X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition
X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition was the first arc in a 35 issue arc concerning the lives of the members of Rogue Squadron. These first four issues, forming the "Rebel Opposition" story arc, were never collected in a trade paperback, but were published in the first Star Wars Omnibus in 2006.
The Rebel Opposition serves as an introduction to many of the members of Rogue Squadron, and the adventure itself is a shallow excuse for average action sequences. The book is an adequate introduction to the Rogues, and little more. Rogue Squadron is sent to track down a convoy and make contact with a Rebel agent, codenamed "Targeter". Predictably, the mission quickly goes awry, and the Rogues must ally with the local splinter faction in order to fight against the Imperials on the planet of Cilpar.
The Rogues for the purpose of this comic consist of famed Alliance hero Wedge Antilles, movie characters Wes Janson, Tycho Celchu, and Derek "Hobbie" Klivan. Newly introduced characters Plourr Ilo and Dlrr Nep round out the roughly half-strength squadron. The book makes a concerted effort balancing facetime between these characters, plus "Targeter" (revealed to be someone familiar to most Star Wars fans) and rebel leader Elscol Loro. Each gets their own sub plot, which allows each character to be more properly developed, but ends up hurting the overall story by causing it to become extremely choppy. The overarching thread of a traitor in the midst was a tired and predictable one, and the Imperials present little real threat. The Imperial governor is so cliche and familiar among Star Wars fans that it isn't even worth remembering his name for this review-he exists solely to be killed off, and the amount of time spent developing the character (none) is highly indicative of this fact.
Despite the flaws in the story, there is quite a bit of entertaining action here. The dog fights between X-Wing and TIE fighter are good, if a bit dull in places, while the Rebels taking on AT-STs and automated stormtroopers was an interesting turn of events and much more intense. The end of both villains, the spy and the governor, lacked tension, and this is not the go-to book for epic space battles (of which there are none), but the action scenes do wonders to boost the anemic plot.
The characters themselves are largely adequate. Wedge is great in his command role, displaying many of the qualities that endear him to readers of the X-Wing series of novels. Tycho, Hobbie and Janson are effective in support roles, while Elscol is a strong female lead and potential future love interest for Wedge. Plourr suffers from an all time terrible haircut, and an attitude that is both baffling and insufferable. The character's constant wise cracks and backtalking do not in any way help the character's likability, and her seemingly one dimensional character makes her easily the worst member of the Rogues. The two aliens, Wookie rebel Groznik (in retrospect an extremely unlikely name for a Wookie), and Sullustan Rogue Dllr are the only protagonists left largely untouched. Groznik gets a lame and boring backstory about owing a life debt to Elscol's deceased husband, while Dllr is barely mentioned at all.
At the end of the day, the plot was just too dull to prop up the story. The total lack of tension involving the spy- the issue is introduced and resolved in only a few pages, with little doubt as to who the traitor was- and the complete lack of an intimidating villain resulted in a comic of slightly below average quality, withstanding a few select action scenes.
The art seems to be heavily inspired by Marvel's Star Wars comics, though it is not quite able to replicate the classic style featured in so many of those works.
|This panel is indicative of both the simplistic approach to the overall comic, and the poor job done rendering Tie fighters. Also, it is incredibly over the top and unbelievable.|
|Plourr (right) may have one of the worst hairstyles in history. I still cannot figure out how this is supposed to be cool or attractive.|
|The pastel coloring will be a familiar sight for any fans of the Marvel Star Wars run.|
An underwhelming plot and disjointed artwork taint the first appearance of a mostly promising cast of characters. There is nothing memorable or surprising about this comic, and the art work is sub par when compared to more modern comics. The Rebel Opposition is a mediocre introduction to the first monthly series in the Dark Horse run.