Marvel took back the Star Wars comics franchise from Dark Horse in late 2014. Marvel has released a new Star Wars related comic in the beginning of every month so far in 2015, with no intention of slowing down. Has this new shift been worth all the hype? Here’s what’s out so far!
Jason Aaron & John Cassidy
Star Wars is the main ongoing book. Taking place right after Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, we find Luke, Han, Leia, leading a rebellion mission to destroy one of the empire’s weapons factory. So far, this book has the look, feel, lines, and action that seem straight out of the original trilogy. What will be both interesting and limiting is that the story is limited to a specific time period, and it remains to be seen if this Star Wars title will jump around the timeline.
Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca
For all of the excitement and fun Star Wars brings to the table, Darth Vader tackles the intensity and drama behind the baddest villain in the galaxy. Darth Vader is unique in that the first issue takes place after issues 1 & 2 of Star Wars, giving these two comics the fun connectivity that Marvel normally does with its super hero books. What’s more awesome than seeing Vader’s lightsaber and force skills is the fact that Vader is also treated as an individual instead of this ever ruler. We find Vader challenged by the Emperor, as it was under Darth Vader’s leadership that the Death Star was destroyed and the individuals responsible escaped the Empire’s forces. It’s nice to see such an iconic character given ample room to be explored.
Mark Waid & Terry Dodson
Another mini-series set during the original trilogy, Princess Leia follows the titular princess after the final ceremony, where Leia finds herself at odds with the other survivors of Alderaan. With a monumental task of finding a new base for the rebel forces, Leia’s story takes place before the two previously mentioned titles. I find this to be the weakest of the title. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mark Waid’s writing, however, I find it to be to mismatched with Leia’s character. In addition, this may be Dodson’s weakest art; backgrounds have little to nothing going on, some faces feel empty and/or unfinished, and with the series only lasting 5 issues, I’m hoping the story and art improves over a few issues.
KANAN: THE LAST PADAWAN
Greg Weisman & Pepe Larraz
The solo title that tackles character in the prequel trilogy, KANAN is the lone wolf for many reasons. This is one title that is tackling character from the current Star Wars: Rebels series, it is the one series following the events of the Clone Wars, and the writer, Greg Weisman, is the one writer who’s not necessarily big in comics, but does helm the show and is doing a great job. With so much new, this book succeeds on many levels. The book captures the emotion of Episode III with great art, a well-built up narrative, and a good introduction to the characters, even if you are not watching the show. This book is definitely the biggest surprise so far.
What does the future hold?
I think these four series will go well, but I’m interested in what characters will be explored in solo titles, along with different timelines to be addressed. The biggest factor to address with all these comics is that all of the Dark Horse is now considered fan fiction and the new Marvel titles become the new canon. With that in mind, who knows what can happen? I really enjoyed the concepts explored in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games and would hope that Vader’s action between Episodes III and IV will be explored. Of course, Episode VII is just around the corner, so whatever stories we get to fill in the gaps between VI and VII will be exciting as well!
And, lastly, a Boba Fett solo title would be great.
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