Review by Ian Keogh
Tag Greenly and Bink Otalina are two rebel fighters during the Luke Skywalker/Princess Leia rebellion era Star Wars. Under Kevin Rubio they’re the classic pair of comedy incompetents, basically likeable goons who at any crisis point are pretty well guaranteed to take the decision that will endanger them further. Rubio uses them to satirise the Star Wars Universe, in the opening chapter packing in jokes about the lack of peripheral vision a storm trooper has, as discovered by many a cosplayer over the years. This is because they find themselves aboard the Death Star as storm troopers, and from there are inveigled into several events significant during A New Hope, which then continues into events from The Empire Strikes Back. Plenty of familiar faces appear, but Rubio gets most mileage from Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian.
A clever aspect of the entirety is that once you’ve grasped the basic concept of Tag and Bink’s personalities you don’t have to have anything but the most basic knowledge of Star Wars continuity to appreciate the comedy. Obviously fans will get a lot more out of the content, but you really don’t need to know a lot to laugh along. Much of the material is predictable – “What’s the worst that can happen?” – but charms because of this.
Lucas Marangon’s cartooning is exactly right for the feature, keeping the known cast relatively consistent with their movie versions, saving the exaggeration for Tag and Bink, although he delves a little more into all out cartooning with visual jokes in the second story. The art looks slightly better here by virtue of Marangon inking his own pencils, although that’s a matter of personal taste as there’s nothing wrong with Howard M. Shum’s inking.
With the fourth episode Rubio switches tack, providing the story of how two less than sparkling students came to have the relevant people believe there was some attunement with the Force about them. This takes place during The Phantom Menace, with Tag and Bink really living up to that title with their trail of catastrophe. The movie characters, especially Anakin Skywalker, feature more strongly in a clever script that again doesn’t need more than basic Star Wars knowledge to generate laughs.
For whatever reason, Dark Horse let this graphic novel slip out of print, and prices for used copies have risen steadily. When Marvel reacquired the Star Wars licence, they reprinted Tag and Bink’s escapades in Star Wars Wild Space Omnibus 2.