As script writer and editor Randy Stradley points out in his note at the beginning of the comic book, “I didn’t intend for this to be a love letter to Doug Wheatley, but . . . ” How can it not be!? Star Wars: Dark Times is an entire gallery edition dedicated to Wheatley’s original penciled artwork. Artwork that is so beautifully drawn that I skipped most of the dialogue between panels at first, because I was entranced by each and every sketch. As a matter of fact, I firmly believe Wheatley’s drawings could stand alone without the story in between. For someone to be able to capture Darth Vader’s emotions with a simple tilt of the head takes more than just skill.
And then, Stradley introduces us to Bomo Greenbark, a triceratops-like Nosaurian who is stuck fighting stormtroopers on his home planet of New Plympto in order to give his wife and youngling a chance to survive. But, Bomo has something the stormtroopers don’t—a Jedi! General Dass Jennir to be exact. Stradley has made a touching pair out of Bomo and Jedi Jennir. While Jennir has tact and skill, Bomo has heart and pride.
It’s these unlikely combinations of characters that add to Wheatley’s stunning artwork, thus making Star Wars: Dark Times one of the most beautiful comic books I’ve had the honor to read about a galaxy far, far away. I look forward to adding this story to my bookshelf as soon as it releases, and I encourage all readers to do the same. But, don’t just buy this special edition, because you’re a fan of Star Wars. Buy it because you simply appreciate a damn good piece of art when you see one . . . or bunches . . . in panel form . . .
May the ART be with you!