Masquerade is the third Rogue Squadron story set in the "Rise of Isard" story arc. Picking up shortly after Blood and Honor, Masquerade at times epitomizes the best aspects of the Rogue Squadron comics, and yet at other times is just silly, pointless, and forgettable. The art, for one thing, is nothing to cheer for. It is very cartoonish, and the characters really don't look anything like their counterparts in the movies or the other X-wing comics. Hairstyles are different, facial hair is different, characters' builds are different. Still, there is lots of good dialogue, plenty of action, and many familiar faces including Han, Chewie, Leia, and Winter.
The story is pretty much that Sate Pestage is fast falling out of power with the Imperial Cabal, and so he organizes a secret meeting with Leia on Axxila to negotiate terms of surrender. Meanwhile, Winter, masquerading as Leia, travels to Eiattu with Han and some of the Rogues for a meeting of some sort. Pirates, acting under Leonia Tavira, kidnap Winter thinking they've got the real Princess, and take her to Tavira's secret headquarters on - you guessed it - Axxila. Thus begins the search and rescue mission for Winter, since the Rebels need it to seem that she's really Leia.
The story is fun. Tycho and Winter get back together, there is lots of classic dialogue, some fun space battles, and old friends as well as old enemies are reintroduced. Plourr finally returns to Eiattu, Isard is portrayed well, and all around most of that is developed nicely. However, as I've said, the artwork leaves something to be desired. In addition, all of the animosity towards Colonel Fel that was so apparent in the previous issue seems to have just disappeared. Now he's just one of the guys, getting along with everyone. There is some conversation with Han about what it's like changing sides, but I would have liked to have seen more tension there. There is quite a bit of fantastic dialogue in this issue. One more issue I have is the "Uglies." An Ugly is a concept introduced in the novels - it's a starfighter scraped together of various pieces of other starfighters, and is commonly used by pirates. I like that the concept caught on in the comic, except that every single Ugly in this comic is a "die-wing," with no variation between individual ships, which kind of defies the purpose. Oh well.
While this is not the best Rogue Squadron has to offer, it's not bad either. Recommended.