COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars Annual #1 – I Was Naive | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars Annual #1 – I Was Naive

By Jeff Ayers

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars Annual #1 - I Was Naive

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Angel Unzueta

Colors: Paul Mounts


Marvel Comics

Still taking place in the grey area between the events of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Annual #1 deviates from our normal story following the main characters and their adventures, and introduces a new one: Rebel Spy, Eneb Ray.

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Ray has been working deep undercover as Tharius Demo, an Imperial lackey that has unique access to a lot of sensitive information that the Rebels can use. He talks directly to Princess Leia, who has been at the head of the rebellion since the destruction of the Death Star. They learn that anti-Imperial senators are being held in a high security prison on Coruscant, and Leia wants Ray to do what he does best: infiltrate and extract the senators at any cost.

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars Annual #1 - I Was Naive

What happens next is a series of high stakes, spy-generated action sequences, that play very well from panel to panel. Even though we don’t know this Eneb Ray character, his internal monologue helps to hold the reader’s hand and introduce his intentions, and his true nature, at a much easier pace. The craziest stuff happens near the end, when the Emperor himself of all people shows up to try and put an end to this prison break, and expose the Rebellion to a scared and subservient populace. The entire story takes place in one night, and fits perfectly into the time frame in which it is supposed to exist. There is even a slight open-ended feel to the conclusion, allowing the events that happened within the pages of Star Wars Annual #1 to possibly have reproductions on future books in the Star Wars series.

COMIC REVIEW: Star Wars Annual #1 - I Was Naive

The “Best There Is”: For a stand-alone story, and especially one that deviated so far away from the events that have been happening in the pages of Star Wars, it was refreshing to see new characters continue to be entertaining and engaging. Gillen does a great job keeping the tone from the main series, and still injecting enough new material into the mix to make it fun and interesting. The art was much more “comic” based than the main series though, trading the semi-realism for some flashy colors and action. But both Unzueta and Mounts do a great job accenting the story Gillen is trying to tell, and the entire issue makes sure you have fun from beginning to end.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: The revelation that the Emperor makes a face to face in this issue works only so-so, and that is being nice about it. All we know of this incredibly evil character is that he always has others do his dirty work, unless it is absolutely necessary for him to show his hand. This seems like a forced way (no pun intended) to shoehorn in a character we haven’t seen much of in the main series, and it really distracts from an otherwise entertaining spy/espionage type story arc. Yet, the promise of seeing both the Emperor and possibly Eneb Ray again, maybe even coming face to face, might make this first Annual have a little more weight to its playful pages.

FBI Score: 7 out of 10. It was a really fun and interesting look at another corner of the universe, set during a single night amid the three years between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  Yet the Emperor’s big reveal in this issue is slightly off-putting, and not a reveal at all, considering how he towers above the new character Eneb Ray on the cover of the book.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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