Written by Jody Houser and drawn by Emilio Laiso, issue 2 of 6 of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, from Marvel Comics, is another solid addition to Marvel’s Star Wars comic lineup.
While issue one had the job of covering a lot of ground to introduce the major characters and get the plot moving, issue two has a more leisurely pace and covers a smaller slice of the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Here, the search for the rogue Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook anchors the plot, as well as Saw Gerrera and the introduction of Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus in Jedha City. At the same time, high-level Imperial bickering continues aboard the Death Star between Director Orson Krennic and Wilhuff Tarkin, adding an appropriately ominous tone to the narrative.
The art continues to serve the series well, but not exceptionally. The action scene in Jedha, where the rebel heroes square off against stormtroopers and an Imperial tank, does its job but has no memorable panels, just rebels shooting Imperial troopers or hitting them with rod weapons. However, the Jedha scenes do have a flat, brownish tone and a slight haze that effectively make the desert city feel real. The city’s citizens barely appear in the pages, but they look true to their counterparts in the film.
Issue two balances the action and Death Star panels with the emotional weight of the film, when Jyn faces her old mentor Saw Gerrera (and all their unresolved tension) and Galen Erso’s heartbreaking hologram message to both the Rebel Alliance’s commanders and Jyn, when he confesses his heartache from missing his family and explains the flaw he installed in the Death Star to ensure its destruction. The final page ends on this note as the Death Star prepares to fire on Jedha. The ending feels somewhat abrupt, as issue two finishes just as the Death Star’s laser hits Jedha’s surface, and one wonders if a suspenseful panel of the Death Star’s famous laser charging up to fire may have been a better concluding panel.
Overall, issue 2 brings intimate drama and action to the comic adaptation of the feature film, and the stage is set for another four exciting issues.