Monday, January 29, 2024

Between Books - Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago....Volume 5

Cover for Star Wars Onmibus: A Long Time Ago Volume 5 showing a stormtrooper brandishing a blaster with assorted aliens in the background.

Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago...Volume 5 published by Dark Horse captures the final issues of Marvel's original Star Wars comic run, with issues 86 through 107.  But would this final volume capture the same magic of earlier volumes.

Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago....Volume 5 continues to deal with the Rebellion's decisions after the end of the Galactic Civil War.  The Rebellion has become a Republic, and they no longer have the clear cut villains of The Empire.  Instead, the Rebels attempt to create a new galactic government in the face of new violent planetary struggles.  Finally the Republic is forced to come back together to face a new enemy to freedom in their universe, the Nagai.  But the Nagai's history may not seem to be all that it is!

The ending of the Marvel Star Wars comics is mostly helmed by writer Jo Duffy with typically Cynthia Martin providing pencils.  Honestly, this duo somewhat is lacking from me.  I continue to applaud Duffy for her attempt to create a story of what happens to the rebels after victory.  I honestly love much of Duffy's Marvel contributions.  But in the end she is forced to create a new enemy, like other writers, to unite our heroes.  But at times the results seem somewhat comical with the Tofs and Hiromi.  If anything it at times appears and feels cartoony with the Martin pencils.  And maybe that was the point with the title taking on a more kid focused approach, like a Saturday Morning cartoon.  And in the end, I guess comics are for kids...mostly.  And perhaps in an attempt to conclude the story, the final issues at times feel rushed and with plot holes.  And I know it was the 1980s, but there is an attempt to link a female character romantically with her former male abuser that makes my skin crawl.

I do have to say that the opening issue, "The Alderaan Factor" written by Randy Stradley who would go on to be a Dark Horse Star Wars comic legend is fantastic.  The story is emotional and dark, leaving adult readers satisfied with a well-told and thought provoking story!

These Dark Horse editions are well out of publication with Marvel taking publication rights for these stories back and including them in their Epic Collections.  Today a paperbook copy of this collections costs over $200.  That leaves me recommending the Kindle version, unless one is a competitionist!

Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago...Volume 5 is honestly not as strong as earlier contributions to this series.  One at times feels as if writers were struggling to tell a story in a new and unworn path in the post Return of the Jedi galaxy.   One has to applaud the efforts.  But in the end it is easy to see why this series was one that Marvel no longer saw as a key title after over 100 issues.  Perhaps, there were simply too many Zeltrons! 


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