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Review – Star Wars #1 (Marvel Comics)

STW2015001-DC11-015d4Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassaday
Release date: 14 January,2015


Here at last is the beginning. With the Expanded Universe (now Legends) novels and Dark Horse’s catalogue of Star Wars stories mercilessly culled from the ‘official’ canon, this is our square one and a preview of things to come from Marvel’s future adaptations.

As someone who held a great fondness for those stories and who sadly sighs at each new ‘splosion-fest movie that Marvel sneezes onto our screens, it was grudgingly that I purchased a copy of Star Wars #001 today. There was an amount of eye-rolling at the number of cover variants on sale too, though the gorgeous Alex Ross full-colour cover did have me calculating whether I should give up food or heating for the month to buy it.

Upon reading my new chapter of Star Wars history though, I proton-torpedoed the chip on my shoulder.

We are transported back to the months after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star. The rebels are launching offensives hoping to consolidate their gains and defeat the Empire. This, of course, means Chewie, Han, Leia and Luke are neck-deep in a subterfuge that will cause ol’ Vader and the Emperor no end of trouble. A tried and tested plot, done to death some might say, but Marvel have freshened it up, though by going back to the feel of the original movie trilogy, rather than trying to give things a new lick of paint.

This vintage feel means two things reign supreme in this issue: First is the tone of the script. Gone, for this issue at least, is the clunky dialogue. Our character’s lines are much more natural and human than some of the drivel that plagued many of the Legends novels and the occasional Dark Horse offering. Marvel stalwart Jason Aaron wields his usual skill here and delivers humour and wit throughout too, yet also seems to have gotten into the characters’ heads. This happened to the point that I was reading the lines in my head with the original cast’s voices, never done that before!

Second is the galactic-standard art. Multiple Eisner-award winner John Cassaday has captured the characters wonderfully, with Luke’s youthful, boyish face flashing from innocence to steely determination between panels as well as Leia with her fierce, haughty eyes. Best of all is his perfect portrayal of Han’s “I can handle anything” cocky half-sneer-half smile, it made me feel cooler just looking at it.

By drawing on what we all loved about the original trilogy instead of trying to shake things up with new storytelling directions, Marvel have successfully begun a series which I believe has great potential. One could call it lazy, I mean, the first page and the first shot from A New Hope differ only in very small way, but I think that these nods to the past are precisely what fans will want. Cleverly done, very well written, brilliantly drawn, I’m on board Marvel.

But I still won’t forgive Iron Man 3.

Rating: 4/5.


INTERIOR ARTWORK
[Click to enlarge]


LewDVav

The writer of this piece was: Lewis “Daft Vader” Campbell
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