It’s easy to forget there are those in the Star Wars universe who aren’t part of the Rebellion or the Empire, but thankfully there are annual issues like this that fill in the gaps. Leia is on a secret mission and in need of help. Can she make it out alive, and is it good?
Star Wars Annual #2 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read our exclusive preview to find out!
Why does this book matter?
Writer Kelly Thompson is an artist I’ve learned to keep an eye on due to her work on A-Force, Hawkeye, and Storykiller to name a few. She has a clear voice and is quite good at dialogue. Meanwhile artist Emilio Laiso has popped up on my radar with 3 Guns and Hack/Slash, as well as his more recent Gods of War Civil War II tie-in. Hand them a longer annual issue and you’re bound to get a little magic.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Somebody works out.
Though Leia graces the cover and is the focus of the summary, it’s a new character who has suffered due to the war that steals the show. Her name is Pash, she’s muscular as hell and a handy tinkerer who happens to have Leia fall into her lap after being injured. The story establishes Pash’s reluctance to help or get involved in any way with the Rebellion, which gives the story a unique feel compared to most Star Wars comics. Thompson develops the character over the issue, playing with her reluctance, fear, and frustrations effectively. By issue’s end you’ll want to see more of Pash due to her strong characterization, but also because she joins only a handful of new Star Wars characters.
Leia isn’t a bystander by any means; though she is limping along for much of this issue, you get a strong sense that Thompson understands Leia’s unique point of view. One can only imagine the guilt and determination she has after seeing her home planet destroyed which is touched on nicely here.
Laiso’s art has an appealing look with inks that give the characters a cel-shaded look which gives them an ounce of cartoony feel. Backgrounds and environments have a very realistic look which makes the characters pop. The colors by Rachelle Rosenberg have a more muted tone due to the browns and grays used to show the shantytown Pash lives in. Pash’s right hand robot friend is quite fun and the design is just as clever as any robot we’ve seen in the movies. Pash herself has a unique look comparatively to other characters in the universe (I can’t for the life of me think of a muscular man like Pash let alone a lady). Leia is probably more hips and butt than we’re used to seeing her though for the most part she’s right on target.
Sweet opening page.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This annual lacks action with only two sequences of the stuff. The first is well choreographed scene that’s short and sweet, but the second is a bit longer and bigger in scope. Unfortunately the scene is hard to track and difficult to follow. Underwater scenes are difficult to begin with and this one lacked the dramatic tension due to the difficulty to follow.
Is It Good?
If you like character introductions you will love this annual. Star Wars gains a new and vibrant character that you’ll want to see more of soon. The general narrative is strong, reminding us of what’s at stake for Leia and what she’s fighting for too.