Star Wars: Phantom Affair: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron) Paperback – 12 Nov 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
Sent to Mrlsst to secure a new superweapon for the Alliance, Rogue Squadron finds that the Imperial Captain Loka Hask is also seeking to aquire the weapon. Negotiations would be strained at the best of times, but Hask is responsible for the deaths of Wedge's parents.
This book goes some way to further developing all the members of the squadron, be it revealing Wedge's past or seeing Elscol trying to deal with her husband's death, whilst maintaining a healthy and interesting storyline. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the Jedi ghost, as it adds a certain ambiguity as to the morality of the Rebel actions (until, of course, the Jedi's secret is revealed). There's a guest appearance by Mirax Terrik, which adds an important link between the X-Wing comics and novels, we get to see what the Pulsar Skate looks like and there seems to be an inordinant amount of images of Mirax's pert bum...
The art changes partway through the book, with Jordi Ensign taking over. Unfortunately, Ensign's detailed and evocative artwork (as seen in the other X-Wing books) is rather lacklustre here, as if it was all done in a rush.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The art is really good, the story is really really good, and the dialogue is lots of fun. This book picks up soon after the Battle of Endor -- several weeks or maybe a month. The Rogues, in case you don't know, are the Rebellion's top fighter squadron, often called on for the most difficult jobs. Their mission this time: to buy a starfighter cloaking technology from the Mrlssi. When they get there, however, things get complicated. Not only is there apparently a "ghost Jedi" haunting the campus, but it turns out that the Imperials have also sent a delegation to try and obtain this technology. And the real catch -- the head of the Imperial delegation happens to also be the guy who essentially murdered Wedge's parents when he was a boy. And it thickens from there, but I can't really say more without spoiling things.
Aside from giving us a great, fun plot, this book also reveals more about Wedge's past than I think any other book or comic has. Plus, of course, there's a plethora of action sequences, and of course all the characters are in character, trading their customary amusing witty banter. And Mirax Terrik (from the X-wing novels), along with her ship the Pulsar Skate, appear here, giving readers a visual reference for her character.
And this book doesn't skimp on extras either. There's a little introduction by Stan Sakai, an extra page giving us some background on and schematics of the X-wing fighter so we'll know what we're looking at, plus, accompanying the cover gallery are several pages of character design sketches. Very cool.
This is one of the best X-wing comics, one of the best Star Wars comics, that you can buy. And I recommend you do so. You won't be disappointed.
The Phantom Affair, collecting issues five through eight of the series, manages to avoid all of these pitfalls. The story, crafted by Michael Stackpole (author of the first four X-Wing novels) and scripted by Darko Macan has everything a Star Wars fan craves: action, humor, and (most importantly) a multi-layered, intelligent plot.
The story follows Wedge Antilles and his group of intrepid pilots to the planet of Mrlsst, where they are to bid on behalf of the New Republic for an item that could greatly alter the war: a miniature cloaking device. When representatives of the Empire, including a dark figure from Wedge's past, arrive to bid on this very same device, the team of pilots are thrown into a web of intrigue that provides plenty of action.
The artwork, provided by Edvin Biukovic, John Nadeau, Gary Erskine, Jordi Ensign, and Dave Nestelle is nothing short of brilliant. The style is something akin to Moebius or Geof Darrow, with intricate details provided in practically every frame. The characters are very well defined; each one has his or her own distinct look instead of being the same stock drawing with a different shade of hair. A good deal of "in" humor can be found in the artwork as well. For example, George Lucas makes a guest appearance, his camera equipment being carried by two cloaked Jawas.
Fans of Star Wars (particularly Stackpole's X-Wing series) will no doubt enjoy this book; it's a great, full-throttle ride through the Star Wars universe that will leave them satisfied at the last page, but still wanting more.
The art quality is simply astounding. Facial features differ with character and emotion. Even the background is not left to waste. Look carefully and you'll see just how much work and creativity there is: how every spare space is utilised, even if it's just to have pedestrians or surface features. The sheer variety of aliens, both familiar and merely exotic, is both appreciated and well done.
Dialogue is great. Everyone has a part, everyone contributes to some effect. And if a character has no purpose in that given situation, no problem, give him a witty line and there you go! Plenty of humour will have you smiling; Dllrr asking if the fruit around him is edible, being told it's too hard to eat, and then dropping it on a stormtrooper's head was funny.
And there were sneaky touches thrown in. How many of you thought that was George Lucas on p74, the one standing beside a Jawa holding a camera tripod, making a picture frame with his hands? Mirax dusting the step with a leaf before she sits is another.
And that page . . . where something suddenly jams the cantina music, that something being a haunting illustration of the Interdictor Cruiser you'll see turn the next page. Simply excellent.
The plot sounds straightforward but like all good stories all is not what it seems. Wedge's childhood flashback gives readers a visual link to what they have read in the X-wing books of his past.
Just a couple of minor errors though. That starfighter Wedge flies to avenge his parents is not what a Headhunter looks like. Aren't they fixed-wing? This one had X-wing S-foils. And readers may have problems with the wormhole at the end, and how its credulity affects the plot.
Be Warned! Make The Phantom Affair your first foray into this comic series and you'll see just why it's so damn good.
Stackpole had introduced us to Wedge and his band of Rogues with his 4 X-wing books written from Feb of 1996 to Feb of 1997. The Phantom Affair is the first TPB and was published in Nov. 1997 collecting issues 5 to 8. On the star wars timeline I have placed it at the end of year 5 ANH at 5.91. My feeling is that all 8 TPB's come just before the novels.
Story grade is 4.5, pencils vary but get a 4, ink and color vary from 3 to 4, and cover is a 3 for a grade of 4 stars.
The story here is fun, but the art is a real mixed bag. Sometimes the pencils, ink and coloring are luxurious, rich and awesome. The artwork itself is consistently detailed with almost not lazy artists panels. Given the technology that existed at the time, this is one of the best TPB comics ever produced by Dark Horse. Look at the impact that Stackpole has had on the EU. This is where we meet Mirax on the time line, because the comic take place before the novels and the assault on Coruscant.
Like most people I read the novels first, then the comics. My advice today for those wishing to engage the tales of Wedge and the X-Wing saga is to start with right here with this comic. This comic is totally start alone and introduces many of the main characters that you will get to know and love. Meet Mirax Terrik, daughter of booster, Wedge, Hobby, Wes Janson, and Tycho.
There must have been some real butt kicking at Dark horse because almost everything about this comic is brilliantly conceived and executed, except the drably colored cover.