Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Enemy Within
by Jeremy Barlow, Illustrated by Brian Koschak
Clone Wars stories are always the most interesting when they focus on the clones, and The Enemy Within is no exception. In this graphic novel, we meet clone trooper 7719 or, as he hates to be called, Banks, as he undertakes his first real mission leading a squad of troops to disable a droid command center. What’s the phrase? The best laid plans of clones and Jedi often go awry? Well, that is certainly true, as what should be a simple sabotage mission goes horribly wrong, and Banks finds himself in the fight of his life.
This book is wonderful, filled with twists and turns, and reminded me at times of the Oscar-winning film Black Hawk Down. Throughout the story, Barlow maintains distinct voices for his clone troopers, an impressive feat, seeing as they are clones of the same character. He keeps a good pace, blending action, humor, and character growth into all of his scenes. Even though this is a book aimed at kids, Barlow never dumbs down his writing for kids; instead, he writes a story that kids will easily understand, but that adult Star Wars fans can enjoy, as well.
Brian Koschak does a wonderful interpretation of The Clone Wars‘ art style. It can always be difficult adapting CG cartoon characters to static 2D comic art, but Koschak infuses his clones with attitude and paces his action scenes well. He also does a great job adding distinguishing battle scars to the clones, so you always know who is who. He should especially be proud of the transformation he gives his squeaky clean main clone, Banks, who – at the end of his ordeal – has gained several distinguishing marks that are unforgettable.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Enemy Within is a great story that focuses on the clones fighting for the Republic, and is appropriate for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re a fan of the show, the movies, or have always wanted to be one, you should definitely check it out.