The era of Star Wars Marvel has begun (okay; returned) and they’re leaping forth from the gate with blasters blazing. Star Wars #1 by Jason Aaron and with art by John Cassaday comes out on Wednesday, January 14th and picks up shortly after A New Hope. The question of the day though isn’t “Will our heroes survive?” but rather “How does this new series hold up?” and it is in response to that question that I have some good news for Star Wars fans.
Right from the start, Aaron and Cassaday make the book feel like Original Trilogy Star Wars. (Let me suggest queuing up the main title as you open the book. It put a huge smile on my face as I began to read.) This gives readers a chance to pick up a book that can be enjoyed whether they’ve only watched the films or if they obsessively read every Legends story. It’s also clear from the get-go that this is a labor of love from all involved. The basic premise of the story is something that will feel familiar to Star Wars readers (Rebels have a chance to move against the Empire and Han somehow gets roped into helping) but Jason Aaron writes in a way that will keep readers intrigued and flipping the page for more. He also strikes a nice balance between action and non-action scenes and knows the right moment to interject a bit of levity, something that’s crucial when it comes to Star Wars.
Another strength of the book is that Aaron certainly has a great grasp on all of the main characters. At times, it was difficult to NOT hear the actors’ voices inside my head reading the lines. I was particularly happy with his portrayal of Leia especially since he didn’t fall back on the Action Girl ™ method like some writers have in the past. Even Luke seems to be pretty spot on during this odd transitional phase from farmboy to Jedi Rebel.
Cassaday’s artwork on the book is solid as expected. My only issue was with one very fast costume change between pages. In the interest of staying spoiler free, I’ll leave it there but it just felt rather abrupt especially on the first read through. For those familiar with his art, Cassaday’s usual facial expressions are in full force here which, when you’re drawing Leia Organa dealing with Han Solo, are perfect. Cassaday also has a neat way of drawing lightsaber action which I haven’t previously seen in a Star Wars comic. And, of course, we the internet will be forever grateful to him for the panel of Leia punching an Imperial panel that made its way on line several weeks ago. That alone is worth the cost of admission.
Overall, this first oversized issue does a great job of setting the stage and establishing how this comic series will go. Within moments of finishing reading it, I immediately wanted the next one. I’m extremely interested to see how the first arc progresses and then where Jason Aaron takes the story beyond that. For me, that will be the real deciding factor about how much I’ll ultimately enjoy the series but they are certainly off to a good start.
I give Star Wars #1 a 4/5 along with a recommendation to go pick it up. You can pick up a copy of Star Wars #1 from your local comic store or online here from Marvel.
Thank you to Marvel for providing us with an advanced copy of the comic for review purposes.