Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1 Paperback – Jul 20 2004
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was glad to find them online as our local bookstores and even comic book shops don't carry them!
I'm not a huge fan of the art style, but I feel the cartoon made up for this with its fluid animation. Likewise, the comic features great, stylish action shots and a good sense of movement. However, it lacks the show's visual intensity, which is perfectly understandable given the limitations of the medium.
Writer Haden Blackman has penned some of the darkest (and arguably most powerful) stories in the franchise to date (with Jango Fett: Open Seasons and Clone Wars Volume 2: Last Stand on Jabiim being two brilliant examples). The three stories in Clone Wars Adventures, however, are clearly written with kids in mind. As such, it obviously lacks the darker themes of the Republic series' Clone Wars stories. Older readers looking for a little emotional depth should best look elsewhere, but kids who enjoyed the series should find this a good enough read. CWA is therefore an ideal choice for Star-Wars-obsessed parents keen to share their interest with their children.
However, this is a bit on the expensive side for something that can be finished in 10-15 minutes. Like the show, CWA is fun while it lasts, but is over far too quickly. Furthermore, it simply isn't as compelling as the cartoon - more a fault of the comic book format than the actual writing or art. Casual fans should best steer clear. Younger readers and completists, however, might find this of reasonable interest.
1) "Blind Force" - Obi-Wan and Anakin journey to Nivek, a planet perpetually shrouded in darkness (earning it the somewhat obvious nickname "The Night Planet"). This story is an enjoyable look at the heroes' Master-Padawan relationship in the early months of the war and showcases Anakin's raw strength in the Force. It uses lighting creatively to illustrate the difference between relying on one's eyes to see and using innate powers within.
2) "Heavy Metal Jedi" - Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin engage in light banter while wiping out hosts of Separatist droids, including one serious boss droid, at the Battle of Iktotch. There's a wonderful three-page vignette mid-story. It depicts the action from the viewpoint of a super battle droid suffering the misfortune of being used as a projectile weapon by the Jedi. I had a little trouble with the art in the last two pages; there seemed to be some scale difficulties regarding just how big the boss super battle droid was, exactly.
3) "Fierce Currents" - Kit Fisto tools around underwater on Mon Calamari looking for the source of a disturbance he feels in the Force. The cartoon episode featuring Kit Fisto was a visual delight and it's terrific to see that built upon in this story. Kit discovers what is causing the unrest in the ocean and manages to leave the Mon Calamari and the reader with a tidy moral lesson at the end to boot.
The first three volumes of this series use lower-quality paper than volumes IV and up and present ads for Dark Horse/Gentle Giant products between each of the stories. The choice to eliminate the ads and improve the book quality for subsequent volumes was a good one and makes the later books feel less disposable.
Clone Wars Adventures Volume One is a quality kickoff to the series featuring three solid and engaging stories.
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