The Force Awakens #4
The Force Awakens #4 (of 6)
Writer: Chuck Wendig
Artist: Luke Ross
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo
The Force Awakens #4 doesn’t offer much, but it does have a really nice cover. Unfortunately the art takes a step back as Luke Ross returns for the interior panels. The story sticks solidly to the movie, with just a little bit extra for the Force vision. However, in the end, it’s really not worth the $3.99 unless you are an uber comic geek or hardcore collector.
Upon opening the issue, my biggest disappointment was seeing Luke Ross’ name them as the artist. I was really happy with Marc Laming interior art in the last issue and I was hoping he was going to be replacing Ross for the rest of the series. It would have been awesome to see Laming tackle Rey’s Force vision. Sadly, we get Ross, and his artwork is less than satisfying. His simple style just doesn’t deliver the gravitas that this adaptation deserves. The layouts are fine. In fact Ross has a knack for doing good layouts. But his illustration skills are up to the high standards I’ve seen from other comic artists. Throughout the issue, Ross struggles to capture the likenesses of Rey, Finn and Han. On the plus side, he does do a good job with Maz Kanata and Kylo Ren. Even Hux gets some creepy and well done illustration. But Maz and Hux aren’t the stars of the movie.
Some of the panels are pretty lackluster in their visual impact. There’s a rushed panel of the First Order Stormtroopers clustered before Hux that has barely any attention to detail. There’s the shot of the X-wings coming low across the lake which also lacks detail. That one is followed by a closer shot, showing the X-wings in larger focus, but without much more detail. The next page shows off Poe zipping around the sky and shooting down enemy fighters. The layout would have been perfect if a different artist did the panels, but with Ross behind the pencil, it just lacks any punch.
The story does its part and keeps thing going along with the flow of the movie. The major scenes are covered and Chuck takes readers from Rey’s Force vision to the aftermath of the Takodana battle. The only interesting dialog comes in the Force vision. Some of it is familiar, but some of it is very different from the movie. Most notably, Obi-Wan says, “You will be tempted. But you can learn. The Force will be with you…the dark side…the jedi…you will do it alone.” It’s interesting because that particular phrasing of the dialog is different from the movie and is absent from the novelization. Supposedly the story group is overlooking the comics now since they’re canon, so it leaves one to wonder if those new lines for Obi-Wan are considered canon or not.
Ultimately, The Force Awakens #4 doesn’t offer anything that’s worth the money the issue will cost you. This is pretty much an item for hardcover collectors. With only two more issues to go, this adaptation is fairly disappointing so far. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Art is in the eye of the beholder, so it may be worth your while to check it out and see if it looks like something you might enjoy. Personally, I’m giving this issue a two out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.