Dark Horse has handled the Star Wars license for a long time, and it’s taken many forms. Recently, they even attempted a “line wide” crossover. “Star Wars: Invasion” is the latest addition to the line. It’s a tough license to get a handle on, though. While the Star Wars films created a Universe, they were mainly centered around telling contained, pulp adventure stories. Comics are all about establishing Universes and whatever segments of that Universe that might be needed to facilitate whatever story someone might come up with. With Star Wars, there’s a litany of rules and boundaries that have been set up long ago and are pretty much infallible. That being said, there have often been great moments of fun and ingenuity in the books.
“Invasion” is Dark Horse’s first foray into the “New Jedi Order” zone of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It centers around, as far as my limited EU knowledge informs me, a set of brand new characters, and not every one is riveting. Tom Taylor has rather unsubtly put a classically spunky young woman who, in the midst of practically genocidal violence is able to not just fight but kill what has been introduced as one of the deadliest alien races in existence, oh, and with a knife. Her family though, the King and his son, the Prince, were fairly fresh interpretations of pretty shopworn archetypes.
Colin Wilson does a great job on the book. “Star Wars” comics often fall victim to inkless pencils that really should be inked. Wilson’s work, inked of course, is a really great fit. Kind of a cross between Cam Kennedy and Walter Simonson, he has, like many Star Wars artists, the unenviable task of creating new worlds no one has heard of and make them believable. Artorias, where this issue happens to take place, is plenty believable. It has shades of previous Star Wars planets, but has its own logic to it. It’s not a living Doug Chiang sketch, but it’s certainly a fine looking book.
Like a lot of Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics, this book does do a great job of establishing a galactically tense situation where our protagonists have been strewn across the galaxy. There’s a strange excitement to that sort of singularly Star Wars kind of setup and “Invasion’s” is a fine interpretation of the trope.