Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review: JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: Shattered Empire #1

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE No. 1
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Greg Rucka
ART: Marco Checchetto
COLORS: Andres Mossa
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Phil Noto
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2015)

Rated T+

Shattered Empire: Part I

The upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, takes place some 30 years after the events depicted in the 1983 film, Return of the Jedi (or Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi).  As The Force Awakens' release date (December 18, 2015) approaches, Lucasfilm is going to fill in the three-decade story gap between Episode VI and Episode VII (The Force Awakens), using its media partners in book publishing and comic books, in this case, fellow Disney subsidiary, Marvel Entertainment, LLC.

Thus, Marvel Comics recently released the first issue of the comic book series Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire.  This new comic book is written by Greg Rucka, drawn by Marco Checchetto, colored by Andres Mossa, and lettered by Joe Caramagna, with cover art provided by Phil Noto.  According to Marvel.com, Shattered Empire will fully be part of the official Star Wars canon and will depict the immediate aftermath of the events of Return of the Jedi.

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #1 opens during the closing moments of the Battle of Endor.  Rebel pilots are engaging Imperial forces in furious dogfights, as they try to protect the Rebellion's capital ships.  Then, the shield protecting the second Death Star is shut down...

Soon, the rebel forces are celebrating on the Forest Moon of Endor.  Rebel pilot, Shara, just wants to find her husband, Sgt. Kes Dameron, before she can celebrate.  Still, there are still Imperial forces to be dealt with on the Forest Moon.

Honestly, Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire underwhelms me – not that I am going to stop reading it.  Marvel Comics is publishing Star Wars comic books again.  When I was a kid, the arrival of each issue of my subscription to the old Marvel Star Wars comic book series was like a bonus Christmas.

Shattered Empire has potential.  Artist Marco Checchetto has an imaginative sense of page design.  Various story elements in the first five pages seem to leap off the page, as if Checchetto is trying to recreate the feel of Star Wars' famous dogfights and aerial battles.  The coloring by Andres Mossa makes the battle scenes crackle.  It's up to Greg Rucka to hold up his end on the writing.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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