A quick note before I dive into my review of Star Wars #1. First, a big shout out to Elite Comics for hosting Jason Aaron at a signing party last night for the release of this issue. We were able to record a quick interview with Aaron, and will be getting that posted to the site over the weekend, along with the official WCPE review of issue #1. WCPE has upgraded our recording equipment this week, but we need a little extra time to get everything polished and formatted properly. So even thought the recordings will SOUND much better going forward, we promise to still deliver the Worst. Comic. Podcast. EVER! each and every week!
So this is it, the comic we have been waiting for since the announcement came in 2012 that Disney had purchased LucasFilm. While Star Wars comics had been brilliantly produced for over 20 years at Dark Horse Comics, we all knew that eventually the accountants at Disney would bring the comic property back home to Marvel Comics. The questions all along were how soon that would happen, and who would be the creative team on the first new Marvel Star Wars book?
Well, that time is now! Star Wars #1 hit comic book stores and Comixology yesterday, with announced figures of 1,000,000 copies sold. With a $4.99 price tag, Marvel/Disney is well on their way to start paying off the $4 billion investment in LucasFilm.
As far as the creative team, Marvel brought out the big guns. First up, writer Jason Aaron (Wolverine, Amazing X-Men, Thor) gets his chance to add to the Star Wars mythos. Reading through this story, Aaron knows these characters inside and out. You can “hear” Harrison Ford’s gruff voice in Han’s dialogue, and Mark Hamill’s voice still squeaks from time to time.
For the art duties, Marvel enlisted John Cassaday and Laura Martin (Planetary, Astonishing X-Men) to handle the pencils/inks and colors, respectively. The two work very well together, and the finished product looks very cinematic throughout the book. Chris Eliopoulos letters the book to his high standards.
The story takes place just days after the events of Episode IV. Han Solo poses as a negotiator for Jabba the Hutt, meeting with the administrator of an Imperial foundry in need of supplies. Han arrives with two guards (Luke and Leia) and everyone’s favorite astromech droid. Chewbacca remains in hiding to serve as a sniper, and C-3PO is left to guard the Falcon. The team’s mission is to actually destroy the foundry, to further slow down the Empire’s rebuilding plan following the destruction of the Death Star. Naturally, any Han Solo-led mission goes south, which happens when our favorite rebels finds out that the Empire’s negotiator is none other than Darth Vader.
I don’t want to knock Brian Wood’s take on Star Wars with Dark Horse Comics from 2013-14. That was a great series, but it always felt like just another Star Wars comic. This Star Wars from Aaron & Cassaday reads more like a movie adaption. This story is big and grand and spectacular. I want to see this story filmed! I found myself smiling as I read this book, and I felt myself being transported back to the summer of 1977, when seven-year-old Jerry spent his time wondering what exactly would have to Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie following the throne room ceremony.
I know the $4.99 price tag will keep some readers away on principle. I get that, and I agree for the most part. But I know I got my money’s worth out this book, and look forward to re-reading this multiple times before issue #2 comes out in February. Go read this book, and may the Force be with you!