TIE Fighter #2 Review

by Dennis Keithly

The pilots of Shadow Wing confront betrayal within the Empire in TIE Fighter #2 and prove they are more than just pilots.

This article includes plot points for TIE Fighter #2.

TIE Fighter #2 Cover

TIE Fighter #2

Story: Jody Houser | Art: Rogê Antônio & Josh Cassara | Color: Arif Prianto & Neeraj Menon | Cover Artists: Tommy Lee Edwards | Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Production Design: Nick Russell | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

Shadow Wing, an elite group of TIE fighter pilots, found themselves in dire straights at the conclusion of Tie Fighter #1. Their mission was to protect the Imperial Star Destroyer Celerity from a Rebel attack. However, when they arrived at the Kudo system where the Celerity was stations, TIE fighters from the Star Destroyer attacked. As TIE Fighter #2 begins, Shadow Wing is badly outnumbered and they have no choice but to surrender after their carrier is destroyed. At first, Commander Broosh’s pilots are shocked with his decision, but it turns out that Broosh has a plan. He aims to carry out his mission in Tie Fighter #2.

Commander Broosh

The Best of a Bad Situation

Broosh’s decision to surrender came as a surprise to the rest of his squad. They were all prepared to die and take as many of the traitors with them as they could. When they land on Kudo, they are all surprised to be taken into custody by stormtroopers. Their initial instinct is that all the Imperials here have defected to the Rebellion. But, that soon proves not to be the case. Instead, Admiral Gratloe, the officer in charge at Kudo, has committed a simple treason. He has claimed the resources under his command for his own.

Gratloe attempts to recruit Broosh and Shadow Wing. His pitch is that the Empire is corrupt and the war with the Rebellion is too destructive. His belief is that the war will consume them all, or so he says. He claims to have given his life to the Empire, and now at the end of his career, he deserves something in return. Therefore, he is taking the mining colony on Kudo to set up a comfortable life for himself and his men. Shadow Squad sees right through his rethoric. Gratloe, despite his claims of Imperial corruption, is corrupt himself. Nearly to a man, Shadow Squad rejects his offer. Commander Broosh surprises them all again by telling the Admiral he needs a moment to confer with his pilots.

As things turn out, it was a simple ruse. Broosh is making the best of a bad situation in Tie Fighter #2. His mission was to protect and recover the Celerity, and that is what he is going to do. A full assault against superior numbers was suicide. So, he chose an alternate path. Those serving aboard the carrier gave their lives for the Imperial cause, and Shadow Squad will honor their sacrifice. The primary story of Tie Fighter #2 concludes with Jeela killing a guard with a knife she smuggled in and Broosh leading his team in a recovery operation.

Family Ties

After the primary story is told, the remainder of Tie Fighter #2 portrays a conversation between Lyttan Dree and his brother Tamu. These two were first introduced in Han Solo: Imperial Cadet as wingmates for a young Han. Since then, Tamu became a doctor while Lyttan continued serving as a pilot and is now attached to Shadow Squad. Their conversation is largely a matter of catching up, but they refer to rumors of things go come. Lyttan mentions something big is coming. This seems to be a reference to the second Death Star. Tie Fighter takes place before Return of the Jedi. The Alphabet Squadron novel will occur afterwards. This conversation, while touching, is a subtle way of foreshadowing things to come for Shadow Wing and the Empire. The scene also has a sense of dark foreboding. Perhaps Tamu and his family have a dark destiny in store.

Attack the Traitors

Final Thoughts on Tie Fighter #2

Tie Fighters #2 works in a subtle reference to a world featured in other Marvel Star Wars titles. The planet that Admiral Gratloe has taken control of is Kudo. One of its moons was the location for Age of RebellionAnakin Skywalker #1. Anakin rescued the native population from Republic bombardment after the Separatists set a trap by enslaving the locals and forcing them to work in a droid foundry there. A Kudo previously appeared in Poe Dameron Annual #2 as the leader of a band of mercenaries.

The Tie Fighter series is a tie-in to the upcoming novel Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed. The resourcefulness of Commander Broosh and Jeela are reminiscent of Iden Versio and Inferno Squad from the Battle Front II video game. They too were an elite squad of pilots with additional skills that made them ideal for commando and covert operations.

Tie Fighter #2 continues a fun story. The primary story is a compelling adventure. The side stories are interesting background to the characters. Tie Fighter provides a swashbuckling adventure from the Imperial perspective and presents several interesting possibilities for the upcoming Alphabet Squadron novel.

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