So promising and yet so disappointing.
The review was originally posted to my review blog here.
I’ve read several Star Wars comics over the years. They’ve ranged from the super-serious to the serious to the not-so-serious to the funny to the disappointing. John Ostrander’s Iron Eclipse falls somewhere between the not-so-serious and funny, with a touch of disappointment. It has a great premise in that Jahan Cross is an agent of the Imperial Intelligence network under the great Armand Isaard himself (the name might be familiar to long-time fans of SWEU; he is the father of Ysane Isaard from Mike Stackpole’s X-wing novels). Where Iron Eclipse fails to impress is that the entire novel reads like a James Bond pastiche knock-off.
Jahan Cross could be James Bond in Star Wars, literally, and I wouldn’t bat an eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love James Bond and I mostly like Ostander’s script for this 5-issue limited series, but the characterisation is just atrocious. Jahan says dialogues that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond movie. Armand Isaard is pretty much M here, and we even have a character who parallels Q! There are also “Cross Girls” aplenty (in imitation of Bond Girls), and their characterisation is also cliched and uninspiring. The narrative is the driving force here, and I loved reading this detective-style take on the Star Wars mythos, but it failed to work for me.
Stephane Roux, Julien Hugonnard-Bert, Wes Dzioba and Michael Heisler are the artists for the series, with Dave Wilkins providing some of the alternate covers. In the main, I like the artwork, which is just as vibrant as anything else I’ve seen from Dark Horse’s various Star Wars titles. All the characters have great expressions, the panels are pretty much always detailed, and this is one good looking graphic novel.
There’s a lot of promise here and Ostrander sadly fails to deliver.