Princess Leia is fighting for her life in a maximum security prison with her only allies being Han Solo’s ex-girlfriend and Darth Vader’s ex-best friend. Yikes. Is it good?
Star Wars #18 (Marvel Comics)
The rebel prison has been completely overtaken and the bad guys are killing off all the Imperial prisoners. Problem is they’re looking for Aphra as Darth Vader put a bounty on her head and she’s standing right next to Leia.
Why does this book matter?
Jason Aaron has been writing some of the finest Star Wars comics I’ve ever read. His ability to capture the voice of the characters is unparallelled. This story arc has paired him with Leinil Francis Yu who can draw a mean robot and an even meaner science fiction world. Sounds like a winning combo to me.
Yeah, who is he!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue brings the heat with a ton of action, but more importantly some interesting plot twists. Characters hint at being those Leia already knows (who isn’t giddy to see a big reveal of a character we know and love?), C-3PO and R2-D2 make major appearances, and Aphra continues to be one of the most compelling new characters. This all adds up to one exciting ride.
The issue opens with Han and Luke finishing a job to recoup the money Han lost in a bet. The scene does well to establish that these characters are bonding and getting to know one another. It’s exactly what a comic set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back should do. It’s also worth a chuckle.
It then cuts to our three ladies rushing desperately to take back control of the base, but a robot seems to be putting the hurt on them real good. Aaron manages to show us how each woman is a little bit different as they have varying strengths. Combined they’re a good team and that’s a fun element seeing as Aphra is a known fugitive. We also learn more about the head bounty hunter in a really cool way. It involves an ordinary looking prisoner who killed Jedi and has a secret. I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers!
The story culminates into everything coming to a head and a satisfying win for our heroes. This all gets flipped on its head with a surprising twist in the final full page cliffhanger.
Yu is a fantastic artist and really makes these droids come alive. The main bounty hunter’s mech-like suit looks great too and the Millennium Falcon is downright gorgeous. I really enjoyed the laser fire in one shootout scene showcasing multiple colors of laser. Wait, Star Wars has more colors than red? Apparently!
It can’t be perfect can it?
For the most part the likenesses of the characters to the actors are spot on, but there’s an occasional panel or two with the characters looking not quite themselves. One in question is Leia, standing tall over two thirds the page looking great, but her face just looks off. The only other issue I found with the art was a panel with C-3PO laying on the ground. His legs look way too spread out and I’m not sure his usually stiff body should bend that way.
That doesn’t look right.
Is It Good?
Minor art quibbles aside this is an exciting issue with plenty to enjoy. The story is really coming to a head, cool plot points are dropped at opportune times and the character dynamics are interesting.