Star Wars Omnibus: X-wing Rogue Squadron Vol. 3 Paperback – 26 Sep 2007
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About the Author
Writer: Michael A. Stackpole Pencillers: John Nadeau, Steve Crespo, Jim Hall, Drew Johnson & Gary Hall --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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- Issues 21-24 - "In The Empire's Service" - Rogue Squadron finally meet their match with the Imperial 181st, the red-lined TIE interceptor wing commanded by Soontir Fel, the Star Wars Universe's Red Baron. The two face off over a pivotal world in the Alliance's push for the Imperial capital, and another powerful player is introduced in the person of Imperial Intelligence director Ysanne Isard (or "Iceheart" from the novels). This, folks, is as good as it gets, and the story benefits from some serious fleshing-out of the Imperial side of things. 5 stars.
- Issue 25 - "The Making of Baron Fel" - Baron Fel's popularity was such that this two-parter back-story issue was unavoidable, and though it does sometimes make him look like the Forest Gump of the SW universe at times, the number of cameos often makes for a lot of fun (we even get the likes of Han Solo, Thrawn and Derricote from the novels). The artwork is a pleasant surprise too. Steve Crespo doesn't have Nadeau's knack for tech but he nails the characters. 4 stars.
- Issues 26-27 - "Familly Ties" - this whole story might be the nadir of the series, and could have all been replaced by a few panels of exposition elsewhere. A needless detour through Corellia to try and save a new ally's family is hampered by some of the ugliest artwork the series has seen. Luckily, Stackpole quickly gets his mojo back. Unfortunately, the art will soon plumb new depths. 1 star.
- Issues 28-31 - "Masquerade" - in this deceptive tale, Rogues try to set-up a secret meeting with the Emperor's fallen second, Sate Pestage, while Iceheart consolidates her power. They also set up a decoy mission. But things quickly get tricky as old enemies resurface. This is one of most fun adventures in the series, so it is a tragedy to see it hampered by such dismal artwork. If you thought Hall and Johnson did subpar work in Family Ties, prepare for Johnson going solo... this man should never illustrate another comic again. 4 stars for the story, 1 for the artwork.
- Issues 32-35 - "Mandatory Retirement" - it all comes to an end in this beautiful battle. A doomed mission to save a possibly doomed ally, yet for all this, this last story is full of heart and personality, particularly in a first issue that focuses on Rogues enjoying R&R and each other's company. At this point, they are so well developed and lovable for their individual characters that you could imagine yourself enjoying a series where this is all they do... but then the action kicks in with ultimately heartbreaking consequences. Stackpole is at his pinnacle and so is the artwork, fusing Nadeau's peerless tech with Crespo's lively characters. 5 stars.
And with that, the X-wing comics are over. If this is your first time with them, have patience with the rockier patches: the end result is infinitely rewarding.