Review – Force Unleashed Graphic Novel

Force Unleashed or Force Diminished?

Force Unleashed or Force Diminished?

Who’s it by:  Writer: Haden Blackman Art: Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Wayne Nicholls Colours: Michael Atiyeh

What’s it about?

The Graphic Novel adaptation of the video game – here’s the blurb:

Now it can be told: after the birth pangs of the Empire, Darth Vader took on a secret apprentice. Sent on deadly missions to track down and destroy the Jedi, this apprentice helped shape one of the darkest times in the history of the galaxy. Revealed here are his origins, the extraordinary missions he undertook, and the awesome decision he was forced to make that launched the Jedi, the Sith and the Empire into their fateful future. An original graphic novel based upon the new LucasArts game!

Review it:

First off, the artwork is strong throughout this book. To be honest, I’ve come to expect this from all of Dark Horse’s Star Wars books from the last few years and I was pleased that this didn’t disapoint. Vader is undoubtedly Vader here and he appears powerful in all his appearances. Known characters are recognisable – though the Emperor is a little disappointingly drawn for my tastes. Juno Eclipse is as pretty as she should be and there’s a slightly gratuitous arse crack shot about half way through that made me chuckle. I say gratuitous, but given the situation, perhaps it was justified!

The only art related qualms I have is some of the depictions of Force Powers and lightsabre duels seem a bit static or unimpressive considering this is “The Force Unleashed”. Oh – and the big kiss doesn’t seem that big. Not that I’m a romantic – it just would have really helped sell the emotion if it was a bit … more.

Colour and lighting effects are strong throughout – Force Lightning has never popped off the page so well – Mr. Atiyeh should be commended.

Onto the story and writing. As with any graphic novel or comic, strong writing is required to sell the story. This adaptation of the game is told with a reflective narrative from some of the game’s support characters and this technique works really well. The dialogue does not jar and the rush through some of the action is also not as jarring as the Novel version (see review on the Geek Syndicate site!) due to this reflective nature. As with the novel, the love story is rushed and doesn’t really have me buying it, though this is far more forgivable here due to the narrative form used.

My main problem is what I thought it would be. The reveal at the end of the novel is superb, but unfortunately the visual nature of the Graphic novel means it is apparant far earlier in the tale. Perhaps a bit of side-staging would have helped here? A minor flaw though and to be fair, I was expecting it.

Rate it: 3.75 / 5 Great artwork with a few niggles and a strong plot help bridge the two trilogies. Possibly a bit rushed in places.

Dry Slaps: 0

Reviewer: WedgeDoc 


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