- Series: Star Wars: Rebellion, Vol. 1 (Book 1)
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse (February 27, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593077114
- ISBN-13: 978-1593077112
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Brother, My Enemy (Star Wars: Rebellion, Vol. 1) Paperback – March 20, 2007
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As the history of the Star Wars universe becomes more crowded, writers scramble to find new time periods and characters to focus on. In the first volume of this new series, set just after Luke Skywalker joins the rebellion, Luke learns that one of his childhood friends, an officer for the Empire, wants to defect. Unusual moral complexity is introduced into the mix of thrilling escapes and space battles, which are well realized in the expressive and highly detailed art. The sense of joining a story already in progress may confuse some readers, but the panopoly of spies, heroes, thrills, and action will sweep most into that galaxy far, far away. Karp, Jesse
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My Brother, My Enemy is a collection of the first five issues of Rebellion (plus the promotional issue #0), one of four new series from Dark Horse Comics launched in 2006 following the completion of the film franchise. This particular series is a retooled version of the rebellion in the days following the destruction of the first Death Star, and this volume picks up where The Wrong Side of the War (Star Wars: Empire, Vol. 7) left off, with the rebels' mathematician Jorin Sol recovering from Imperial torture. What the Rebels don't yet know is that Sol has been programmed by the Empire to betray the location of the Alliance fleet. Lt Sunber, aka "Tank," meanwhile reveals to Darth Vader his relationship to Luke Skywalker, a confession that puts Sunber on the hook as bait for the farmboy hero of the Alliance.
Following their work together on Nomad, one of the better and longer stories of the now defunct anthology series, Star Wars Tales, British author Rob Williams and American artist Brandon Badeaux prove here that they are more than one-hit wonders. Badeaux presents some exceptionally fine work, particularly in a two-page space battle, a depiction reminiscent of the opening sequence from Revenge of the Sith, as well as the uniform design for Rebel Alliance special ops, tight-fitting black coveralls with matching black helmet and insignia. Badeaux's style is so distinct that it is sorely missed in the middle chapter, penciled by Michael Lacombe (who has since taken over regular artwork on this ongoing series). The change in style is noticeable, but the switchover happens at the start of a dream sequence and by the time you're out of the dream, you've not noticed that it's the artist, and not the style, that's changed.
For reasons that are not evident from the story, Williams has written in the first person for three different characters, switching to third person for bridging scenes and for the finale. Besides having no obvious reason for this authorial conceit, especially for one of the minor characters, there seems in one case a clear reason not to use it - the reader is prematurely tipped to a character's motivation.
Where the scripter excels is in recapturing Luke's youth, who in this period is often written as an experienced pilot, fighter, motivator, strategist, and jack-of-all-military trades. In fact he should be more as portrayed here, a wide-eyed farm boy wanting to help and do well but with still much to learn and prone to misjudgment and mistakes. Williams also does a good job capturing Luke's old friend and current nemesis, Lt Janek Sunber, a boy from Tatooine who once showed some regret at having joined the Imperials but whose doubt has been consumed by a fiery rage at himself, rage he redirects at his childhood chum. A few new characters slated to reappear in future stories are so far largely unremarkable.
While not an exceptional addition to the Star Wars EU library, this first volume of Rebellion is a solid effort that holds promise for a grittier and darker version of the rebellion than we've seen previously. I'm personally looking forward to future volumes, though disappointed that Badeaux seems to have left the series for the time being.
Set in the days immediately following A New Hope, Rebellion is one of Dark Horse Comics' four new Star Wars series. Chronologically, Knights of the Old Republic takes place several thousand years before the film series, Dark Times in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars, Rebellion in the period following A New Hope, and Legacy some 100 years after Return of the Jedi.
Rebellion Volume One comprises issues zero through five. Issue Zero is a brief summary of events narrated in third-person to bring new readers up to speed. Issue One is entirely centered on Tank and deals with his inner turmoil; he no longer feels certain he is fighting on the right side of the war. This self-dialogue runs rather long for my tastes, but the art in the first issues is quite nice and the chaos around Tank as he journeys inward is an interesting reflection of what's in his mind.
Tank makes his decision on where he stands and sets off to join up with Luke and his friends. The storyline is somewhat predictable and doesn't really conclude much. The climax features an impressively large-scale battle which is quite visually exciting. I enjoy how Dark Horse continues to work prequel-era technology and vehicles into their stories, further linking the two film trilogies. One odd note is the art in the middle issue must have been drawn by different artists, as it takes a sudden left turn into a very simple style and then returns to how it started.
Several non-film characters are featured in this story arc. A segmented cyborg gangster, Raze, shows potential but doesn't have that much to do (yet). Tormented Rebel mathematician Jorin Sol is restored to the Alliance, but it is unclear whether he can be trusted after spending so long in the hands of Imperial tormentors. Luke partners up with the beautiful Rebel pilot Deena to attempt a rescue of Tank from an Imperial facility. Luke's credibility and Tank's trustworthiness are challenged by the intriguing Rebel spymaster Tungo Li.
Rebellion is slated to cover events from the Battle of Yavin to five years after, so there is plenty of fertile ground for the series creators to play in. These books overlap the era of the Marvel comics, but are completely different in tone (it is far more serious and dark in the modern comics). I assume there will be a sequel to this storyline down the road and I hope the next round will be a little more conclusive as far as the Tank/Luke relationship.