Review by: dix

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Avg Rating: 3.9
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Writer: Mike Richardson
Artist: Paul Gulacy
Colorist: Michael Bartolo
Cover Artist: Dave Dorman

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.50

It’s been a long time since I’ve dived into anything in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. There’s just too much, and a lot of it isn’t very good, and I’m really tired of the Clone Wars era in general. But when I heard that CRIMSON EMPIRE was getting its long-awaited third and final chapter, I at least had to take notice.

CRIMSON EMPIRE was one of many Star Wars adventures that came in what I think of as the Golden Age of the Expanded Universe: the mid-to-late 1990s, when there was lots of cool stuff happening, but it wasn’t EVERYWHERE, and it was often quite good, and we were only talking a few novels a year and such. CRIMSON EMPIRE was never the best of those, but it was cool, and a good look at a corner of the Empire that hadn’t been explored at the time.

The good news is that CRIMSON EMPIRE III feels like it belongs to that era. It takes place a mere 13 years after RETURN OF THE JEDI, when things were sane. CRIMSON EMPIRE’s cast returns – Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn, most importantly – plus other EU characters of the era and, of course, some of the classic film characters. Boba Fett even pops up, and had you asked me ten years ago who would be a cool pair of characters to have meet in a comic, it’d be Fett and Kanos: legendary bounty hunter versus last of the Imperial Guard.

I have few gripes with the story but that the scenes with the Solo children – all refreshingly young – are kind of irritating. They don’t seem to play any unique role in the story, and I fear that as the series progresses they’ll do what they usually did in this era: stumble into the rest of the plot and force Luke to go save them. Meanwhile, Luke is training Jedi on Yavin IV (has it really been so long?), and Leia’s doing her New Republic Senate thing. So yeah. It’s nostalgic.

But frankly, the art…bothers me. Aliens and droids and ships are rendered just fine, but human faces are just terrible, even creepy sometimes. The worst examples are the occasional close-ups of characters like Luke and Leia, who have a fairly indisputable appearance because of their live action origins. They just don’t look anything like Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher. They even look a little…unhinged. It’s just not good.

I want this book to remind me what was so great about Star Wars comics and such more than a decade ago…it just isn’t gelling so well as I’d like. But hey, the cover is nice.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 2 - Average

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