Considering Dark Horse Comics will most likely lose the right to publish Star Wars comics due to Disney purchasing the property, it makes sense they would dip directly into movie continuity. That said, many fans will see this new property and think, “You’re destroying my childhood” or some such. But are they, or are we witnessing the dawning of a new story that will decidedly not Jar-Jar our childhoods? Either way, the consumer deserves a good comic to read so we at AiPT ask ourselves, Is It Good?
Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
This new series follows Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and Darth as they all move into a cramped flat in Manhattan. Will Chewie date Leia? Wait…wrong series. No, this series actually takes place after A New Hope which focuses on the characters attempting to find a home base and Darth Vader seeking redemption after the fall of the Death Star.
He’s got a lot on his mind…including Ben. Guy won’t shut up.
This issue introduces all the characters and story up until this point, in case you missed the movie, which is helpful but a little redundant. Most likely the 4 or so pages it spends recapping will be the last time the series recounts so that it can tell its story. It also does a good job establishing Leia, Luke and Darth’s hopes and fears. While the exposition is pretty heavy-handed—and really if you’ve read anything by writer Brian Wood you’ll note this is his style—it’s nice to see so much time spent on the characters rather than your typical Star Wars comic which focuses mostly on visuals and character reveals.
Did I mention there’s a lot of recap?
The Empire in a nutshell.
The strongest aspect of this issue, and most likely the entire series for that matter, is Darth Vader’s confused feelings for Luke. No, not in a weird sexual way, but his conflicting urge to love his own son, but remain the hate-mongering bastard he was born to be. It’s probably going to end up being the most intriguing aspect of this series, and frankly I couldn’t be more excited for it. Anyone who’s seen the films can attest that Darth Vader’s love of Luke sort of pops up out of nowhere and is then glossed over to focus on the action. The fact that Brian Wood is tackling it here is great news for anyone who loves the Star Wars mythos, whether this is in canon or not.
Darth Vader as seen on America’s Next Top Model.
I wouldn’t say this is a perfect comic book, mostly because it’s so damn wordy to start; that isn’t to say it’s all exposition and dialogue as there is an exciting action sequence near the end of the first act of the issue. That said, anyone expecting nonstop action should look elsewhere.
My only gripe would be with the handling of Han Solo, Chewie and C-3PO. It’s clear they are supporting characters, but their appearance in this issue felt more like a promise we’d see them again rather than anything worth reading about. As if Dark Horse stipulated in Brian Wood’s contract he must show at the very least this cast of characters whether they say anything of importance or not.
Nerdgasms were felt the second this page saw the printer.
It’s clear the handling of the property is in the right hands. Anyone who thought Brian Wood would mess this up is nuts and the cover by Alex Ross is a perfect balance of epic opera and awesome action. You can tell the people behind this series love what they’re doing. The only surprise really was how good the art was by Carlos D’Anda. His work on this issue reminded me of J. Scott Campbell, only with a lot more time and care taken with backgrounds and technology. It’s particularly noticeable in the detail of the characters, but also in Leia’s lips do I see a resemblance in styles. It’s only one issue of course, but I can’t help but think this guy is going to be better than Campbell ever was due to the incredible detailed work.
Non fans should enjoy this, fanatics will hopefully give this a chance, but at the end of the day comic book readers of all ilk should appreciate this well written and drawn comic.
Is It Good?
Yep, and aside from some frustratingly overdone recap of A New Hope this is exciting interesting and intriguing.