‘Star Wars’ flashback: The 10 best ‘Clone Wars Adventures’ digest stories (2004-07) (Comic book reviews)

The Genndy Tartakovsky “Clone Wars” TV microseries (2003-05) delivered bite-size kinetic tales that served as a testing ground for “The Clone Wars” (2008-14). Its comic-book parallel was the “Clone Wars Adventures” digests (2004-07), in which artists – most often the Fillbach Brothers – and colorists mimic Tartakovsky’s work and the microseries’ energy.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ digests Nos. 10-11 (2013) (Comic book reviews)

 

“The Clone Wars” digests, like their parent show, came to a premature conclusion in 2013 with Disney’s purchase and rebooting of the franchise. As with the TV show, the digests were starting to be more consistently good when they ended. No. 9, “The Sith Hunters,” which I reviewed in a previous post, is the best and most essential issue, as it fills in Darth Maul’s story between “The Phantom Menace” and “The Clone Wars.”

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ digests Nos. 5-8 (2010-12) (Comic book reviews)

“The Clone Wars” digests continue to deliver a mixed bag of supplementary material to the TV show with Nos. 5-8 (2010-12), featuring good yarns about Aayla Secura and the clones and a strong “Secret Missions” tie-in, but also a shallow Obi-Wan/Anakin/Ahsoka story.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ digests Nos. 1-4 (2008-09) (Comic book reviews)

Although “The Clone Wars” did try some adult tie-ins, such as the 12-issue comic series and a few novels, it mostly aimed for younger audiences. This is particularly evidenced by the 11 “Clone Wars” digests, sometimes called “graphic novellas.” However, these digests are not as kid-oriented as the “Clone Wars Adventures” digests from earlier in the decade, and today – given the TV series’ premature cancellation – they stand as a way to soak up a bit more “Clone Wars,” and from some pretty good writers, to boot.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars’ Issues 7-12 (2009-10) and ‘The Gauntlet of Death’ (2009) (Comic book reviews)

“The Clone Wars” numbered comics series had a surprisingly short run of only 12 issues, but it was a good one, with TV show writers Henry Gilroy and Stephen Melching penning three arcs that could’ve been TV episodes. Indeed, “Slaves of the Republic” (Issues 1-6) was adapted into a Season 4 arc. (Because of tweaks such as Ventress being dropped from the story, as Dooku had dismissed her by Season 4, that arc is a rare example of a Legends story that was rendered non-canon within Legends – ironically because it was repurposed.)

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth’ (2010) (Book review)

As she did on “Clone Wars: Wild Space,” Karen Miller again shows she’s a master of delving into characters’ headspaces in “Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth” (2010), the first of a duology that concludes with “Siege.” You won’t get complex plotting here, but you do end up with a thorough grasp of the physical and psychological stresses put on Obi-Wan and Anakin on a mission to Lanteeb, where Separatist General Lok Durd (the fat Neimoidian voiced by George Takei on the TV show) is overseeing the creation of a bioweapon.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Clone Wars: Wild Space’ (2008) (Book review)

Karen Miller’s “The Clone Wars: Wild Space” (2008) isn’t the first “trek through the jungle” novel, as it follows the likes of “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye,” “Heir to the Empire” and “Shatterpoint.” But it’s certainly the most vicious, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa get brutalized to within an inch of their lives on the Sith planet Zigoola. I remembered this aspect of the novel most starkly from my first read – and it’s the reason I dreaded revisiting it. However, it takes up a smaller percentage of the book than I thought; the duo doesn’t crash land on Zigoola until page 236 of this 342-pager.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Jedi Trial’ (2004) (Book review)

“Jedi Trial” (2004) isn’t on anyone’s list of the great EU novels, and indeed, I did put off my re-read for a while, recalling it to be a slog. However, it was a pretty easy read this time. Written by one-time-only “Star Wars” scribes David Sherman and Dan Cragg, it lacks the smooth prose and deep saga knowledge of the great EU writers, but they also offer military details not found in any other book. Also, while the Praesitlyn battle that takes up this entire book is referenced in other works, this novel’s unique characters are not, making it a fascinating path not traveled.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Labyrinth of Evil’ (2005) (Book review)

James Luceno’s “Labyrinth of Evil” (2005) is one of the EU books that was most ravaged by the continuity changes that came from the “Clone Wars” TV series that started in 2008. Still, it remains an excellent read. Set immediately before Episode III, it was designed to build anticipation for May 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” and it does that with the Jedis’ puzzling out of Darth Sidious’ identity and Luceno’s compelling prose about various prequel-era issues.

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