by Gryffon Cantor
Welcome to Comic Corner, a review and discussion of current(or recent) Star Wars comics. Star Wars comics are currently published by Dark Horse, but beginning in 2015, Marvel will be in charge the Star Wars comic universe. Marvel currently has three comics planned. The first simply titled Star Wars, written by Jason Aaron (recent credits include; Original Sin, Thor:God of Thunder, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine) and drawn by John Cassaday (credits include; Ashtonishing X-men, Captain America). The next title is Star Wars: Darth Vader, written by Kieron Gillen (recent credits include; Journey into Mystery and Iron Man) and drawn by Salvador Larocca (credits include The Invincible Iron Man and Uncanny Avengers). Each of these will be on-going series set between the events of Episode IV and V. The last is a 5-part miniseries titled Star Wars: Princess Leia, written by Mark Waid (recent credits include; Indestructible Hulk, Daredevil and Green Hornet) and drawn by Terry Dodson (credits include; X-men and Star Wars: Dark Force Rising). This miniseries will also be set in the period between Episodes IV and V.
New York Comic Con starts on Oct 9th, and it's expected more titles will be added to the upcoming Star Wars lineup.
Now on to some reviews. I've decided to start with a 4-part miniseries that ran earlier this year. This series titled Star Wars: Rebel Heist is written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Marco Castiello. It ran from April 2014 through July 2014. It's set between Episode IV and V, and offers a look at the heroes of the Rebellion from a different perspective, literally. Each comic is focused on a different character, but told from the personal viewpoint of another character in the story. It's interesting to see how these people view the "heroes" of the Rebellion, and how that opinion changes as the story progresses.
Synopsis: The first issue starts with introducing you to the narrator, a fresh Rebellion agent on his first mission. Jan(I was pretty sure this was a man, but every time I saw Jan, I was kind of wishing it was Jan Ors) is sent to Correllia for the first time to track down a contact. He's spotted by Imperials, literally the minute he walks in the door to his rendezvous, and is rescued by none other than our dashing scoundrel, Han Solo. The rest of the comic follows the pair as they try to evade the Imperials.
Impressions: Story-wise, it kept me interested. Watching Jan's opinion of Han is a highlight of the issue. The art is good, with some panels really shining, for example page 7; a full body shot of Han, blaster held up, smoking from a round of blaster fire. Some of it is kind of, meh. A lot of panels where Han's forehead looks like someone scribbled all over it.
Rating: 4/5 Overall, I think the story does a great job of "new guy along for the ride," and I feel it really makes the comic.
Synopsis: Issue # 2 focuses on Leia. Our narrator for this escapade is a Rebel spy named Sarin(I'll be honest. I giggled). Sarin is a twi'lek dancer stationed on the pleasure planet, Feddasyr. The war here is a cold one, of espionage and counter-espionage. Sarin's cover has been blown, and Leia comes in to salvage the mission.
Impressions: Once again the thoughts and changing opinions of the narrator are a real highlight of the comic. I think the art is much more spot on in this one as well. I enjoyed the chosen outfit for the cover, being reminiscent of Padme from Episode II.
Rating: 4/5 Solid issue, showcasing a side of Leia that doesn't show through in the movies.
Synopsis: Unlike the transition from Issue #1 to Issue #2, we've carried over a character from the last issue, and he is now serving as our narrator. Our narrator, a former stormtrooper who was stationed on Kashyyyk. He rendezvous with Chewbacca. Chewbacca and the stormtrooper continue on the mission, with fruits of Leia's mission.
Impressions: If you haven't noticed a trend, this miniseries is all about the outsider's impression of the main character. Art in this is par for the course, although it's a little odd seeing Chewie in action, but likely just because you don't think about it as much while watching the movies.
Rating: 3/5 It's a good comic, but a couple of things kind of strike me as odd, and so that drops it a notch.
Synopsis: Last issue, time to bring it all together. Luke, our main character for this issue, is being tailed by an Imperial spy. This issue runs across the other 3 issues, and you can see a little more of what is happening in the background.
Impressions: Story-line is good. Our narrator is great. I don't know if I believe some of the saber play coming out of Luke this soon after Episode IV is as believable. A good denouement, and some interesting links back into the wider Star Wars universe make this for a good read.
Rating: 4/5 As stated above, it's a good read. I'm going to give the saber play a pass, because lightsabers are cool.
Overall, it was an interesting series. I really enjoyed the outsider's narrative and felt it was what really made this a memorable series.
The digital versions are available from the Dark Horse site here.
Next time on the Comic Corner, I'll be taking a look at Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir, bridging some of the gap between Episode I, and Season 5 of Clone Wars.