Saturday, June 23, 2007


AUTHOR: Kevin Rubio
ILLUSTRATOR: Lucas Marangon

FORMAT: Trade Paperback
PAGES: 104 pages
COLOR: Full Color
ISBN-10: 1-59307-641-X

ISBN-13: 978-1-59307-641-2

Good versus Evil

This trade paperback is not a continuous story. The first two chapters are parts 1 and 2 of a continuing story. Chapters 3 and 4 are stand-alone stories. The overlying storyline that is consistent through all the chapters is that Tag and Bink are two members of the Rebel Alliance whose mistakes and misgivings end up affecting major conflicts within the Star Wars universe. They are the only two Jedi younglings who lived when Anakin came to kill them all in Episode III. They continued to help the Rebel Alliance, in spite of their bumbling nature, and have played significant roles in many of the well-known scenes from the movies. They were there when the first Death Star was destroyed. Tag and Bink were on Cloud City when Darth Vader took over Lando Calrissian’s floating world and froze Han Solo, and they were in the room when Darth Vader killed the Emperor.

I do not know what Star Wars purists will have to say about the adventures of Tag and Bink. Seeing how this comic places the two smack dab in the middle of all the action of Star Wars, there may be some folks who take umbrage at the irreverent nature of the two. So be it. This story line is not really meant to be taken too seriously and kids who are fans of the movies will enjoy this adaptation.

I only have one problem with the Tag & Bink storylines as works of children’s literature to be used in the classroom: The rare use of language. In the issue “The Return of Tag & Bink” Bink uses the word “horny”. He says “damn” in the issue “Revenge of the Clone Menace”. These are minor words, I know, and they are words that even elementary kids have heard and use, but I am not sure how many people (at least in my area of the country) who wouldl be happy to know that elementary-aged student read these words at school.

I have not read any of the other Star Wars books put out by Dark Horse, so I cannot compare this art to those. In this case Lucas Marangon utilizes a semi-realistic approach, but one with strong bent toward the caricature. That approach fits well with the comedic overtones of the story.

My Rating: Ages 12 and older
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 12 and Older
All Ages Reads: No Recommendation
Comics in the Classroom: No Recommendation

I do not have a problem with kids younger than 12 reading this, but because of the language and the publisher’s recommended age, I went with 12-years-old as my recommendation.

One of the most interesting things about this book is how it takes established scenes from the movies, and inserts these two characters into the plot. Now we can see these scenes in a whole new way. Makes for a good lesson on perspective.

Not Recommended
Star Wars (movies, books and comics) are for kids. I want nothing more than to highly recommend this series for the classroom. That whole “horny” and “damn” business has put a damper on that, and I am not too happy about it. In the end I decided not to recommend this for the classroom, even though kids have heard worse language (and many use worse language). I struggled with the decision, but when it comes right down to it, the use of the word “horny” is what garnered the recommendation.

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