Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars Annual #3

This review of Star Wars Annual #3 contains minor spoilers.

You can learn a lot about a person when they’re under pressure, under the gun and overwhelmed.

Thanks to the tight storytelling of writer Jason LaTour and artist Michael Walsh, our understanding of the unique dynamic between Han Solo and Princess Leia is on solid ground, even if the earth beneath them is constantly quaking.

Their 33-page story in Star Wars Annual #3 is a fast-paced journey, drawing inspiration from the Indiana Jones franchise, while upholding the standard for brisk Star Wars action and adventure.

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IDW Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars Adventures #2

This review of Star Wars Adventures #2 contains minor spoilers.

There’s no sophomore slump for IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures #2.

In fact, the second outing in two weeks for the new series is just as good as the debut issue, proving without doubt that an all-ages Star Wars comic is not just viable, but vivacious.

Issue two, like the first, sports a main story and a backup tale from Wild Space. Both are equally charming, splendidly paced and adroitly written and illustrated.

This issue also marks a milestone, too, with artist Elsa Charretier making her comics writing debut, co-scripting the Tales From Wild Space backup “The Flat Mountain of Yavin” with Pierrick Colinet.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Doctor Aphra #12

This review of Doctor Aphra #12 contains minor spoilers.

It’s no secret Dr. Chelli Aphra has a keen mind, sharp reflexes and a perniciously clever way of thwarting imminent demise with absolutely no concern for anyone who may, or may not, be in the way.

Or does she?

There are some truly puzzling motives to parse in the latest issue of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra and not all of them involve self-centered greed and malice toward all.

In fact, writer Kieron Gillen has added more depth to Aphra throughout the penultimate chapter of “The Enormous Profit” storyline in the monthly series.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars #36

This review of Star Wars #36 contains minor spoilers.

There’s a certain dynamic between R2-D2 and C-3PO that we may never truly understand and that’s fine because some mysteries ought to be just that, always.

Yet, in the pages of Star Wars #36, we get a glimmer of that relationship, but in a way that doesn’t overpower the duo’s individual strengths.

This issue brings to a conclusion, nearly a year later, the events of writer Jason Aaron’s “Last Flight of the Harbinger” story arc that ended in Star Wars #25 with C-3PO captured by the Empire.

While Goldenrod isn’t forgotten — he’s just not a high priority — it’s R2-D2 who takes the lead in a one-droid effort to not just free his log-standing partner, but perhaps strike a mortal blow to Darth Vader, too.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Rogue One #6

This review of Star Wars: Rogue One #6 contains minor spoilers.

It was no secret how Rogue One was going to end.

We all saw it coming.

Yet that did little to stop the team behind the six-issue film adaptation from adding one last, lofty and piercing surprise to throw us for a loop. All it took was a series of words that for some Star Wars fans, were the first they ever read.

Rogue One ended as it began with rich detail, added material and luxurious storytelling in words and images.

The final issue of Rogue One wasn’t bereft of the extreme emotional toll of losing the entire Rebel band on Scarif. That grief and shock remained lasting and durable.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Captain Phasma #1

This review of Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Captain Phasma #1 contains minor spoilers.

It’s been a banner week for Captain Phasma: A new novel from Delilah S. Dawson and the first issue of a four-issue mini series from Kelly Thompson.

Not a bad way to begin the hype cycle for Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Both books provide a lot more depth into the character herself, something sorely lacking since her 2015 debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It was worth the wait, particularly with the Captain Phasma comic book.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Darth Vader #5

This review of Darth Vader #5 contains minor spoilers.

Now we know the truth about Mustafar.

The rocky and molten planet is far more than we ever thought it was and could be.

It’s name forever enshrined with not just Anakin Skywalker’s first mission for Darth Sidious, but as the fulcrum that destroyed who Anakin was and turned him, completely, into Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith.

You’ll be reading a lot of hyperbole about this issue — written by Charles Soule, penciled by Giuseppe Camucoli, inked by Cam Smith, colored by David Curiel, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna and edited by Heather Antos and Jordan D. White.

It’s true, all of it, to paraphrase Han Solo in The Force Awakens.

Darth Vader #5 may well go down in Star Wars lore as the most pivotal tale of how Vader forever cast off any trappings of whatever good lay buried deep within him. Read more

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IDW Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars Adventures #1

This review of Star Wars Adventures #1 contains minor spoilers.

When IDW Publishing chief creative officer and editor-in-chief Chris Ryall jumped up on the publishing panel at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando to announce Star Wars Adventures, I was intrigued.

Marvel’s been publishing Star Wars comics since January 2015 and has, largely, done a fine job with adding to the Saga’s canon and giving readers monthly does of stories and adventures.

But Ryall spoke of how Star Wars, as George Lucas has said, was for kids. So it made sense to have a comics series that appealed to them, too, since the Disney acquisition and Dark Horse Comics’ loss of the publishing license.

Having read the first issue of Star Wars Adventures, IDW Publishing and Lucasfilm have taken the mandate to heart, offering up a heady blend of adventure that’s not just accessible to an all-ages audience, but proffers up storytelling and visuals that are bountiful, buoyant and brimming with enthusiasm.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Star Wars #35

This review of Star Wars #35 contains minor spoilers.

Jason Aaron’s got two issues left on Star Wars. He’s not coasting, either.

With another one-and-done story, the writer of Marvel’s flagship Star Wars comics monthly title is delivering some of the best stories of his career, breathing new and vital layers of complex and daring attitude for those core Original Trilogy characters.

Nowhere is this evidenced more than in Star Wars #35, a character-driven study of Han Solo that ties in not only elements of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, but also A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

More importantly, it gives readers and fans — new and old — a deeper look into what and who Han is, something that’s been missing in this series.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1

This review of Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1 contains minor spoilers.

The first issue of Mace Windu was a week late.

It could have used a week more to tighten up some of the minor annoyances in the debut of Marvel’s latest five-issue mini series.

Still, that’s not to say the comic — and the four issues to come — isn’t worth your money or time spent reading it.

Written by Matt Owens, with pencils by industry veteran Denys Cowan and inks by Roberto Poggi, colors by GURU-eFX, letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna and edited by Heather Antos, Charles Beacham and Jordan D. White, the series is stylistically different than any previous Star Wars comics outing.

That’s good and bad.

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