Story by Greg Pak
Art by Marc Laming
Colors by Jordan Boyd and Neeraj Menon
Lettering by VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 10, 2019
Review by: Andrew M.
Grand Moff Tarkin is deliciously evil, and if anything his presentation in this new Disney era has underscored his menace tenfold. This issue is entitled “Tooth and Claw” which suggests that this issue is unlikely to be a walk in the park…
This issue is an interesting companion piece to the earlier Star Wars novel Tarkin, by James Luceno. The opening pages hark back to the early setting of that book on Tarkin’s childhood planet of Eriadu. We see young Tarkin competing for survival in the harsh environment of the Carrion Plains, under attack from some of the local wildlife. Then we cut to the first Death Star and it is clear that we are in an issue that will be set in the period immediately preceding and during the events of A New Hope.
If any of you were in any doubt that Palpatine’s Empire was built on pure evil, Pak’s story here shows you how its leadership kept its troops in line. Also, if any of you were interested in how Tarkin looks with no shirt on, you can find out here too. Let’s just say…Grand Buff Tarkin! That particular sequence shows the reader why the title of this issue is “tooth and claw”. Nature is truly red in tooth and claw in this issue which gives an insight into the disturbing fantasies of old Willhuff. After starting off in an initial testing period for the Death Star the issue then jumps into the events of A New Hope and the destruction of Alderaan. The best scene in this issue though is left to the end when we see exactly why Tarkin climbed to the top of the Empire.
All in all this issue was fun, but a little bit far fetched. It underscores the overall vibe of the Marvel Star Wars books (with some notable exceptions) which is one of fun and fantasy, while somehow seeming a little bit out of sync with the general tone of the films and books. The secret to enjoying them is to just run with it. Out of the two Age of Rebellion issues released this week it is probably the Leia issue that I would recommend.
This issue though is a bit of high camp horror, and with Peter Cushing’s horror background maybe that’s just about right. Special mention goes to the beautiful cover art for this issue from the Dodsons.