TIE Fighter #1

Star Wars: TIE Fighter #1 (of 5)

Writer: Jody Houser
Artists: Rogê Antônio, and Michael Dowling
Colorists: Arif Prianto, and Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Elia Bonetti

TIE Fighter #1 is an odd one. First off, the comic contains two stories, so instead of a full length comic, you’re getting a short introduction and a backup story. The primary story begins to introduce the pilots of Shadow Wing and the mission they’re going on. It’s kind of disjointed in both introducing the characters and in the flow of the dialog. Everything feels like quick bursts and then the comic ends with “to be continues in TIE Fighter #2.” I have to admit, I was not impressed.

The comic focuses on Squadron 5 aka Shadow Wing. Of the five characters, one of them is a returning character you might be familiar with, Lyttan Dree. He’s one of the bald guys from the Han Solo – Imperial Cadet mini-series. The issue opens with a brief chase of a rebel pilot, who Senior Lt. Jeela Brebtin is able to take out. What we see of her is a cold, focused and ruthless character who is not here to make friends or chit chat. Lyttan is still the easy going chatty one, though I’m not sure he has any friends in this unit. There’s a couple in squad, Flight Officers Zin Graw and Ganem Kahi. Zin is protective of Ganem who isn’t always careful about what he says, which could get him in trouble with any over zealous Imperials who might rat him out and report him. Zin also gets featured in the backup story in this issue which reveals she might be a rebel spy, or rebel sympathizer. Rounding out the squad is Second Lt. Commander Teso Broosh. The only thing we learn about him is that there’s a rumor he’s willing to sacrifice the lives of his teammates in order to ensure his own survival. There’s a mysterious sixth member who is picture but not named, so I’m not sure how important they’ll be or how long they’ll be around.

So this is the “elite” squad we’re given. To be honest, they don’t seem elite. Their commander, who is nicknamed grandmother, actually mentions that they haven’t been flying together long. The way the story is presented, it feels like the pilots don’t know each other that well either. Regardless, they’re sent to escort a maintenance team that is going out to repair a Star Destroyer with hyperdrive issues. When they get there, they realize it’s worse than that. The Star Destroyer attacks them and launches TIE fighters which also attack them. The issue ends there right before the action starts.

From there, the backstory kicks in stating “a few days ago.” We see some TIE’s fighting an A-wing and we’re introduced to Lt. Quell and Zin Graw. They have a brief conversation, then there’s a panel of Zin walking down a hallway with some off colored panel inserts showing dead rebels and some orb like thing being destroyed. It’s not clear if these are images of Alderaan being blown up, the first Death Star, or something else. Zin goes into a closed and opens up a secret compartment to pull out some kind of transmitter device and says “This is Imperial pilot Zin Graw of the 204th. I’m ready.” Then there’s an image of the Rebel sigil and the words “A Beginning…” So I guess we’re lead to believe she’s some kind of rebel. The problem is that the way this story is told, and the main story, all feels disjointed. It not a nice, fluid story that’s easy to follow. It comes in bits and pieces. On top of that, what little we get to see of the characters isn’t enough to really invigorate interest. The pilots don’t feel elite, they don’t feel interesting, and with so little to go on, the issue falls short of satisfying.

The artwork isn’t too bad, but then again, there’s parts where the artwork perhaps isn’t clear enough to make the story apparent. This adds to the confusion. As is, I’m hoping this series gets better. It’s only a five issue mini-series and it sounds like they might all be getting backup stories. This one was a shaky start and I give it a two and a half out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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