Thanks to Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.
Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!
Artists: John Cassaday, Laura Martin
Issues: Star Wars (2015) #1
Most of my Marvel Comics Final Thoughts encompass trade paperback volumes containing anywhere from four to nearly two dozen issues, and all of them are older comics as I make my way through a good ten years of Marvel continuity.
Not so with this one! Ever since Marvel announced several new Star Wars comics as part of the new Disney-owned era, I knew I needed to see for myself. I don’t necessarily plan on keeping up with psychical monthly issues, but owning the first issue of a brand new series seems like a no-brainer (and I’m not the only one; Star Wars #1 is the top-selling single issue of the last twenty years).
Marvel recruited some of their top talent to write and draw the new flagship series and the production values are top of the line. Jason Aaron generally plays it safe as we follow the adventures of our familiar heroes after they destroyed the first death star. We finally get to see the rebellion actually pull off some subterfuge and plans of their own to fight back against the Empire, not unlike Disney’s excellent animated series Star Wars Rebels. Leia and Han bicker like an old married couple, Chewbacca grunts and growls while taking sniper shots at Vader and Luke’s slowing becoming the stoic badass that he evolves into. Even C-3PO’s stilted cadence is somehow captured in the dialogue with all the verbosity I expected.
Star Wars #1 feels very Star Wars, and that’s a great thing. I fully expected the first issue to play it pretty safe in regards to some of the most recognizable characters in science fiction, and it’ll be interesting to see how far they can stretch them while still planted firmly within the rigid continuity of the original trilogy.
Marvel is also putting out solo series, beginning with Star Wars: Princess Leia and Star Wars: Darth Vader. The dialogue-less preview pages at the end are a neat idea to hook readers in and provide some fun examples of the artwork.
As someone that saw the insane hype and popularity rise bestowed by the prequels quickly shatter after their universal disappointment, it’s been tough to fall back in love with Star Wars, even with this new regime change. At least in the comic world things seem to be moving in the right direction and I’m tentatively prepared to declare that the Force is strong with this one.