Review: Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars Battle Tales TP (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artwork: Derek Charm, Arianna Florean, Mario Del Pennino, Megan Levens, Valentina Pinto, Davide Tinto, Philip Murphy
Colours: Luis Antonio Delgado, Valentina Taddeo, Charlie Kirchoff, Valentina Pinto, Thomas Deer, Rebecca Nalty
Letters: Jake M. Wood
Release Date: 27th January 2021

Star Wars is a franchise that needs no introduction. If you haven’t heard of it then you’ve very much been in a galaxy far, far away. Whilst the successful recent movies might have divided opinion, The Mandalorian – not to mention the announcements of much more from Disney in the future – has has brought a resurgence of attention to the franchise. I’ll admit that following the conclusion of Mando, I’ve started to binge the Clone Wars animated series, and as such was excited to give this new trade from IDW a go.

The Adventures line is considered canonical, and is pegged as an ‘all-ages’ product, a tag which can bring a bit of negativity and derision as a comic which is seen as being aimed squarely at kids. That said, how many of us, whether we admit it or not, still love recapturing our youth and enjoying some light-hearted adventure? And that right there is what this collected set of tales does well. From the opening on Hisseen, set before the Battle of Christophsis, through to battling Grievous on the cold snowy moon of Caliban, this is chock full of blasters and the ‘phwoom’ of lightsabres. If you want a paced, taut plot, then this probably isn’t going to be your thing. If you want plenty of quips, set pieces, and annoyingly cute aliens though? Well, step right up.

For me, this ticks all the boxes that you could want from this kind of product. Sure, it might play it safe, but it’s difficult not to read the words of Cody or Rex without hearing Dee Bradley Baker’s voicing, or experience that nerdy ‘squee’ from the lightsabres or ARC jet packs. Of course, there’s a lot of established material which writer Michel Moreci and his expansive and varied artistic team lean on here, but the final product looks good and is, most importantly, fun. It’s also a chance for some more Plo Koon who I have a real soft spot for!

Speaking of looks, it’s hard to sum up all of the talent on display throughout the course of this volume. As a bit of an ensemble work, the styling and personal choices do chop and change a bit with each chapter. I appreciate the chance to see different takes on what could be considered the ‘codified’ look of the Clone Wars era, but I do appreciate some might find it a bit jarring. Some of the most effective panels for me were the simplest. The choice of bold thick lines with the vibrant contrast of colour on the troopers’ armour or Jedi splashes really popped and evoked that classic four-colour action feel.

Overall, this is a solid little book. There’s no subversion of expectation, but with this there really doesn’t need to be. Moreci and the team deliver more of what makes the Clone Wars tales so enjoyable, and I would be surprised if most fans didn’t find themselves enjoy this. My younglings are still a bit young to have been bitten by the Star Wars bug, but it’s definitely one I could easily see us reading together.

Rating: 3/5.


The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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