Review: Star Wars #37

It’s an end of an era today as Star Wars #37 is Jason Aaron’s last issue of Star Wars. In honor of the occasion, let’s take a moment to appreciate what a fantastic job he’s done with the book. While I haven’t loved every thing he’s done with the book, he’s written 37 incredibly solid issues of story and I’m sad to see him go especially after this last bunch of issues.

As for Star Wars #37 itself… Sergeant Kreel is not a very happy man and he’s not going to be anything even remotely close to happy until he smashes the Rebels into tiny bits for the glory of the Empire. This… is not good for our heroes or the Rebel Alliance. In a way, this issue is the most surprising way that Aaron could have wrapped up his run because he doesn’t end it like one might expect. It’s open enough to make me wonder if Kieron Gillen might pick up some of these plot elements in his run. Part of what I like about this issue though is that it does surprise me while also giving us a fantastic moment for the Skywalker twins. It’s a moment that feels like both a resolute ending and beginning.

The true highlight of this issue though is the back up story, “The Sand Will Provide” by Jason Aaron and Dash Aaron with art by Andrea Sorrentino. It’s one last hurrah for the excellently executed one-shot stories from Obi-Wan’s journey and is the simple tale of a young tusken raider. It’s a simple story yet beautiful within that simplicity. It’s also oddly sweet and feels like the perfect note for Jason Aaron to end his run on. And honestly, what better note could we end this review on than to praise the issue’s last few pages?

Star Wars #37: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Darth Vader (2017) #6

It’s interesting how an issue with a ton of action can also be an issue where not much happens. The series so far has left Vader a little worse for the wear and honestly, he probably needs a few minutes where not much happens. (Too bad he doesn’t get much of one.)

This will be one of the spoiler filled reviews. Just a warning. Continue reading

Review: From a Certain Point of View

What I told you was true… from a certain point of view.

It’s a phrase that all Star Wars fans know but one that takes a whole new meaning today with the release of From a Certain Point of View by, well, just about everyone. Del Rey assembled an all-star line up of 43 authors to write 40 different stories that cover the events of A New Hope for the film’s 40th anniversary. It’s an ambitious concept that benefits a good cause: all of the authors have forgone any compensation and all proceeds will be donated to First Book. The stories within the book run the complete gambit with every possible writing style, story tense, and narrator that you could imagine and yet it all comes together to make some magic.

Given what a unique book this is, we’re abandoning the traditional review format to give you the full range of our own certain points of view on this book. Continue reading

Review: Poe Dameron #19

I feel like I’m just repeating myself at this point but it bears saying again: War Stories is a very X-Wingy sort of story. That’s X-Wing with a capital X, by the way. As in the X-Wing series.

Why has War Stories made me happy? Oh let us count the ways…

  1. It made the series feel like more of an ensemble piece again
  2. It’s not afraid of humor
  3. This includes bad jokes/puns because our heroes can’t be perfect at everything (LOOKING AT YOU, POE DAMERON)
  4. The use of a holojournalist and propaganda examines a not as often dealt with aspect of war
  5. The new main villain would totally be twirling her mustache if she had one and I mean that in the best way possible
  6. We get illusions to a character’s tragic backstory which leaves us wanting to know more
  7. It tugs at your heartstrings when you least expect it

Poe Dameron #19 is the cap on a very solid arc that has been very Star Wars to the core. There hasn’t really been any moment that’s left me gasping in shock or crying my eyes out in this arc but it’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of every minute. Perhaps I’m biased because I adore Jess Pava but I can definitely see this being a story arc that I keep coming back and rereading. Kudos to all involved.

Poe Dameron #19: Charles Soule/Writer, Angel Unzueta/Artist, Arif Prianto/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Star Wars Annual #3

How are we already to the third Annual of the Star Wars comic? Time has just been flying by! In this latest Annual, Jason Latour tells a Han/Leia story in which they try to find a new Rebel base but something shady that Han did in the past rears its ugly head to cause trouble.

On the surface there’s nothing particularly wrong with this story. It has all the right elements to be an amusing Star Wars tale. As a part of a larger whole, it’s a little less exciting. The pre-ESB Han and Leia dynamic is one that has to be carefully handled or else their bickering can fly into parody territory. Latour doesn’t do it badly but it doesn’t have quite the spark of some of their other interactions that we’ve seen in the not so distant past.

What makes the issue memorable is when Leia sets someone on fire which is really not a sentence I expected to be writing in a Star Wars review but here we are. I’m not even mad.

Bottom line is that the Star Wars Annual #3 is a perfectly fine issue if you’re looking for a one-off story or you just really need your Han and Leia fix but it’s nothing to write home about. This is, however, said with the caveat that if this story ends up tying in to the next story arc more that it’ll be far more of an essential read but I don’t think it will.

Star Wars Annual #3: Jason Latour/Writer, Michael Walsh/Artist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White/Editor

Review: Star Wars #36

Revenge of the Astromech is a really good title. That should be said right off the bat.

Star Wars #36 is the sort of issue that really leans into what Attack of the Clones did with Artoo and shows him in a very heroic, get things done light and I love it. Does it perhaps involve a little suspension of disbelief? Sure but does that detract from my enjoyment? Nope. In a way, this felt like the best sort of payment possible for having to wait so gosh darn long to find out what happened to poor Threepio. Give me the absurd and ridiculous in Star Wars for reasons like this and I shall happily embrace it!

I think I finally figured out what’s been driving me insane about Salvador Larroca’s art since he joined the main Star Wars book. I (for the most part) enjoyed his art of Darth Vader but it hasn’t felt the same here. What I can’t stand is the contrast between his usual art (as seen in Darth Vader and in much of this issue) and the photorealistic faces. They clash when they’re used together and honestly, I’m not a fan of the photorealistic faces to start with. The book looks way nicer when it’s just Artoo rolling through the Star Destroyer causing mayhem than when it also involved some random officer’s strangely detailed face.

Star Wars #36 feels like a return to the norm after two one-off issues but given that it features Artoo Detoo the Hero and the return to a dangling plot line? I’m 100% okay with that.

Star Wars #36: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Darth Vader (2017) #5

Listen… it’s been a while since we’ve had a gif review and I had honestly retired the format but sometimes you get a comic issue where words don’t really do it.

 

Darth Vader #5 was just so good that I had to reread it immediately. That doesn’t happen often at all. Just… go read this issue. Even if (and I NEVER say this) you haven’t read the previous four issues. Please. You can thank me later.

Darth Vader #5: Charles Soule/Writer, Giuseppe Camuncoli/Pencils, Cam Smith/Inks, David Curiel/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White/Editor

Review: Rogue One #6

At this point I think it’s very safe to say that both the novelization and comic adaptation of Rogue One were a step above their The Force Awakens counterparts due in great part to their ability to add to the story instead of just regurgitate it.

There’s not much else new to say about this final issue. It’s not a bad thing but, well, we all know how this story ends and there aren’t really many new twists they could throw at us. (Unless Jyn and Cassian magically survived at the end and wouldn’t that throw a certain section of fandom for a loop.) Jody Houser has a knack distilling a story down to its essence without losing any of the emotional impact, which bodes well for her future work on Thrawn. Personally, I’d love to see her take on a non-adaptation Star Wars story at some point.

What was a pleasant surprise was how Emilio Laiso handled the epic battle scenes. The Battle of Scarif was something special to watch on the big screen and something I wasn’t particularly looking forward to in the comic. Instead of trying to recreate the magic of that battle, Laiso opts for dynamic panel layouts that, when paired with Houser’s fast-paced script, keep the reader engaged.

So what’s the final verdict? Yes, the Rogue One comic adaptation is worth your time if it’s something that peaks your interest. It will undoubtedly read even better in trade format. This is another win in Marvel’s book.

Rogue One #6: Writer/Jody Houser, Artist/Emilio Laiso, Colorist/Rachelle Rosenberg, Letterer/Clayton Cowles, Editor/Heather Antos, Supervising Editor/Jordan D. White.