It’s a Desert Ambush as the cover proclaims in Issue #3 of The Star Wars, out in comic book stores today. Jonathan Rinzler and Mike Mayhew continue to adapt the original draft of A New Hope in an action packed issue with more sass than you could possibly imagine. (And hey, I can imagine quite a lot.)
Darth Vader searches for the royal family of Aquilae, hoping to complete the Empire’s victory and a new player joins the search: Prince Valorum; a Knight of the Sith. Meanwhile, See Threepio and Artwo Detwo disagree about how to handle being stranded in the Dune Sea only to both end up being found by Annikan and Leia as they hurry back to the hidden fortress to the Palace of Lite. With the King dead, Leia is now the true Queen of Aquilae but for her safety, Queen Breha orders General Skywalker to take Leia and her younger brothers to the Ophuchi system. But first, they must get safely past the Empire’s army on planet.
For an issue that starts with the droids being stranded in the desert, this issue certainly isn’t lacking for action and goes by so quickly that readers will likely find themselves surprised when they reach the last page so soon. Rinzler definitely knows how to keep readers coming back for more. The weirdness of how some of the names are spelled has yet to wear off and I suspect I’ll never be able to type Artwo correctly on the first try but the weirdness is honestly a part of the book’s charm. It’s difficult to find a reason to complain about Rinzler’s grasp of dialogue and pacing. Again, his use of lines from the film invokes smiles instead of eye rolls and that is absolutely a good thing.
One of the best things about this particular issue was the banter between different pairs of characters. To put it simply: the sass levels were off the charts. I frequently found myself chuckling at Artwo’s lines and downright laughing when Threepio puts an end to the argument. This version of Princess Leia continues to take none of anyone’s crap. Some things stay true no matter what alternate universe they are in. She also has quite the mind for retaliation tactics.
I’m also still not over Mike Mayhew’s artwork. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Mayhew also continues to excel at costume design. The official royal regalia that Princess Leia and Queen Breha wear in the throne room are truly magnificent. I haven’t the faintest idea how Leia can sit with that headdress much less stand but wow does it have a visual impact. Another strength of Mayhew’s artwork is the facial expressions of the characters. At times, it feels like some of the panels don’t even need the dialogue bubbles for the words to get across.
The Star Wars #3 has elevated this book from a ‘pick this book up if you’re intrigued by the concept’ to ‘you should definitely give this book a try’ so run out and go find the first three issues!