STAR WARS #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassaday
Publisher: Marvel Comics
When Disney bought the rights to Star Wars a few years ago, we all knew that it was just a matter of time before the House of Mouse would move the venerated Sci-Fi franchise over to its other recent high-profile acquisition, Marvel Comics. Well, that day is finally upon us with the release of Star Wars #1 from celebrated creators Jason Aaron and John Cassaday. Ever since this title and creative team, there’s been a massive amount of hype building, pushing expectations higher and higher. It’s expected that this comic will sell over one million issues, making this the biggest comic sales-wise in decades. Will this series live up to these enormous expectations?
I don’t know. But it sure is off to a great start.
Picking up in the aftermath of A New Hope, our story finds Luke, Leia, Han and company on a mission to infiltrate and destroy an Empire weapons factory. If that sounds straightforward, that’s because it is; there is nothing terribly mind-blowing about the plot of this first issue. That being said, it still entertains the reader with thrilling action, beautiful artwork, and pitch-perfect character work. This opening chapter is one of big splashy moments, giving several characters moments of Straight-Up Awesome to give us thrills, with shout-outs and reference to the widely beloved source material. Without giving too much away, our story gives us plenty of lightsaber action, the Force being put into effect, and good old fashioned fist fights. This does mean that there is not a lot of substance to the plot so far, but it’s all handled so well that you probably won’t mind too much.
This is, after all, the aspect that so many of us have been anticipating the most: the A-List talent that is setting our course. And if this first issue has shown us anything, it’s that this anticipation was not misplaced. Jason Aaron provides each of our heroes with a perfect voice, giving Han his cocky swagger, Luke his endearing if naive idealism, C-3PO his exasperating tendency to ramble. This is further enhanced by Cassaday’s characteristically strong art, which captures the body language and expressions of these classic characters to a tee. When the action revs up, Cassaday gives his scenes a fluid quality, with the lightsabers streaking across the page, giving the audience an appreciation for the speed at which the characters are moving. Both of these creators are masters of their craft, and this issue shows us why.
So this series starts off with an exhilarating first chapter, one that should delight long-time fans of the epic space-opera. That being said, this is definitely a popcorn comic, one that has not as of yet taken us places we weren’t expecting. This could certainly change in the next few issues, and I surely hope it does, but for now, we’re still in the roller coaster stage, fun and thrilling, but not terribly complex. I have every reason to trust this creative team, though, and this issue has definitely got me hooked in for more. If you’re willing to put down the kind-of-steep admission price of $5, this is sure to be a ride you’ll enjoy.
Verdict: 4 out of 5