Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars #1
Dark Horse Comics
Wood, D’Anda & Eltaeb
Brian Wood launches the Star Wars series that occurs immediately after the first film, Star Wars (also known as A New Hope). The idea behind this series is that Wood is free from continuity to explore the characters and their emotional fallout from the first film’s spectacular ending. Of course, this isn’t entirely possible because fans have seen the movies, read the books and comics. They all know what happens, which means Wood must stay within the sandbox while playing with these toys. His first issue is definitely a great start though.
This first issue focuses primarily on Luke and Leia. At this point, the Rebellion is looking for a new base, since their base on Yavin has been discovered. Luke and his friend Wedge head out in their X-Wings to scout for a new system to move into, but they have some oversight from one of the rebel leaders: Leia. Yes, Leia is behind the yoke of an X-Wing in this comic book. Naturally, not everything goes smoothly as the Empire discovers them and near disaster occurs.
Han, Chewie, Vader and the Emperor all receive some panel time as well as Wood either sends them on their own mini-adventures or simply allows them to express their inner thoughts about the fallout from the film. The only player that is ignored is R2-D2 and that actually does annoy me a little bit. Wood doesn’t venture too far from the established feelings and voices of these characters, which is refreshing as it all feels familiar and natural to read.
The book is a good read. I like the idea that Leia is taking a hands on approach with the Rebellion and it seems to fit that she would step into the pilot seat every once in a while. I will admit that it is hard to ignore some of the other works that have been published such as Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and the story about Luke taking out his X-Wing and running into a TIE Fighter immediately after the Yavin medal ceremony. While it would seem this ground is largely new to cover, Marvel comics did publish some forty issues between the first and second movies that deal directly with this time period. In fact, I was cringing when Han mentions Jabba in the comic because Marvel had, not one, but two stories that dealt with Han paying off his debt. One where he pays it off and a second where he un-pays it off to fit in with the bounty hunter angle in Empire Strikes Back. Continuity aside, this comic book is a fun read.
The artwork is extremely detailed and very bright and vibrant. I go back and forth with what I like in my Star Wars stories. While I like the clean look this comic and places like the Death Star illustrate, I do like the grease and grim look that’s been seen on the Falcon or the Cantina. One thing is for sure and this book nails Luke and Leia’s look and that is a huge aspect to making this book come to life.
Star Wars is an intimidating pool to jump in to. If all you know is the original trilogy then I can’t even say this book is for you. I think the people that will enjoy this book the most are the ones that tired of the Clone Wars and the greater Expanded Universe and will take any story set in the original film’s time period happily. This book is going to make a lot of that audience feel fulfilled because this is probably what they have been waiting years for. I definitely recommend checking this out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles