Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Reads You Review: STAR WARS #1

STAR WARS (2015) #1

STORY: Jason Aaron
ART: John Cassaday
COLORS: Laura Martin
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER: John Cassaday with Laura Martin
VARIANT COVERS: Bob McLeod; Simone Bianchi, Mark Brooks, J. Scott Campbell with Nei Ruffino; Pascal Campion; John Tyler Christopher; Alan Davis, Dale Keown; Sara Pichelli; Humberto Ramos; Alex Ross; Skottie Young
48pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (March 2015)

Rated T

Book 1: Skywalker Strikes

In 1977, Marvel Comics published a comic book adaptation of the movie, Star Wars, over the course of six issues.  Because of the sales success of that adaptation, Marvel continued publishing this comic book, also entitled Star Wars, assigning a number of writers and artists to fashion new adventures featuring the cast of the Oscar-winning Star Wars, which broke box office records.

During its run of 107 issues and 3 annuals, Star Wars the comic book series also adapted the 1980 film, The Empire Strikes Back (over the course of six issues).  The series created new stories to continue the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, ChewbaccaC-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, and new characters like Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett.  A comic book adaptation of Return of the Jedi was published in a separate four-issue miniseries.  Marvel also published two other Star Wars comic books, a fourteen-issue series, Ewoks, and an eight-issue series, Droids.  In 1986, Marvel stopped producing new Star Wars comic books.

From 1991 to 2014, Dark Horse Comics held the license to publish Star Wars comic books.  During that time, Dark Horse published hundreds of individual Star Wars comic books, paperbacks, and hardcover collections.  The Walt Disney Company bought Marvel Entertainment, LLC in 2009 and Lucasfilm Limited, LLC in 2012 (the home of Star Wars, of course), making Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm corporate siblings.  Because of that, Marvel Comics was slated to once again be the publisher of Star Wars comic books.

To begin this new era of Star Wars comic books, Marvel recently launched a new comic book entitled Star Wars.  This title returns to the period immediately following the events depicted in the original Star Wars film (also known as Episode IV – A New Hope).  That means new adventures featuring the classic versions of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca,  C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader.

Marvel's Star Wars #1 opens shortly after Luke Skywalker destroyed the evil Galactic Empire's most feared and greatest weapon, the Death Star.  Now, the Rebel Alliance wishes to press the advantage they gained over Imperial Forces and are launching a daring offensive in a bid to defeat the Empire once and for all.

Now, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 have secretly infiltrated the Corellian Industrial Cluster.  Han is pretending to be the official emissary of Jabba the Hutt, whose organization will provide the raw material that the Empire needs for its weapons factory.  Our favorite rebels are about to discover that another negotiator is also on his way, and he is someone familiar to them.

What can I say?  I love Star Wars.  I have only read a small portion of the books and comic books produced in what is called the “Star Wars Expanded Universe.”  I have occasionally bought toys, clothing, and other merchandising.  Still, I love Star Wars.  I have seen all the films (including the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film) in whole or in part so many times that only God knows the number.  I did not watch much of the old “Droids” and “Ewoks” Saturday morning cartoon series, but I have seen most of the recent animated series, like “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels.”

Yes, I love Star Wars.  Marvel's new Star Wars #1 does feel like it is connected to the original Star Wars film, at least to me.  Writer Jason Aaron is spot-on with the dialogue.  Han's dialogue recalls Harrison Ford of the original trilogy.  There are moments in this first issue when artist John Cassaday draws the characters as if he had gone back in time and was the official portrait artist on the set of Star Wars in 1976 when George Lucas began shooting the first film.  So what can I say?  Of course, I like this.  Of course, I love Marvel Comics' new Star Wars #1.

[At the beginning of 2013, Dark Horse Comics launched a comic book entitled Star Wars.  It also took us (as a press release said) “back to those heady, adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Star—when the Empire ruled, the Rebels were on the run, and the galaxy was a dangerous place where anything might happen!”  Dark Horse's Star Wars was a character-driven, science fiction adventure serial, and, to be fair, it was quite good.]


[This comic book includes previews of the following comic books:  Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca and Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson.]

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

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