It would be easy for me to be churlish about Marvel’s first new Star Wars comic since 1986. I am not a fan of Marvel ed in chief Joe Quesada, I was happy with Dark Horse being custodian of Star Wars comics, and the first titles announced were set in the well-trod OT-era. In fact, one of Dark Horse’s last Star Wars books had the exact same concept this new series has, set between ANH and TESB. Add to that Marvel front-loading this launch with a million copies and doing a zillion different variant covers–I thought they quit that nonsense in the 1990s–and my enthusiasm level was somewhere between “meh” and “eh.”
But I decided to pick up Star Wars #1 during my lunch break yesterday anyway. At the comic book store, two other people were buying the issue besides me, so that’s 999,997 copies to go. A few of the variant covers were for sale next to the register for on average $25 apiece. Demented, I tell you, especially since I don’t think any of these will hold significant value over the long term.
All of that said, once I sat down to read the issue, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The art was fantastic, the story felt fresh, and the script really captures the feel of the movies. The gang goes on a mission, the details of which are revealed as the comic moves along, and just when everything’s going well, it all goes wrong. I also liked that the issue featured a little bit of everybody, and the main heroes all get to be…heroic, and do something cool. Now, I’m not sure why the Imperials were willing to talk to Han who should already be a wanted man for his role in what happened to the Death Star…the context is that they didn’t seem to know he was directly involved with the rebels until Luke and Leia reveal themselves.
One of the things I worried about with this comic reboot is that Marvel will lock itself in a 1970s-1980s track and not take advantage of the full saga. In the artwork you can see background characters inspired by the prequels and even one creature introduced in one of the few peeks we’ve had of TFA. I take that as a good sign.
So, off to a good start. We’ll see if they can keep up the quality over the long term.