As I reflected upon a couple weeks ago, Marvel has rebooted the Star Wars comic as part of the new Disney-owned Star Wars push for more material. This glut of new Star Wars could be disastrous, maybe, milking the franchise until its dry and ready to be sent out to pasture, but, really, if the prequels didn’t already destroy the brand, could be nothing will. And, to Disney’s credit, the material they’ve been putting out has been high quality and true to the nature of the original trilogy. Case in point: the rebooted comic series written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassaday.
I finally got to read Issue #1 the other day, and I was pleased with it on more than one level. Let me count the ways I adored it:
- I already knew from preview pages and previous experience with Cassaday’s work that I would love the art, but I was not prepared for the many details within that love. Art so evocative of the actors that particular glances pulled me back to a single original trilogy moment: “Who’s scruffy-looking?” Art so detailed that it’s clear this is Luke pre-Mark Hamill’s motorcycle accident. But this isn’t some hyper-realistic art style (like Alex Ross). Cassaday has a realism within his comic-booky line art.
- The plot is caper-based, meaning that each one of this ragtag bunch of misfits has his or her moment. The roles are clear, the characteristics of each are prominent. It even begins to show how they develop between the films of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
- Luke deals with the growing pains of force powers in believable and endearing ways. He takes risks he probably ought not to. He hears echoes of Ben in his head, sometimes just flashbacks, sometimes new communications.
- Han and Leia have a romantically charged hallway moment!
- The more C-3PO states he has a “good feeling about this,” the more the dramatic tension rises to see just what all will go wrong. And plenty does. These rebel heroes have quite the pit to dig themselves out of after this opening issue. I’m excited to see how they pull it off.
- The issue could only be improved with a well-curated John Williams playlist to match its action. I challenge one of you to make it. Link in the comments.
Issue #2 arrives next week. Here’s a preview: linked for your spoiler preferences.