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Star Wars #1 (Marvel) – Alternative Comics Beat

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Alt Beat

By Ken Porter 

 

Star Wars #1

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: John Cassaday

Publisher: Marvel

 

Between a Hope and the Empire

Star Wars is a film series I’ve watched so many times that it’s a part of my DNA. Everyone has their favorite film (mine’s The Empire Strikes Back), but even bigger than the movies are the expanded universe. These stories span video games, novels, and comics that have captured our imagination for decades. While Dark Horse Comics has held the license for Star Wars for years, Marvel now has the property again and are doing their own narrative between Episode IV and Episode V.

So how is it?

It’s like discovering an old classic you never knew existed.

 

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Not just blaster fodder

One of the challenges that Aaron and Cassaday had when going into this series was to tread new ground that the movies or the Dark Horse comics hadn’t done before. While Dark Horse did have it’s own series set in the same time frame written by Brian Wood and drawn by Chris D’Anda, this series by Marvel goes in a completely different direction in terms of setting and tone. Both series are equally good for different reasons, but we’ll focus on the Marvel series for now.

Aaron writes Luke, Leia, Han, and the Imperials as if their dialogue was taken from audio transcripts of the movies. Everyone feels the way they should, and each character gets a cool moment to shine.

One moment in particular is with Luke and his lightsaber, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read the issue yet.

 

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Why it’s a great alternative

Star Wars is a franchise that can be explored in just about any medium. The comics are a place where you can go and spend time with some of your favorite characters who don’t wear spandex, capes, or domino masks. It’s a great alternative for someone who wants to read about characters they love but don’t have anything to do with the DC or Marvel Universe.

Who would like Marvel’s Star Wars?

I’m hesitant to say everyone, just because of the reach that Star Wars has with fans, but I will say people who enjoy the original trilogy will like this the most. If you enjoyed the Dark Horse run on Star Wars then it’s worth giving Marvel’s new take a try. Although someone very famous once said “do or do not, there is no try.”

Ken Porter also writes comic books including “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in “Artifacts” #33.

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Advanced Review: Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #0

The Force has always been a mysterious element in the Star Wars universe. It drives all living things, the world around them, and can help to shape the destiny of those that can harness it. But where did it all begin? Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi is a comic book series that is going to attempt to explain the origins of the Jedi Order and their dark force rivals, the Sith.

Issue zero is mostly background information about the galaxy and worlds that these early days of the Je’daii will inhabit this story. Je’Daii means mystic (je) and center (daii), which refers to the mysterious Force that binds everything together. And if there’s one thing this issue zero does well, it’s that it binds everything together. In this handy introduction to the series you’ll know who the characters are, what planets they’re on, and you’ll get some inside information for plot points down the road.

The artwork by Jan Duuresma feels like authentic Star Wars technology, characters, and settings. Unlike the Clone Wars stories that are so popular nowadays, this art style focuses less on super sleek and modern and goes for the more classic tech look of the original Star Wars stories. There’s also some great allusions to where some of the modern weapons and ships found in the later stories come from, and I for one can’t wait to see them in action.

The writing by John Ostrander feels almost like a video game or roleplaying guide, which isn’t a bad thing, but it does give you more of a feeling of experience with the oncoming story. All of the background information and locations will make these places feel even more real as characters begin to interact in them. The backstories of the characters don’t feel forced or contrived, and you can tell that the writer was detail oriented in a way that’s subtle and not overbearing.

If you’re a Star Wars comic book fan and are eagerly awaiting this series, then this is an issue worth having in your collection.

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