Marvel Strikes Back
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Publisher: Marvel Comics Writers: Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen, Mark Waid Artists: John Cassaday, Salvador Larroca, Terry & Rachel Dodson
Awakens is now only months from release, so it’s time for the next phase of Project Remind Everyone What They Liked About Star Wars: the relaunch of the franchise’s comics line, following the end of Dark Horse’s lengthy stewardship. There’s a pleasing “circle of life” aspect to Star Wars’ return to Marvel, the publishers of the very first ongoing Star Wars comic back in 1977, and this new era is already off to an attention- grabbing start.
The flagship title Star Wars ( ) is basically doing what Dark Horse’s similar 2013– 14 series did before continuity was reset, and goes back to the aftermath of A New Hope to tell fresh stories with the classic cast. As an attempted raid on an Imperial outpost turns dangerous, Jason Aaron’s script goes for a bright and thrilling actionadventure tone that perfectly captures the mood of Episode IV. There’s occasional creaky dialogue and over- enthusiastic continuity references, but otherwise these first three issues are great entertainment backed up by typically stylish visuals from artist John Cassaday.
For those who prefer their Star Wars tales with heavy doses of intrigue, there’s Darth Vader ( ), which follows the titular Dark Lord of the Sith as he tries to strengthen his precarious position with the Emperor following his failure to prevent the destruction of the Death Star. Writer Kieron Gillen is an ideal choice for this kind of pulp SF thriller and brings the correct mix of majesty and menace to Vader, while also building up a strong supporting cast in a series that’s obviously going to be exploring the more dangerous edges of the Star Wars universe. The first two issues are both satisfying and packed full of plot twists, while Salvador Larroca’s artwork gives the story a sharp visual style, bringing impact to the action scenes – although he does lean heavily on familiar photo- references, especially in the opening confrontation in Jabba’s Palace.
Alongside these two ongoing series, we also have Princess Leia ( ), a six- issue miniseries that takes Leia on a character-centric journey as she tries to come to terms with the loss of her world by protecting the few remaining survivors of Alderaan. At the time of writing we’d only seen the first issue, but veteran comics writer Mark Waid is already giving Leia plenty of depth and maintaining a healthy balance of emotional drama and action, while the gorgeous art from Terry and Rachel Dodson makes this the most visually impressive of all the titles.
Overall, this is a trio of strong debuts which have so far delivered the kind of well- crafted storytelling everybody hoped would result from Marvel’s reacquisition of the franchise. Right now, the comicbook future of Star Wars is looking downright healthy. Saxon Bullock Beginning in April: the miniseries Star Wars: Kanan, which explores the background of
the Star Wars: Rebels character.
A healthy balance of emotional drama and action
Vader had spotted the CCTV in the corner and he was not happy about it.
Seriously, how does she get that much hair under a helmet?
Aaaah, but will he shoot first?