Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Rebellion #1

The second new title released in 2006 during Dark Horse's shake up of the Star Wars comic line is Star Wars: Rebellion.  The first issue continues the story from the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic/Rebellion #0 flip book.  The flip book itself is the next chapter in the exploration of Janek "Tank" Sunber's Imperial service which began in the Star Wars: Empire title.  For all intents and purposes, Star Wars: Rebellion is just the Star Wars: Empire title renamed and renumbered.

Despite continuing from the Empire title, Rebellion #1 does a good job of introducing Janek and his situation.  Told from Janek's perspective, the story starts with a flashback to Luke Skywalker, Biggs Darklighter, and Janek on Tatooine that established that he was one of Luke's childhood friends.  In present day, Lieutenant Janek Sunber is leading his troops during an Imperial attack on a Rebellion stronghold on an unnamed planet.  A Rebel throws a grenade which injures Janek and kills many of his men.  Janek subdues the assailant and the Imperial assault is joined by TIE Bombers which seals the Empire's victory.  During this conflict, Janek is obsessed with Luke.  Back at his quarters, we learn that he crossed paths with Luke and Luke revealed to him that he and Biggs are Rebels and Biggs died in the battle against the Death Star.  Knowing his two good friends joined the opposing side has Janek questioning his decision to join the Empire.  Later, he stops his troops from beating the prisoner he subdued on the planet, telling them "We don't sink to their level.  We show them who is trying to bring peace to this galaxy."  The prisoner finds it funny that Janek thinks the Empire are the good guys and mentions Luke Skywalker.  He tells Janek that Luke destroyed the Death Star and will lead the Rebellion to victory.  Janek is angered by this and begins beating the prisoner which his men stop.  That night, he is unable to sleep, questioning his loyalties.  In the end, he decides to deliver to Darth Vader the information he knows about Luke Skywalker, the hero of the Rebellion.

Star Wars: Rebellion #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2006)
The cover artwork is provided by the interior artist, Brandon Badeaux.  He is a very good illustrator with tight work and his interior pages are colored and printed without inking.  I like this decision since it makes the artwork more detailed than it otherwise would be and the end result is gorgeous.  It would be interesting to see these pages without colors.  The cover shows Lieutenant Janek Sunber and Darth Vader.  Vader only appears on the final page of the story.

Star Wars: Rebellion #1b - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 2006)
2nd print
Like Knights of the Old Republic #1, Rebellion #1 went back to print.  Unlike Knights of the Old Republic #1, Rebellion #1's second print is distinguishable from the first print by the red instead of blue on the cover.  The second print rarely appears on eBay and does not fetch a premium despite its scarcity compared to the first print.

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