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Comics PopWrapped | Comics

The Force Is Strong With STAR WARS #1 From Marvel Comics

Bill Sweeney | PopWrapped Author

Bill Sweeney

03/20/2015 4:57 pm
PopWrapped | Comics
The Force Is Strong With STAR WARS #1 From Marvel Comics | Star Wars
Media Courtesy of Marvel
It is a period of anxious wonder for fans of the Rebel Alliance… Word has spread quickly through the geek galaxy that copyright holdings have changed hands, with Master Lucas himself relinquishing all control of The Empire to the vast and mysterious Disney Federation. New trade agreements and decrees were recently put forth. Most notably among them that, moving forward, all newly created Extended Universe material (TV, Comics, Novels, Games) will be canon and much more connected as it will be overseen and coordinated by a Storytelling Senate Committee. This week, in a display of synergy attributable to perhaps The Force itself, Marvel Comics (a brash subdivision of the Disney Federation) released the first of three new on-going graphic chronicles after having rested control of trade routs from the independent publisher Dark Horse Comics earlier this year.  Followers loyal and sympathetic to the Empire have been awaiting a sign for what this means for the future of the galaxy… Regardless of the fact that Marvel had a supposed print run of one million copies (with around 70 different variant covers), and my local comic shop had ordered plenty, they still sold out by early afternoon. Luckily for me, my shop has a pull-list system available to regular customers (as all good shops do), so I did not miss out. By now you’re probably thinking something like “Guy, get to the point. Is it any good?” Yes. Yes it is. Mostly because Marvel has placed top talents on these books and if Star Wars #1 is any indication, these creative teams are going to knock your socks off. Writer Jason Aaron is a versatile and prolific writer in the comics industry, in addition to writing quite a bit of Marvel stuff (which includes the current run of Thor that features not the Odinson, but a mystery woman wielding the hammer) he has other independent titles such as the mature audience book, Southern Bastards. Artist John Cassaday is no slouch either. Since breaking into comics professionally in the late nineties, he’s worked for several companies like big boys Marvel and DC, drawing some classic storylines including Joss Whedon’s run as writer on Astonishing X-Men. His clean, yet nuanced art style has always been a standout in an industry where, oftentimes, art styles are either over rendered or under considered. So, without giving away the whole darn thing, let’s get into this book! Taking place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back this series is looking to fill in the gaps with official material that feels ripped right off the screen. The dialogue is smart and the characters feel perfectly zeroed in on. The action beats, and even the few, small comedic ones, all feel like small Star Wars Moments. Our heroes use an opening gambit that feels familiar and right, and that’s because Jason Aaron knows these characters, he knows this world, it’s mechanics. He’s captured more than just the voices of Luke, Han and Leia– he’s using the voice of the Star Wars galaxy. And Cassaday’s art is perfect. He too seems to have honed his Jedi skills, becoming one with The Force, because his pages don’t just look like Star Wars, they feel like it. Panels and pages feel familiar, he’s perfectly rendering more than just Troopers and vehicles here. Oh yes, our heroes look as you remember them, each actors likeness is captured right down to distinctive smirks, but it’s also atmosphere and tone. It’s Han’s swagger. It’s Luke’s dead eye glances. Cassady shine on the technical storytelling fronts as well; camera angles never feel jarring or overdone, the action always works cleanly, the page layout is consistently pulling you along. The story itself makes for a strong first issue. One of it’s best tricks? It doesn’t bog things down too much with setting up what’s coming ahead, it’s very much in the moment – here’s your old pals, let’s jump right in. That said, I’m pretty sure if you had lived in some weird world where you had never of Star Wars your whole life,  you could read this book and like it. You’d get caught up in the fun, and at that last page you’d be thinking, “Gee well, it doesn’t look good for the blonde haired kid.” This book captures the tone and feel of it’s source material in ways comic book adaptions rarely do. If you’re a Star Wars fan and you’ve dismissed this book, you are just plainly missing out. And that’s coming from someone who is only a level 6 Star Wars fan out of 10. Star Wars #1 is $4.99 but contains short previews of the other two books Marvel has coming, solo books for Darth Vader and Princess Leia. Find your local comics shop here, call them. (It’s probably sold out, but they are most likely getting more, so ask them to hold a copy for you. Most shops will do that.)

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