Monday, February 2, 2015

Star Wars #1

I’m getting to this one a few weeks late, but as far as name brands go, it doesn’t get any bigger than Star Wars. So better late than never!

Jason Aaron does a great job making the tone of this comic feel like something right out of the film. He gets a big hand with the opening pages, though. I read this comic digitally, and the big “STAR WARS” title page is so reminiscent of the films that I practically heard John Williams’ score as the introductory scrawl started up on the next page.

The book is firmly planted in the post Episode IV era of Star Wars. So Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are forming into a nice little crew, but they haven’t quite nailed down all the interactions yet. And Han is still trying to impress the Rebels while maintaining his tough guy attitude. I think Aaron’s Han has the clearest voice. Luke and Leia don’t suffer, but they aren’t quite as easy to recognize. (C3PO is close second as far as characterization. He’s perfect!)

That said, I love the leadership of Princess Leia here. She gives orders, changes them based on updated intel and priorities, and is generally presented as a pretty great rebel leader. Luke is still the rookie, but his Jedi-influenced heart (along with his upbringing on Tatooine) make him a likable, instantly heroic figure.

My biggest complaint isn’t even something that Jason Aaron can fix. Sound effects. While Chewie’s roar is perfect and R2-D2’s hoots and whistles are acceptable, I guess I hadn’t realized how integral the sound effects are to my experience in Star Wars. That snap-hiss of a lightsaber flicking on is so distinctive that having it missing on the printed page is a bit disconcerting.

The art? It looks like the characters walked straight out of the films. John Cassady keeps everyone distinctly on-model, but to be honest, that is the easy part. More impressive is his use of the costumes from the film. From Luke’s yellow jacket from the awards ceremony to the muted gray of the Imperial officers, everything looks perfect. The aliens are straight out of the cantina. And while it isn’t even an Easter egg, seeing Luke and Leia dressed up in the same disguise Lando uses in Return of the Jedi is just a fun little nod.

So this is a very GOOD comic. I’m not sure if I’ll be buying it monthly or reading it on Marvel Unlimited. I love Star Wars, but I’m not sure I love it enough to get this every month. We’ll see how tempted I am by the cover of issue 2!

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