Published: November 24, 2021
Assistant Editor: Riley Farmer
Editor: Heather Antos
Cover Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Squad Goals, Part 2
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Manuel Bracchi
Colourist: Bracardi Curry
Letterer: Johanna Nattalie
Give & Take
Writer: Andrew Lee Griffith
Artist: Andrew Lee Griffith
Letterer: Johanna Nattalie
First, it’s a trap! Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron has been snared by the Empire. But who is the traitor and why is new recruit Ibti Myrak fighting with Admiral Ackbar on the deck of Home One? X-wings and TIE fighters clash in “Squad Goals,” part two by Cavan Scott and Manuel Bracchi.
Then, from author and artist Andrew Griffith comes a new “Tales of Villainy.” Asajj Ventress must face off with Aayla Secura, who is dangerously close to uncovering the early stages of the Death Star Project.
More Adventures, what more could anyone really ask? The first of the two stories this week sees the second part of Cavan Scott’s Squad Goals with artwork by Manuel Bracchi. Last issue, this was a wonderful read and now that I have just finished Marc Thompson reading Rogue Squadron, I’m eager to have some more X-Wing action! The second story, Give and Take is by Star Wars newbie Andrew Lee Griffith, who is both illustrator and writer. Griffith may not have done much Star Wars, but he has a fantastic style as can be seen in his work for Transformers so I’m eager to see what he can bring to a galaxy far, far away.
We return to Rogue Squadron as Scott takes a very quick moment at the start of the story to reintroduce everyone. In such a small space Scott does this very effectively, drawing in a lot of humour as well as making sure if you didn’t read the previous issue (why wouldn’t you have?!) that you know the main characters. What this story really comes down to is respect, respect for each other. I won’t lie, even though as a reader, we know that Myrak is in the right, it is still hard to see Admiral Ackbar treated as he is. Yet the people of the Rebellion are instantly at his side, supporting him. It shows just how strong their morales are. Although Myrak looks like she is acting wrong, she is doing the same thing, she is standing up for her team, not letting anyone stip her from doing what is right. One person’s rudeness is another’s life being saved. It’s an interesting comparison that Scott makes.
Once this is dealt with, the rest of the story is exactly what I wanted to see, more X-Wing action. Scott may set up the deeper thinking, but he makes sure that the majority of this issue is Rogue Squadron. There are dogfights, targeting computers and even Luke quoting Han. It’s the main things and the little things that really give this story its original trilogy feel that seeps out of every panel. Although I appreciate that there are some underlying issues that Scott wants to make readers think about, what I really wanted was some cool Rogue Squadron moments, which is exactly what he provides. Star Wars is meant to be fun, and Scott brings that in buckets to this second half of the tale.
There are a lot of things going on from panel to panel, from dogfights, to arguments, to humorous jibes. Bracchi is able to navigate them perfectly and provide an easy-to-read flow to the whole affair. Never do you feel lost reading the panels and the pace is perfect for this sort of story. There are some wonderful panels here, the one that comes instantly to mind is the half face shots of Luke and Lyle. It is used very effectively for an important moment in the story and has the desired effect.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Rogue Squadron tale with some mention of teamwork and Scott wraps the little adventure up nicely with a nod to this theme. Like other tales of the squadron that come before, it is only a brief mention, with the actions of the tale able to showcase the theme far more than any direct writing. I really hope Scott and Bracchi are able to come back to do more with the squadron, I hadn’t realised just how much I had missed stories like this.
The second tale, Give and Take, I found extremely emotional. The tale is dedicated to Katie Johnson, the daughter of 501st founder Albin Johnson, who passed away after been diagnosed with terminal cancer. This story focuses on being against all odds and still doing the right thing. That no matter what the perceived outcome is, doing the right thing will always be a victory. It’s an extremely important lesson and Griffith showcases this through Aayla Secura and her pink droid QT-KT. With the addition of Asajj Ventress, Griffith looks at the balance of light and dark and the battle that always ensues when the two collide.
What really sets this story apart is the artwork that Griffith brings. The action scenes are tremendous. The movement of the characters works beautifully, and you have some very grand movements by the characters that, as readers, we can follow without pause. The first time we see Aayla jumping ‘down’ the page just made me go wow.
Although this is a short tale, it leaves a lasting impact. The themes that are dealt with and yes, the dedication, it makes you pause as you really understand the message that Griffith is putting across. There are times when you feel defeated, when you beat yourself up for wanting to have done more but that doesn’t mean what you did do wasn’t impactful. The ending is so crucial here, for even though Aayla can’t see it, she has her friends to support and lift her up when she’s down. These are important lessons for us all.
Adventures always ticks so many boxes for me. The first tale by Scott takes me back to the original films, to the fun, the excitement and just the simple thrill of space fights in Star Wars. The second tale, one that is filled with a lot of deep themes that personally speak to me and I’m sure will to others, has some very emotional moments that are completely different to that of the first. This series has always done well at catering for all, and this comic is a perfect example of that. I always sound like a broken record, but this series really is that good.
Star Wars Adventures (2020) is an ongoing series published by IDW. This issue retails at $3.99 and is available all comic book stores in the US and Forbidden Planet in the UK.