Fighting in a war sucks, fighting a Civil War is even, uh, suckier!
Cover Art By: Brad Anderson & Jan Duursema
Art By: Brad Anderson, Travel Foreman & Michael David Thomas
Written By: John Ostrander
The idea of a young soldier being thrust into a war he doesn’t understand and slowly adjusting to his/her surroundings isn’t anything new. Taking said idea and planting it in the Star Wars universe opens up a tried and true storytelling method for some interesting variations. It’s a simple concept, but taking a storytelling method that works and adapting it to an existing science fiction/fantasy franchise isn’t always guaranteed to work. Luckily Noob was in the hands of John Ostrander and he did a fine job adapting said method to Star Wars.
What Ostrander does that is often hard to do in such a short amount of story time is add moral and emotional depth to what is occurring on the pages. It’s not enough that we are told that what the 407th is being asked to do is morally dubious and taxes them emotionally, we are shown this. In a short amount of time we grow to know the Stormtrooper’s in question as well as their commanding officer. By creating a relationship between the characters and the reader Ostrander ensures that when he does pull the emotional strings or ask the big moral questions we care, he has given us no choice but to care.
It is sad in a way that Darth Maleval is disposed of so quickly. He is one of the coolest looking and most interesting of the new Sith we have been introduced to. We don’t learn much about him, but for his purpose in the story we don’t need to know much about him. He is a Sith, he creates conflict for those under his command, that is all we need to know to facilitate the story. At the same time in his limited page time Maleval piqued my interest, and I hope that maybe at some point there will be more stories featuring him.
In the story arc Commencement for Knights Of The Old Republic I was rather hard on Travel Foreman’s work on the one issue he penciled. I’m happy to say that in a one-shot setting where he isn’t trying to blend in with another artists work Foreman shows marked improvement. In Noob his art feels right, it doesn’t feel like some sort of weird alternate universe of an already existing story. Noob constitutes a ragged type of war story and Foreman’s rough lines and edges help to further that ragged feel.
Admittedly I haven’t read many of the Legacy one-shot stories at this point, but not only is Noob the best of those, it may be the best of what I have read of Legacy so far. Noob is a simple story, but in its simplicity it has a loud and clear voice that manages to ask moral questions of the reader and to hue the issue with emotional underpinnings. Maybe there is a Legacy story out there that is better than Noob, but I have yet to find it.