Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: CHEWBACCA #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon. And visit the "Star Wars Central" review page here.]

WRITER: Gerry Duggan
ART: Phil Noto
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Phil Noto
VARIANT COVERS:  Ariel Olivetti; Gabriele Dell'Otto; Alex Ross; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2015)

Rated T

“Part I”

Since Marvel Comics starting publishing Star Wars comic books again, they have already produced two character miniseries that each focus on a classic character from the original Star Wars movie trilogy.  The two series, Princess Leia and Lando, were both five-issue miniseries.

The latest one miniseries focuses on Han Solo's longtime friend and co-pilot, the Wookie, Chewbacca,  aka “Chewie.”  Entitled Chewbacca (of course), the five-issue miniseries is written by Gerry Duggan (Deadpool) and drawn and colored by Phil Noto (Black Widow), with letters by Joe Caramagna.

Chewbacca #1 (“Part 1”) is set directly after the events depicted in the original film, Star Wars (1977).  Chewie is on an important and personal secret mission when his spacecraft malfunctions, stranding him on the planet, Andelm-4.  He is trying to procure the “flight stabilizer” he needs for his ship, when he becomes ensnared in a young native girl's problem.  Her name is Zarro, and her father, Arrax, is in trouble with a powerful crime boss-type.  As Chewie and the Zarro come to an understanding, their problems are actually getting bigger.

A Chewbacca comic book can only work when a comic book writer understands how to take advantage of Chewie's expressive nature and also understand how to play a character that is like a force of nature.  The comic book artist will have to be able to depict Chewbacca's physicality in a way that expresses both the extremes and the ranges of his emotions.

After one issue, Gerry Duggan seems to be that writer, and Phil Noto seems to be that artist.  Noto's distinctive style correctly sets Chewbacca as distinct from the rest of Marvel's Star Wars titles without making it estranged from them.  Duggan offers up a playful and sly Chewie to balance the dangerous Wookie whose “heavy” and destructive side will be needed for him to be the hero.

I am as yet unsure about Zarro.  She could be an attractive heroine or an annoying spunky type or she could be the victim slash damsel.  I hope Duggan gives her fight.  It looks like Chewbacca will be another Star Wars character miniseries hit.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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