-Wing comic enthusiasts will find great enjoyment from this issue (loyal fans will especially enjoy the behind the scenes look provided by Stackpole and Janes), its value increases the less familiar one is with the overall X-Wing comics. If you read and enjoy the X-Wing novels, but haven't kept up with the comic series, you owe it to yourself to pick up this one issue. With it, you will be able read (in prose, not panel to panel) the back story to the novels which Stackpole always intended.

An issue like this for every comic and novel series would be very welcome, particularly if the creators care as much about their subject matter as these authors.

9.5/10. Strongly 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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