Very easily argued that it is being cut down before it should be, the second volume of Star Wars Legacy wraps up in a haphazard fashion with issue #18.
With the Star Wars license heading back to Marvel it was long known that this run wouldn’t last forever, but it is obvious that fans of the world Bechko and Hardman are building are sad to see it go. Their examination of the Expanded Universe has been strong, on the whole, and it is time to say farewell to Ania and her crew. This issue has the disjointed feeling of a TV finale that is trying to tie up too many loose ends and so there are quite a few clunky moments along the way, with random moments springing from seemingly nowhere with the hopes of landing a huge impact. Because of the frantic leaping from story point to story point there is hardly any tension built, so the big moments fall flat in a way that has not happened often in this series. Fans who have been with the book from the beginning will be happy to see the storylines wrapped up rather than just orphaned, but I couldn’t help but feel cheated a few times along the way as the story darted around in almost a panicked way attempting to cover too many things and failing to wrap any of them up well.
The pacing of this issue is all over the place, with the first half of the book moving from huge event to huge event without any real connective tissue binding the story together. I’m not sure if this script was rushed or what occurred, but this isn’t up to the usual quality I’ve read from Bechko and Hardman. The dialogue is choppy and extremely forced at times, though Ania does drop some really entertaining lines at points. When the action dies down in the issue the story gets much stronger, and in true adventure-comics fashion, Bechko and Hardman leave the series open ended. There is a nice Easter Egg at the end for readers who have read a lot of Expanded Universe content, and I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers.
Brian Albert Thies’ work varies throughout the issue, and, just like with the writing, it gets stronger as the action starts to slow down. The heart of Ania Solo and her merry band shines through in the final pages and diminishes some of the inconsistencies of the first half of the issue, ending the comic on a solid note, visually. The rapid plot movement in the first half of the comic hurts the visual flow of the story and leads to some confusing images where it takes a second to determine what is happening and to whom. This breaks the flow of the story immediately, and you can’t help but feel removed from the story at those points. Some details in the background are not defined well enough to properly highlight a major plot beat, and that hurts the overall narrative of the comic. The disjointed story is matched by some equally disjointed artwork in much of this issue, which detracts from it really sticking the landing on this volume.
Star Wars Legacy Vol. 2 #18 brings the series home, even if the impact isn’t all that satisfying at times. The issue seemingly tries to cram in a ton of story in some haphazard ways, and while some readers may be happy just to see how it ends, it is sad to see it leave on this note. This creative team has done stronger work than this issue and despite what I read in #18, I do wish I could read some more adventures of Ania Solo and crew in the future.
The Verdict: 5.0/10